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Are the Red Sox playoff bound? Ask the mathematician

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Mary Schwalm/AP

(Read caption) Boston Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkillis fields ground balls during workouts at Fenway Park on Sunday. Rain postponed opening day for the Sox, but Professor Bruce Bukiet expects the team to reach the playoffs.

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This October, expect to see the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, and Cleveland Indians in the playoffs. How do we know? Math.

With the baseball season starting up this week, Professor Bruce Bukiet released his annual list of statistical hopefuls. In 2000, the mathematician and associate dean at the New Jersey Institute of Technology developed a formula for predicting playoff teams. The system churns through hitters, starting pitchers, relievers, home-field advantage, and many other Major League data sets, then estimates win-loss records for the coming season.

This year's American League playoffs seem clear cut, according to Mr. Bukiet's numbers. He sees the Yankees winning 99 games, Red Sox grabbing 97, Angels clinching 92, and rest of the AL pack well behind the Indians' 88 wins.

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