Predicting The Midlands Finals with Pythagorean Expectations

Tonight at 9:00 PM EST on the Big Ten Network, the finals of the Ken Kraft Midlands Championship air live. The collegiate wrestling field features 42 teams and over 400 wrestlers. By tonight, the field will be narrowed down to 20 finalists in 10 weight classes.

StrikeScoreMMA has previously applied Pythagorean Exceptions and the StrikeScore formula to attempt to predict the outcome of MMA fights. Collegiate wrestling actually has points, so the formula can be applied much more easily.

Pythagorean Expectation is a formula developed by Bill James. The idea is to compare a baseball team’s actual winning percentage with their Pythagorean winning percentage. If there is a great variance between the two, than the team was either extremely lucky or unlucky. The basic formula is below. For the sake of converting the formula to wrestling, matches won by fall are considered 15-0 victories. The result will be called Wrestler's Pythagorean Expectation (WPE).

from Wikipedia

from Wikipedia

The following are the Pythagorean Expectation predictions for the finals of the 2015 Midlands. For a data set, StrikeScoreMMA used the wrestler's previous matches in the tournament. The WPE score is in parenthesis. Predicted winners are listed in bold.

125:
Thomas Gilman, Iowa (97) vs. Ronnie Rios, Oregon State (91)

133:
Emilio Saavedra, Old Dominion (94) vs. Josh Alber, Northern Iowa (85)

141:
Andre Long, Grand View (97) vs. Steve Bleise, Northern Illinois (90)

149:
Brandon Sorensen, Iowa (97) vs. Jason Tsirtsis, Northwestern (94)

157:
Cody Pack, South Dakota (98) vs. Thomas Gatt, NC State (93)

165:
Tanner Weatherman, Iowa State (95) vs. Chad Welch, Purdue (98)

174:
Cody Walters, Ohio (100) vs. Jonathan Schleifer, Princeton (92)

184:
David Taylor, Nittany Lion WC (100) vs. Timothy Dudley, Nebraska (99)

197:
Nathan Burak, Iowa (95) vs. Derek White, Nebraska (82)

285:
Nick Gwiazdowski, NC State (99) vs. Tanner Hall, Arizona State (92)