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“The Predictalator” places Cardinals second

A mathematician named Paul Bessire, formerly behind and now the proprietor of, has run the entire 2011 MLB season 50,000 times using his proprietary forecasting software, called “The Predictalator.”

On his site, Bessire offers the projected divisional standings along with the highest and lowest win totals for each team in the 50,000 seasons “played.” He includes each team’s likelihood of reaching the playoffs as a division or wild card winner and expected results once there. Finally, Futures Odds are included, which is the likelihood of any team coming in over or under the current Win Total lines from

Here is a brief summary, with the NL Central teams listed. For the entire 30-team reports and further explanation, go to

National League Central Division

Team Avg. Wins Avg. Losses High Wins Low Wins
Cincinnati Reds 84.6 77.4 99 70
St. Louis Cardinals 83.8 78.2 100 71
Milwaukee Brewers 83.7 78.3 98 71
Chicago Cubs 82.9 79.1 97 69
Pittsburgh Pirates 69.8 92.2 83 53
Houston Astros 68.5 93.5 81 53

The Reds are on top, with the difference between the Cardinals and Brewers razor-thin. Note that the best-case scenario in the entire division would be 100 wins for St. Louis. Seems hard to imagine with Adam Wainwright out of the equation. Sadly, according to this analysis, the best Houston could possibly hope for is a .500 season.

Playoff Probabilities (based on 2011 MLB season played 50,000 times)

Team Division Win Wild Card Win LCS Win World Series Win
Cincinnati Reds 32.00% 6.10% 6.30% 2.60%
St. Louis Cardinals 26.80% 7.00% 5.60% 2.20%
Milwaukee Brewers 22.30% 5.40% 2.90% 1.10%
Chicago Cubs 18.60% 4.30% 1.80% 0.50%
Pittsburgh Pirates 0.10% 0.10% 0.00% 0.00%
Houston Astros 0.10% 0.10% 0.00% 0.00%

Interesting that the Cardinals have the best wild card chance of success while the gap between them and Milwaukee increases.

Total Wins Picks (based on every 2011 MLB game played 50,000 times)

Team Total Wins Line Projected Wins Pick Pick%
Houston Astros 71.5 68.5 Under 58.00%
Pittsburgh Pirates 67.5 69.8 Over 56.00%
Cincinnati Reds 83 84.6 Over 53.50%
Chicago Cubs 82 82.9 Over 51.80%
Milwaukee Brewers 84.5 83.7 Under 51.80%
St. Louis Cardinals 84.5 83.8 Under 51.40%

This shows the betting line is more optimistic about the Cardinals’ win total than is The Predictalator, though the two are closer than any other NL Central pair. Taking the Astros and the under seems the best NL Central bet according to this analysis. Maybe Houston fans can find some solace in the 2011 season this way.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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