About Us

At Model 284, we utilize data as a tool to predict outcomes in the world of sports. Our approach is simple – we use math and models to help address the question of “how do teams win games?” Our goal is to provide the sports community with unique information to use as a piece to their puzzle, whether that puzzle is coming up with a prediction, making a bet, or simply gaining a better understanding of the game.

We do our best to stay unbiased by focusing on the numbers and hard facts and keeping things as simple as possible. We analyze topics from a number of different sports, and provide insight into questions such as, “how would one quantify home field advantage?” or, “how many points will the Vikings beat the Packers by?” There will always be a number of factors to consider when answering questions of this nature, but, sometimes the best thing to do is to sit back and Trust the Model.

Sam Walczak | Co-Founder & Analyst
Sam graduated from St. Olaf College with a degree in Mathematics and Statistics and works as a reinsurance broker/catastrophe modeler at Holborn Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is currently working on his Master’s degree in Data Science at the University of Minnesota. At Model 284, Sam focuses on basketball and football analytics and has contributed to Model 284’s College Basketball, NFL, and NBA projects. He lives in St. Louis Park, MN, where he enjoys being relentlessly let down by the local sports teams, working out, country music, making lists, and Star Wars.

Marc Richards | Co-Founder & Analyst
Marc is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Statistics at the University of Pittsburgh where he studies the intersection of statistics and machine learning. Before that he worked at a reinsurance brokerage firm in Bloomington, Minnesota as a Catastrophe Modeler. He also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, Economics, and Statistics from St. Olaf College while playing College Hockey for the Oles. Marc focuses on hockey, basketball, and football content, and has contributed to Model 284’s NFL, NBA, and NHL projects. When Marc isn’t crunching numbers, you might find him playing pick up hoops, hunting, fishing or climbing a mountain.

Evan Droen Contributor
Evan graduated from St. Olaf College in 2015 with a degree in Economics and Management Studies and is currently working for a consulting firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Outside of work, Evan enjoys playing pick up hoops, watching Marc Gasol YouTube highlights, spending time on the lake, and grilling pork chops. Although his experience in sports analytics is fairly limited, Evan correctly predicted that the Minnesota Timberwolves would miss the playoffs in the 2013-2014 season.

Jack Werner | Analyst
Jack graduated from St. Olaf College in 2016 with a degree in Mathematics and Statistics. Though his baseball career peaked in Little League, he shows considerably more upside in the field of sports analytics. He focuses mostly on projects related to baseball, basketball, and the NFL. Besides working on data analysis projects, Jack also enjoys playing the piano, reading, and backpacking. Jack works as a data scientist in Minneapolis.

Eric King | Analyst

Eric currently works as a Business Analyst in Shoreview, Minnesota, while also averaging 13/8/5 in lunch-break YMCA pickup games. Eric studied Math and Statistics from St. Olaf, where he graduated in 2014. As a child, Eric dreamed of someday playing in the NBA. As an adult, he has settled for working on NBA projects with the Model284 team. Eric’s hobby’s include pickup sports, running, and snowboarding.

Fred West | Contributor
Fred graduated from St. Olaf in 2017 with a degree in Chemistry and currently works for a startup med-tech company as a Surface Chemist, although he has dreams of one day making the natural progression from chemist to stay at home dad. While he may have little to, more accurately, no experience in statistical modeling, he frequently loses more money than he has in his account placing “gut-based” bets on mid-major college basketball and football games. Fred likes the idea of hobbies but has yet to stick with one activity long enough to ever actually have one. For more background on Fred, see his resume.

Owen Goodwalt | Analyst
Owen is currently attending St. Cloud State University where he is studying mass communications and community health. When he isn’t in school, Owen works on and landscaping crew. At Model 284 Owen contributes to multiple fantasy football projects. When he has time off from producing flawless content at Model 284, Owen enjoys lifting weights, playing the guitar poorly, and spending hours looking at Star Wars memes.

Wei Peng | Analyst
Wei is a Ph.D. student in Statistics at the University of Pittsburgh. Wei studied Mathematics at Nanjing University in China before coming to the United States to begin his Ph.D. studies. He is set to graduate in April 2021 and will join a startup in Pittsburgh as a Data Scientist after graduation. Although Wei is a true soccer fan, he recently contributed to Model 284’s NFL Big Data Bowl project. He always spends his Saturdays watching soccer games or playing soccer with his friends and also enjoys solving brain teasers and reading novels.