The Phillies will be in the thick of the playoff race again this year.
That's no mere baseball expert talking. The prediction comes from a mathematician: Bruce Bukiet, of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
According to a statistical model that Bukiet has been refining for more than a decade, the Phils will wind up in a three-way tie in the National League East, with the Mets and the Braves.
Bukiet, an associate math professor at the Newark school, says each team should win about 88 games, give or take six. During the season, he also will pick the outcome of each individual game, adjusting his numbers to reflect which pitchers are starting, injuries, and other factors.