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Chemistry 162

Experts build a fancy algorithm that measures clubhouse chemistry

Originally Published: March 20, 2014
By Jeff Phillips | ESPN The Magazine

FOR 150 YEARS, "clubhouse chemistry" has been impossible to quantify. The only way to measure it, winning teams said, was by gut feeling: Either you have it, the way the Red Sox did with the Idiots of 2004 and 
the Beards of 2013, or you don't. Until now. Working with group dynamics experts Katerina Bezrukova, an assistant professor at Santa Clara, and Chester Spell, an associate professor at Rutgers, we built 
a proprietary team-chemistry regression model. Our algorithm combines three factors -- clubhouse demographics, trait isolation and stratification of performance to pay -- to discover how well MLB teams concoct positive chemistry.

According to the regression model, teams that maximize these factors can produce a four-win swing during a season. According to our projections, such bonding will clinch this year's World Series: The Rays (third in chem) will prevail over the Cardinals (28th) in six games for Tampa Bay's first Series title. Happy players, happy fans.

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