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About this site

This site is a public logbook on the development of a baseball data model that measures baseball player value and ranks them from best to worst.  This model contains the current 30 MLB franchises, their minor league affiliates, and their historical teams.   It covers all seasons and all players from 1900 – 2017.

Browse the Table of Contents for more information.  We covered the 2017 season extensively.  Not much published here in 2016 even though the Cubs won and it has been sporadic the years before starting in September 2013.

The goal of this data model is to become an app that user can quickly evaluate a player being talked without knowing anything about baseball.   They can then become the smartest person in the room about that player.  There will be a handicapping component but that is a work in progress and hasn’t been proven.  We have a solid proof for the WAA measure, something WAR does not have.

1919 World Series Part 1

This set of posts will cover the 1919 World Series.  It has been around a month since the last baseball game of the 2019 season.  Since then much work has been done to shore up the historical dataset and scripts that support it.  A league snapshot is taken at the end of every day.  Daily snapshots must add up to match the official end of year tallies which can be a challenge and missing games introduce some error which is often acceptable.

Daily data is derived from retrosheet.org compilations of event box (1910 – 1949) and play-by-play (1950-2018).  Although event box data goes back to 1910 and before, 1919 is the first year where dailies add up to be close enough to known final stats to include into the historical dataset.  TC Sim relied on data from 1970-2018.  Now we will go back to 1919 meaning simulation will draw from an entire century of baseball games.

Conveniently the 1919 World Series happened 100 years ago and something very exciting occurred.  Eight White Sox players purportedly threw the series for money; handicappers/mob were tilting the odds the only way they knew how before computers.  Since the proof of this data model rests on accurate handicapping of baseball games, let’s see how well it does for the 8 games where CIN beats CHA 5-3.  World Series were 9 game series back then.

In Part 1 we’ll cover high level basics between the two teams and in subsequent parts  show playoff horse race tables for August and end of year.  Then we’ll handicap all games using the same tables shown here for the 2019 World Series.  Since we’re from the future we can also show how these games end with box scores and post mortem analysis.

First let’s look at the top half of MLB.  This model does not discriminate between AL and NL; all teams and players are ranked together.

MLB 1919

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
CIN 96 44 30.6 112.1 27.9
CHA 88 52 116.6 1.1 5.9
SFN 87 53 52.1 51.1 19.9
CLE 84 55 87.6 23.1 -15.1
NYA 80 59 35.1 25.1 9.9
DET 80 60 79.1 -32.9 -3.1
CHN 75 65 -82.4 117.1 16.9
PIT 71 68 -69.9 28.1 46.9

Cincinnati had the best record in baseball with White Sox second best.  Reds had great pitching, White Sox great hitting.  Reds had better fielding according to Unearned Runs above average.  Back then there were far more errors committed than in modern baseball.  Unearned runs count the same as Earned runs in determining who wins a baseball game.  For some reason they only played 140 games that year.

Top CIN Players 1919

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+008+ 6.83 Dutch_Ruether_CIN PITCH
+018+ 5.14 Slim_Sallee_CIN PITCH
+024+ 4.26 Heinie_Groh_CIN 3B
+028+ 3.65 Hod_Eller_CIN PITCH
+033+ 3.53 Edd_Roush_CIN CF-OF
+034+ 3.49 Ray_Fisher_CIN PITCH
+038+ 3.25 Jimmy_Ring_CIN PITCH
XXXXX 1.03 Jimmy_Smith_CIN BAT

Reds had 7 players ranked in top 50 which is equivalent to top 100 for a 30 team league.  Five of those seven are pitchers as one would expect based upon their PITCH in team status above.

Top CHA Players 1919

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+004+ 8.76 Eddie_Cicotte_CHA PITCH
+010+ 6.57 Shoeless_Joe_Jackson_CHA OF-LF-RF
+017+ 5.17 Eddie_Collins_CHA 2B
+020+ 5.00 Buck_Weaver_CHA 3B-SS
+021+ 4.98 Happy_Felsch_CHA CF-OF
+047+ 2.81 Lefty_Williams_CHA PITCH
+053+ 2.65 Chick_Gandil_CHA 1B
XXXXX 1.32 Fred_McMullin_CHA 3B
XXXXX -0.08 Swede_Risberg_CHA SS-1B

White Sox also had 7 guys ranked around top 50 with 5 of those 7 hitters as one would expect based upon their BAT in team status.  Highlighted in bold red are the 8 players banished from baseball.  Swede Risberg was appended to  the end of this list to round out the 8 players.  Eddie Collins was their only top player not part of the fix and was inducted into HOF after a very long career.

Based upon end of year stats these two teams seem very evenly matched with CIN perhaps slightly ahead.  Having the above 8 players not play to their potential moves the handicapping needle  towards CIN.  Nothing in handicapping can be a sure thing and according to many historians many of the above played to their potential.  We’ll see about that in subsequent parts to this series.

To round out this high level overview let’s look at the top ten MLB players according to this data model 100 years ago at the end of the 1919 season.

Top MLB Players 1919

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+001+ 11.93 Babe_Ruth_BOS OF-LF-PR
+002+ 10.39 Walter_Johnson_MIN PITCH
+003+ 8.99 Hippo_Vaughn_CHN PITCH
+004+ 8.76 Eddie_Cicotte_CHA PITCH
+005+ 7.85 Bobby_Veach_DET LF-OF
+006+ 7.64 George_Sisler_BAL 1B
+007+ 7.25 Pete_Alexander_CHN PITCH
+008+ 6.83 Dutch_Ruether_CIN PITCH
+009+ 6.76 Babe_Adams_PIT PITCH
+010+ 6.57 Shoeless_Joe_Jackson_CHA OF-LF-RF

Usual suspects round out the top ten.  Top ten in 1919 is like top 20 in 2019 because there were half the teams thus half the players.  Cubs had two pitchers in the top ten and White Sox had a pitcher and a hitter. White Sox pitching was their weakness with Cicotte their one almost sure win every time he pitched.  Did he throw down?  We’ll see.

The year 1919 happens to be the base year for this data model because it’s the earliest with a workable complete set of dailies for the season.  Pretty much all MLB playoff games have play by play dailies.  Integration between the regular season historical data and post season historical data is a work in progress and the reason for these posts.

World Series Game 7

Another World Series Game 7.  Let’s see what this matchup looks like.

WAS HOU 10_30_8:08_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
WAS 24 0.444 0.401 90 3.37 3.26 0.32
HOU 52 0.574 0.599 104 4.00 3.82 3.32

The R ( Relief ) column is always the same for each team throughout a playoff series because it’s based upon their published roster which shouldn’t change.  Lineups ( L ) are usually around the same.  S ( Starters ) is the only column that deviates game to game.

TC Sim has Houston favored more than Vegas today.  The Vegas line started out at 0.600 in favor of HOU and has been moving towards WAS.  ELO has HOU favored 52% which is close to where they had them favored yesterday.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Max_Scherzer_WAS 6.40 0.667 172.3 3.26
Zack_Greinke_TOT 7.35 0.658 208.7 3.82

Greinke had a better regular season than Scherzer.  Both these pitchers have post season experience.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
XXXXX -0.34 89.3 3.73 14 6 Max_Scherzer_TOT PITCH  post season
-081- -1.47 75.7 4.40 13 3 Zack_Greinke_TOT PITCH  post season

Scherzer is around even steven and Greinke is very under water for all post seasons not including 2019.  Greinke pitched well in game 3 however.  Vegas bettors might know about the above.  At even steven, playoff Max Scherzer pitches well below regular season Max Scherzer.  HOU has home field advantage and this is a desperation game for both teams.

TC Sim relies solely on regular season performance.  Here are lineups from yesterday as an FYI.  They shouldn’t be much different than tonight.  This will be the last game of the 2019 baseball season.

WAS Lineup Yesterday

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 1.47 Trea_Turner_WAS SS 569
XXXXX -0.86 Adam_Eaton_WAS RF 656
+005+ 8.95 Anthony_Rendon_WAS 3B 646
+020+ 6.19 Juan_Soto_WAS LF 659
+085+ 3.42 Howie_Kendrick_WAS 1B-2B-3B 370
+078+ 3.53 Asdrubal_Cabrera_WAS 3B-2B 514
XXXXX 0.06 Ryan_Zimmerman_WAS 1B 190
XXXXX 0.02 Victor_Robles_WAS CF-RF 617
XXXXX -0.88 Yan_Gomes_WAS CR 358
Total 21.90 TIER=3.37

HOU Lineup Yesterday

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+023+ 6.17 George_Springer_HOU CF-RF-DH 556
+089+ 3.34 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B 548
+124+ 2.67 Michael_Brantley_HOU LF-DH 637
+011+ 7.22 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B-SS 690
+052+ 4.45 Yuli_Gurriel_HOU 1B-3B 612
+042+ 5.00 Yordan_Alvarez_HOU DH-LF 369
+137+ 2.54 Carlos_Correa_HOU SS 321
XXXXX 1.09 Robinson_Chirinos_HOU CR 437
-137- -1.97 Josh_Reddick_HOU RF-LF 550
Total 30.51 TIER=4.00

World Series Game 6

World Series Game 6 tonight in Houston.  Houston up 3-2 so Washington is on the ropes.

WAS HOU 10_29_8:07_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
WAS 24 0.385 0.390 101 3.37 2.95 0.32
HOU 52 0.636 0.610 96 4.00 4.00 3.32

TC Sim and Vegas in agreement once again.  ELO has Houston favored at 53% so the WAS line would be another betting opportunity for them  Desperation for WAS is highest it can be.  Houston ahead in L, S, and R categories and have home field advantage.  Away teams  prevailed so far in each game this series.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Stephen_Strasburg_WAS 5.88 0.627 209.0 2.95
Justin_Verlander_HOU 9.70 0.696 223.0 4.00

Strasburg and Verlander face each other once again.  Each pitcher about tied in post season ranking for all seasons up to and including 2018.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
+030+ 2.54 33.0 0.27 5 1 Stephen_Strasburg_WAS PITCH post season
+033+ 2.50 189.0 3.00 29 4 Justin_Verlander_TOT PITCH post season

We have current lineups today.

WAS Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 1.47 Trea_Turner_WAS SS 569
XXXXX -0.86 Adam_Eaton_WAS RF 656
+005+ 8.95 Anthony_Rendon_WAS 3B 646
+020+ 6.19 Juan_Soto_WAS LF 659
+085+ 3.42 Howie_Kendrick_WAS 1B-2B-3B 370
+078+ 3.53 Asdrubal_Cabrera_WAS 3B-2B 514
XXXXX 0.06 Ryan_Zimmerman_WAS 1B 190
XXXXX 0.02 Victor_Robles_WAS CF-RF 617
XXXXX -0.88 Yan_Gomes_WAS CR 358
Total 21.90 TIER=3.37

WAS fielded a close to Tier 4.00 in games 1 and 2.

HOU Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+023+ 6.17 George_Springer_HOU CF-RF-DH 556
+089+ 3.34 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B 548
+124+ 2.67 Michael_Brantley_HOU LF-DH 637
+011+ 7.22 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B-SS 690
+052+ 4.45 Yuli_Gurriel_HOU 1B-3B 612
+042+ 5.00 Yordan_Alvarez_HOU DH-LF 369
+137+ 2.54 Carlos_Correa_HOU SS 321
XXXXX 1.09 Robinson_Chirinos_HOU CR 437
-137- -1.97 Josh_Reddick_HOU RF-LF 550
Total 30.51 TIER=4.00

And Houston fields yet another maxed out Tier 4.00 lineup.

That’s all for today and could be that’s all for the 2019 baseball season tonight.  After the season is over we’ll do a Cubs and White Sox post mortem showing how their 2019 players fared as well as all their prospects in minor leagues.  Until then ….

World Series Game 5

World Series Game 5 tonight in DC.  Looks like HOU evened up this series and regained home field advantage.  Let’s look at tonight’s game.

HOU WAS 10_27_8:07_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
HOU 52 0.600 0.615 102 4.00 4.00 3.32
WAS 24 0.417 0.385 92 2.74 3.26 0.32

Vegas and TC Sim almost in complete agreement.  ELO has Houston favored by only 52% which means the WAS line could be another betting opportunity for that system.  Lineup numbers taken from yesterday.  HOU is ahead in L , S , and R.  Washington needs to win tonight or they’re in trouble.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Gerrit_Cole_HOU 9.64 0.704 212.3 4.00
Max_Scherzer_WAS 6.40 0.667 172.3 3.26

Both top tier pitchers in regular season.  Here are their post season numbers.

Post Season

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
XXXXX -0.10 29.0 3.72 5 2 Gerrit_Cole_TOT PITCH
XXXXX -0.34 89.3 3.73 14 6 Max_Scherzer_TOT PITCH

Both hovering around average for post season.  Average post season ERA is much lower than regular season ERA for obvious reasons.  Both ERAs above eerily similar however.

Might update when lineups become available but they shouldn’t be much different than yesterday.

HOU Lineup Today

no lineup for HOU

WAS Lineup Today

no lineup for WAS

World Series Game 4

World Series game 4 starts in a few hours.  Let’s have a look see into this game.

HOU WAS 10_26_8:07_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
HOU 52 0.512 0.575 X 4.00 -0.24 3.32
WAS 24 0.512 0.425 X 2.74 3.00 0.32

Vegas is a don’t know for this game.  TC Sim has Houston favored at 57% , ELO has WAS favored at 59%.   There is much disagreement about this game today.   Washington has a much better starter pitching tonight, HOU has a better lineup and relief.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Jose_Urquidy_HOU 0.48 0.553 41.0 -0.24
Patrick_Corbin_WAS 5.96 0.633 202.0 3.00

Houston is going with a new guy starting who is listed as a reliever.  He was supposed to start Game 6 of ALCS and was replaced by Brad Peacock last minute.  This will probably be a reliever smorgasbord for HOU tonight which is a side effect of carrying only three starters.

HOU Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+023+ 6.17 George_Springer_HOU CF-RF-DH 556
+089+ 3.34 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B 548
+124+ 2.67 Michael_Brantley_HOU LF-DH 637
+011+ 7.22 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B-SS 690
+052+ 4.45 Yuli_Gurriel_HOU 1B-3B 612
+137+ 2.54 Carlos_Correa_HOU SS 321
XXXXX 1.09 Robinson_Chirinos_HOU CR 437
XXXXX 0.40 Jake_Marisnick_HOU CF 318
XXXXX 0.00 Jose_Urquidy_HOU none 0
Total 27.88 TIER=4.00

Houston still has a maxed out Tier 4.00 even without DH.  Pitcher hitting records are zeroed out in lineup calculations which will be explained more in off season.

WAS Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 1.47 Trea_Turner_WAS SS 569
XXXXX -0.86 Adam_Eaton_WAS RF 656
+005+ 8.95 Anthony_Rendon_WAS 3B 646
+020+ 6.19 Juan_Soto_WAS LF 659
+085+ 3.42 Howie_Kendrick_WAS 1B-2B-3B 370
XXXXX 0.06 Ryan_Zimmerman_WAS 1B 190
XXXXX 0.02 Victor_Robles_WAS CF-RF 617
XXXXX -0.88 Yan_Gomes_WAS CR 358
XXXXX 0.00 Patrick_Corbin_WAS none 0
Total 18.37 TIER=2.74

Washington dropped a complete tier from their DH lineup in Houston.