Editor’s Note: The Deseret News’ McCade Pearson, a graduate of Riverton High, has a passion for all sports, including high school sports. He’s also passionate about sports analytics and is fine-tuning formulas and models for his own power ranking and state tournament predictive system. Here’s his take on the upcoming 6A, 5A baseball playoffs.


Throughout my life, two things have always been tied together — my love for sports and my love for numbers. The past decade has provided me opportunities to work in athletics as well as receive a mathematics-statistics degree.

When I looked over the empty brackets before the final RPI release, my mind wandered and I started thinking about all the exciting things that could occur during the next few weeks. Using my unique power rankings system from the regular season, I built some models to try and predict what might unfold in the 6A and 5A baseball state tournaments.

The predictive model I designed rewards teams for results over the past two seasons, with extra weight added to the current season for obvious reasons. It has aspects that try to make it more predictive of the future than analytical to the past. Trying to predict the future is always a work in progress in sports.

There is always another number to crunch and another variable to factor in and try to quantify. I openly admit these predictions are far from perfect, and I will likely spend significant time in the coming months refining and redefining to try and get final results closer to reality for numerous sports. 

Related
High school baseball: 6A/5A/4A/3A/2A state tournament scores and schedules
High school baseball: 5A/4A/3A/2A playoff roundup from Friday’s games

However, that is what makes sports great. No matter how many predictions are put out there, the future is just one reality. Below is a summary of 100,000 simulations for each 6A and 5A baseball tournament. And yet when the players actually take the field during the coming weeks, only one version of each match will be played, only one team will come out with a victory, and they will do so just one time as one champion is crowned. We just have no idea which of the infinite simulations that will be and that is the magic of sports.

Unlike my predictions for the soccer state tournaments — which are single elimination —  it’s much more likely to see the higher-seeded teams advance throughout the baseball state tournaments because of it’s double-elimination format.

The 5A tournament kicked off with play-in games on Friday, and with the first round of both the 6A and 5A tournaments getting underway on Saturday.


6A model predictions

Note: The ranking column is the power ranking formula I’ve created. The other columns are probability of reaching those rounds of the playoffs.

Predicting 6A baseball tournament

TeamsRankRPISRF8F6F4FinalChamp
Bingham2049.12100%98%91%81%62%35%
Fremont2056.41100%99%92%78%52%32%
American Fork2013.75100%97%86%63%30%16%
Lone Peak1958.94100%94%74%44%17%7%
Riverton1909.33100%92%72%47%16%4%
Taylorsville1875.36100%89%64%34%9%2%
Pleasant Grove1884.17100%62%41%22%7%2%
West Jordan1847.48100%69%37%16%4%1%
Skyridge1853.41099%38%20%8%2%1%
Farmington1781.1999%31%13%5%1%0%
Weber1724.51389%6%2%1%0%0%
Mountain Ridge1711.51679%5%2%0%0%0%
Davis1667.51198%11%3%0%0%0%
Herriman1634.61477%4%1%0%0%0%
Copper Hills1582.11721%0%0%0%0%0%
West1328.3241%0%0%0%0%0%
Kearns1487.61249%0%0%0%0%0%
Syracuse1518.92151%0%0%0%0%0%
Roy1514.92011%0%0%0%0%0%
Layton1521.61923%0%0%0%0%0%
Clearfield1275.2222%0%0%0%0%0%
Westlake1365.5231%0%0%0%0%0%
Corner Canyon1663.21570%4%1%0%0%0%
Cyprus1590.81830%0%0%0%0%0%

5A model predictions

Note: The ranking column is the power ranking formula I’ve created. The other columns are probability of reaching those rounds of the playoffs.

Predicting 5A baseball tournament

TeamsRankRPISRF8F6F4FinalChamp
Jordan1894.63100%91%80%63%39%24%
Spanish Fork1869.81100%91%79%64%40%21%
Lehi1868.52100%91%77%58%32%18%
Timpanogos1838.78100%85%65%43%20%10%
Cottonwood1816.25100%83%66%44%20%8%
Olympus1813.84100%82%64%42%19%8%
Park City1785.96100%79%57%33%13%5%
Woods Cross1784.07100%76%52%29%11%4%
Wasatch1731.01370%21%12%6%2%1%
Skyline1733.91656%13%8%4%1%0%
Bountiful1706.01080%20%11%5%1%0%
Uintah1729.91744%10%6%3%1%0%
Murray1652.91161%12%5%2%0%0%
Tooele1660.32030%3%2%1%0%0%
Brighton1625.51574%9%4%1%0%0%
Orem1633.5954%6%3%1%0%0%
Box Elder1641.62446%4%2%1%0%0%
Salem Hills1588.31255%6%2%1%0%0%
Viewmont1570.31450%4%1%0%0%0%
Springville1595.61950%3%1%0%0%0%
Maple Mountain1624.22239%3%1%0%0%0%
Northridge1590.92145%3%1%0%0%0%
Stansbury1570.42320%1%0%0%0%0%
Payson1531.11826%1%0%0%0%0%