Just in time for the playoffs: Cubs playoff math puzzles

chicago-cubs-2

Via FiveThirtyEight.com:

The best team in baseball this year, the Chicago Cubs, have clinched their playoff spot and will play their first playoff game a week from today. The Cubs’ road to the World Series title consists of a best-of-five series followed by two best-of-seven series. How many unique strings of wins and losses could the Cubs assemble if they make their way through the playoffs and win their first championship title since 1908? (For example, one possible string would be WWWWWWWWWWW — three straight sweeps. Another would be WWWWWWWLLLWWWW — two sweeps plus a dramatic World Series comeback.)2

Submit your answer here.

If you need a hint, you can try asking me nicely. Want to submit a new Riddler Express? Email me.


You are a gambler and a Cubs fan. The Cubs are competing in a seven-game series against the Red Sox — first to four games wins. Your bookie agrees to take any even-odds bets on any of the individual games. Can you construct a series of bets such that the guaranteed outcomes are: You win $100 if the Cubs wins the series and lose $100 if the Red Sox win it?

Submit your answer here.

If you need a hint, you can try asking me nicely. Want to submit a new Riddler? Email me.

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