# go cubs and white sox!

For the first time in over 100 years, both the Chicago Cubs and White Sox are in the playoffs. It is exciting.

If you have been following the countdown to the playoffs, you may have noticed the Magic number, the number of games a team must win (or its nearest competitor must lose) in order for the team to make it into the playoffs. At some point, nearly all teams are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The problem with the Magic Number is it is overly conservative and does not account for a team and its competitors’ schedules. RIOT, a web site at the University of California, Berkeley, addresses these weaknesses using OR. RIOT provides a model that determines play-off race statistics throughout the major league baseball season using optimization techniques. It can determine when a team is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs using a single linear-programming formulation. RIOT was developed by Ilan Adler, Alan L. Erera, Dorit S. Hochbaum and Eli V. Olinick. A paper explains RIOT in detail.

The Numbers Guy wrote more about baseball standings. I wrote about baseball statistics earlier.