Cubs White Sox Matchup

Apparently the Cubs play the White Sox in their final 3 games of this 2020 exhibition season. In past seasons there would be a lot of copy/pasting of tables but now we can just copy/paste links.

Click here for team status.

Not as concise but you can see the Cubs struggling in the BAT category and CHA with good BAT and very good PITCH. Lineups align with BAT for both teams. White Sox have better relief than Cubs who are around league average.

Cubs starting one of the best pitchers in MLB this season, Yu Darvish, who is currently ranked #6. Dylan Cease, former Cubs prospect traded in the Quintana acquisition is unranked but above average.

All this boils down into Tier Combos used in simulation giving White Sox a 58% chance of winning today despite Darvish on the mound. Cubs lineup is very underwater at tier -1.58. The new tier combo table shows a color coded comparison between the two teams.

Vegas has Cubs heavily favored at 63.6% making CHA a definite betting opportunity. White Sox are on a 5 game losing streak which may factor into the Vegas line.

Right now White Sox are receiving normal home field advantage which is baked into simulation and cannot be removed for many reasons; the best being this is a one off season and removing it causes a lot of complication in the code base. It is unclear whether or not there is home field advantage with no fans in the stands and with players from both teams sleeping in their home city.

This model favored CHA against Cleveland these last three days going against Vegas and was wrong each game. Losing streaks happen and right now this data model doesn’t correct for them. The results from TC Sim and the Tier Combo table should be considered advisory understanding that this data model compiles probabilities based upon historical data. If you flip a coin heads 4 times in a row the probability of the next flip being heads is the same as the first flip.

That is all for now. Game starts in 20 minutes. Despite what this model says, Go Cubs! Until then ….

Cubs Clinch

This blog has been offline for awhile while working on the baseball-handbook site which is starting to take shape. The purpose of this public log book was to ferret out table formats and test the code that produces them from data sources. All tables produced by this code had to be manually copied and pasted into these WordPress posts. All this code was reused to quickly put together the clickable site that provides player, team, and handicapping information for any team, any player, any game since 1900 in a (hopefully) easy to use format.

Ironically the Cubs clinch a playoff spot almost the same time in current year 2020 as they did in 1984. This year there was little to no fanfare.

Last night in 1984 when the Cubs beat the Pirates 4-1 clinching NL East Cubs fans celebrated as intensely as they did in 2016 after winning a World Series. Unlike in 2016 however, Cubs had to play another game the next day on September 25.

Cubs lost that game 7-1 with all their regular players nursing hangovers or something. Reggie Patterson who previously pitched 1 inning in 1984 started and Cubs lineup went from a typical tier 4.00 to a tier -1.97 today.

Lineups are dynamic from game to game so that would be reflected in the handicapping. With only one inning pitched, Patterson would disqualify simulation for this game and handicapping would be a discard. One of the problems with simulation is it only takes into account data model factors and not other influences like most players not playing with their normal competitive mindset. Factors like this would be difficult if not impossible to model mathematically.

Cubs were cruising to the playoffs after our matchup post over a month ago so it was only a matter of time before it became official. Memories of the 1969 season lingered but collapses like that are unusual and considered anomalies with low probability of occurrence.

Dredging up 1984 was in response to no baseball this year. Since then MLB has concocted an exhibition season which is coming to a close in a couple of days. Cubs and White Sox are in post season and both teams have interesting profiles.

By calendar days, if this were a normal year, we would be at the beginning of June. A normal baseball season is a marathon enveloping summer. This year it is a sprint. This data model right now has just enough data to start handicapping and the season is almost over.

We’ll cover both 2020 and 1984 playoffs with commentary and links into baseball-handbook data which are already up for 1984 playoffs.

The days of posting Cubs matchups and status here are over as that is all done automatically with more colorful tables for any team you choose. This log book will still stay active for various coding rants as the handbook site develops and becomes an app for that. There’s also an issue with WAR and 1969 Ernie Banks which is rather peculiar. Until then ….

Cubs Reds 8/18/1984

Cubs are in the middle of a 3 game set with the Reds in Cincinnati and this game is kind of interesting so let’s have a look at these two teams again at the beginning of day on August 18, 1984.,

NL_East 19840817


Cubs in first but only by 1 1/2 games ( 3 WAA ) ahead of the Mets.  Cubs PITCH has improved to almost exactly even steven based upon run differential.   This means the number of runs scored against them minus Unearned Runs is almost exactly the team league average for all 24 teams on this day.

Let’s look at the Reds team status who happen to be in the NL West even though they reside east of Chicago.


Bad everything about this team right now.  Let’s dive down further into this game.

Tier Data


Cubs have a maxed out Tier 4.00 lineup, Reds have an almost maxed out Tier -4.00 under water Relief staff.  Reds Lineup well under water as well.  The differences in WAA, Lineup, Starter, and Relief get fed into Tier Combo simulation which give Cubs a 66% advantage today.  Vegas lines would 



This is Ron Robinson’s first start of his career.  Sutcliffe still climbing out of the hole he dug himself in Cleveland at the beginning of this season.  Let’s see what happens.

Line Scores

CHN710 001 0401333151
CIN100 310 2221118165

Cubs pound 7 runs off Robinson in the first knocking him out after pitching one out.  Six of those 7 runs were unearned as the Reds commit 5 errors in this game. Sutcliffe gives up 5 runs in 5 innings which isn’t good but he gets the W regardless.  Relief on both sides give up a flurry of runs. Had the Reds not made so many errors Cubs would have lost this game due to poor pitching.

CHN Lineup 198408180


CIN Lineup 198408180


Lineups are what you would expect based upon each team’s BAT number in teams status above.

CHN START Roster 19840818


This is actually improving from the last time Cubs starting rotation was posted. Sutcliffe is going to take another hit on his WAA after this game. He does recover it all and some by the end of the season as we’ll see in the next 6 weeks.

CIN START Roster 19840818


CHN RELIEF Roster 19840818


Might have to check the code because 3 relievers seems kind of low.  If there are more on the roster then some guys have been riding the bench for more than a week.  Notice that Rick Reuschel is missing again.  In modern baseball these rosters are filled with at least 8 player, all playing frequently.

CIN RELIEF Roster 19840818


This concurs with CIN PITCH in team status.

That’s all for now.  Reports similar to this with more handicapping detail  will soon be up for all games at  

We’re also approaching the 2020 season halfway point at which player ranking can begin in eanrest.  More on that later.  Until then ….

Arrrrrgh !!!!!

Cubs today play a double header with them being home the first game and away the second game … because anything goes this season. Needless to say this broke the way this model indexes games and you can see the breakage here.

To fix this would require a lot of new code and complicate several scripts for something that should never happen. I decided not to bother even though it will occur a lot this season. Maybe there’s a simple kluge but can’t think of anything and right now don’t care.

Back to 1984 tomorrow as I’m too tired and upset to deal with that right now. Until then ….

The very first draft of is up and running. This will be a work in progress from now until eternity but the next few months will show the greatest improvement.

Right now careers are working well. The Today tab which will show current data will take awhile before we actually get enough current data. It is currently evaluating lineups, starters, and relief using 2017,2018, and 2019 cumulative data.

We’re currently 23 days into this season with 264 games played, 39 not played, with 17 of those involving the Cardinals. This is not normal. It is usually assumed most teams and players are around the same playing time which isn’t the case this season and could affect the way these averages work — still not sure.

The Today tab currently lists all current Vegas odds with team strengths for each game and soon will have links to rosters and all games played this season so far and to come. Stay tuned as this site develops over the next few months.

The 1984 Houston series was skipped and we’ll resume when the Cubs host the Reds on 8/17. Until then ….