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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.

Playoff Report 10/19/2018

Boston back in the World Series since 2013 when we started doing this.  More on the World Series when we get there.  Still two teams battling it out for the other spot.  Let’s hear what the people say about this game tonight in this playoff report.

DATE 10_19_8:35_PM LAN MIL

LINEAWAY LAN [ 0.545 ] < 0.524 > -110 $190
STARTAWAY 4.03(0.720) Hyun-Jin_Ryu_LAN TIER 1
--------------------------------------------
LINEHOME MIL [ 0.476 ] < 0.500 > +100 $200
STARTHOME 2.92(0.663) Wade_Miley_MIL TIER 2
--------------------------------------------

TIER COMBOS
LAN Lineup 1 ==> MIL Starter 2 / Relief 1 == 0.507 LAN 4.31 runs
MIL Lineup 2 ==> LAN Starter 1 / Relief 2 == 0.493 MIL 4.27 runs

EXPECTED VALUE LAN MIL
Tier Combo 96 99
Home Field 87 108

The people don’t know how to call this game.  Lines settled on more or less even steven with LAN bettors paying the juice.  TC simulation also give LAN a very slight edge so Expected Value for both lines less than 100.  Since LINEHOME of 0.500 is less than historical home field advantage, EV for that is above 100 for Milwaukee.   Both lines clear discards.

If Milwaukee wins we’ll do this again tomorrow and if not, then we’ll wait for World Series rosters and see how the final two teams compare with each other.  Until then ….

Playoff Report 10/18/2018

Here is a playoff report showing what the markets think of this game today.

DATE 10_18_8:05_PM BOS HOU

LINEAWAY BOS [ 0.370 ] < 0.370 > +170 $270
STARTAWAY 2.21(0.556) David_Price_BOS TIER 2
--------------------------------------------
LINEHOME HOU [ 0.667 ] < 0.655 > -190 $152
STARTHOME 8.02(0.669) Justin_Verlander_HOU TIER 1
--------------------------------------------

TIER COMBOS
BOS Lineup 1 ==> HOU Starter 1 / Relief 1 == 0.478 BOS 4.38 runs
HOU Lineup 2 ==> BOS Starter 2 / Relief 3 == 0.522 HOU 4.61 runs

EXPECTED VALUE BOS HOU
Tier Combo 129 79
Home Field 124 82

Boston is a heavy underdog today going against a top top Tier 1 pitcher in Justin Verlander.  They are favored almost 2-1 which is very large.  TC simulations however have HOU favored by a much narrower margin.  Boston having a 0.476 break even probability >> than LINEAWAY at 0.370.  This gives Boston a $129 Expected Value on a $100 bet assuming TC simulation is the correct probability.

This data model does not take into account anomalies.  David Price is the 5th worst pitcher in post season history and that doesn’t include 2017 post season.  His regular season was pretty decent.  If you downgrade Price to a bottom of the barrel Tier 5 pitcher, TC sim EV drops to 115.

Boston has the best lineup in MLB going against one of the best pitchers tonight.  Here are  sample lineups from 10/16.

BOS Lineup

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 10162018
7.54 Mookie_Betts_BOS RF-CF 614
4.45 Andrew_Benintendi_BOS LF-CF 661
10.08 J.D._Martinez_BOS DH-LF-RF 649
4.77 Xander_Bogaerts_BOS SS 580
2.12 Steve_Pearce_BOS 1B-DH-LF 251
-1.28 Eduardo_Nunez_BOS 2B-3B-DH 502
-0.86 Ian_Kinsler_BOS 2B 534
-2.10 Christian_Vazquez_BOS CR 269
1.62 Jackie_Bradley_BOS CF-RF 535
Total WAA=26.33 PA=4595 WinPct=0.610

That’s a rock ’em sock ’em lineup who HOU pitching had to deal with.

HOU Lineup

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 10162018
3.25 George_Springer_HOU CF-RF-DH 620
0.82 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B 599
4.89 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B-SS 705
2.50 Yuli_Gurriel_HOU 1B-3B-2B 573
0.27 Marwin_Gonzalez_HOU LF-SS-2B-1B 552
-0.17 Josh_Reddick_HOU RF-LF 487
1.87 Carlos_Correa_HOU SS 468
-0.46 Brian_McCann_HOU CR 216
-0.06 Tony_Kemp_HOU LF-CF 295
Total WAA=12.91 PA=4515 WinPct=0.555

Very similar to a Cubs lineup.  Houston’s strength lies in its pitching as shown in the playoff horse race series.  We’ll see.

Playoff Report 10/17/2018

Update:  Milwaukee pulled a fast one replacing Wade Miley with Woodruff, a Tier 3 average pitcher,  after one pitch.   This change lowers TC sim EV for the MIL line to 117.   Had this been known ahead of time it’s quite possible the LAN line would demand an even higher premium.  Seems Miley will be pitching game 6 in Milwaukee.

Update 10/18/2018: Since we’re from the future we know Dodgers beat  Brewers in the below game.  Perusing its box score apparently MIL put their weakest relievers in as some sort of strategy to save everyone for a final two game push at home.

That’s all fine and well but sidelining the top half of a Tier 1 relief staff affects analysis.  There is no way to mathematically measure a managerial decision like that and in the realm of counting among thousands of games anomalies become part of background noise.  We’ll see how this strategy pans out the next two games and how it affects the market.  <end of update>

DATE 10_17_5:05_PM MIL LAN

LINEAWAY MIL [ 0.385 ] < 0.385 > +160 $260
STARTAWAY 2.92(0.663) Wade_Miley_MIL TIER 2
--------------------------------------------
LINEHOME LAN [ 0.630 ] < 0.636 > -175 $157
STARTHOME 5.02(0.640) Clayton_Kershaw_LAN TIER 1
--------------------------------------------

TIER COMBOS
MIL Lineup 2 ==> LAN Starter 1 / Relief 2 == 0.480 MIL 4.12 runs
LAN Lineup 1 ==> MIL Starter 2 / Relief 1 == 0.520 LAN 4.30 runs

EXPECTED VALUE MIL LAN
Tier Combo 125 82
Home Field 120 85

DATE 10_17_8:35_PM BOS HOU

LINEAWAY BOS [ 0.435 ] < 0.426 > +135 $235
STARTAWAY -0.73(0.483) Rick_Porcello_BOS TIER 3
--------------------------------------------
LINEHOME HOU [ 0.583 ] < 0.592 > -145 $168
STARTHOME 3.91(0.605) Charlie_Morton_HOU TIER 1
--------------------------------------------

TIER COMBOS
BOS Lineup 1 ==> HOU Starter 1 / Relief 1 == 0.469 BOS 4.53 runs
HOU Lineup 2 ==> BOS Starter 3 / Relief 3 == 0.531 HOU 4.86 runs

EXPECTED VALUE BOS HOU
Tier Combo 110 89
Home Field 108 91

Playoff Report 10/16/2018

Here are the handicapping dumps from this data model for the MLB playoff games today.

DATE 10_16_5:05_PM BOS HOU

LINEAWAY BOS [ 0.455 ] < 0.463 > +116 $216
STARTAWAY 0.84(0.534) Nathan_Eovaldi_TOT TIER 3
--------------------------------------------
LINEHOME HOU [ 0.565 ] < 0.558 > -126 $179
STARTHOME 1.87(0.541) Dallas_Keuchel_HOU TIER 3
--------------------------------------------

TIER COMBOS
BOS Lineup 1 ==> HOU Starter 3 / Relief 1 == 0.509 BOS 4.67 runs
HOU Lineup 2 ==> BOS Starter 3 / Relief 3 == 0.491 HOU 4.59 runs

EXPECTED VALUE BOS HOU
Tier Combo 110 88
Home Field 99 97

The above game starts in a few hours so we have current lineup data.  Boston brings a much better lineup while HOU brings a much better relief staff.  Both starters are average and of equal status.  Houston has home field advantage which is almost exactly where lines settled for this game.  TC simulation gives Boston a slight edge but more or less even steven.  Since TC sim of 0.509 >> 0.463 , the LINEAWAY, Boston ends up with an Expected Value of $110 on a $100 bet.  Out current threshold is 120 plus home field disadvantage for BOS would veto TC simulations (for now).  Houston line is a clear discard.

DATE 10_16_9:05_PM MIL LAN

LINEAWAY MIL [ 0.435 ] < 0.417 > +140 $240
STARTAWAY -0.23(0.494) Gio_Gonzalez_TOT TIER 3
--------------------------------------------
LINEHOME LAN [ 0.600 ] < 0.600 > -150 $166
STARTHOME 1.26(0.543) Rich_Hill_LAN TIER 3
--------------------------------------------

TIER COMBOS
MIL Lineup 2 ==> LAN Starter 3 / Relief 2 == 0.492 MIL 4.53 runs
LAN Lineup 2 ==> MIL Starter 3 / Relief 1 == 0.508 LAN 4.59 runs

EXPECTED VALUE MIL LAN
Tier Combo 118 84
Home Field 110 90

Again Tier Combo simulation gives Dodgers a slight edge but LINEHOME gives them a 0.600 break even probability of winning tonight.  Since TC sim probability = 0.492 >> LINEAWAY = 0.417 , Expected Value for MIL based upon simulation is 118, close to the threshold.  Home field disadvantage drops them to 110 so this line is a wave off.  Dodgers line a clear discard.

Also, both lineups above should be Tier 1 tonight.  Since we don’t have current lineups for the above game it reverts to an old lineup which isn’t the ones they posted yesterday.  It’s a script problem.  Eyeballing the data I don’t expect results from simulation will be altered much.

NLCS Handicapping Report 10/15/2018

DATE 10_15_7:35_PM MIL LAN

LINEAWAY MIL [ 0.392 ] < 0.385 > +160 $260
STARTAWAY 2.73(0.564) Jhoulys_Chacin_MIL TIER 2
--------------------------------------------
LINEHOME LAN [ 0.623 ] < 0.636 > -175 $157
STARTHOME 4.64(0.652) Walker_Buehler_LAN TIER 1
--------------------------------------------

TIER COMBOS
MIL Lineup 1 ==> LAN Starter 1 / Relief 2 == 0.494 MIL 4.27 runs
LAN Lineup 2 ==> MIL Starter 2 / Relief 1 == 0.506 LAN 4.31 runs

EXPECTED VALUE MIL LAN
Tier Combo 128 79
Home Field 120 85

At 0.636 break even probability,  bettors are paying a big premium to bet the Dodgers tonight.  Tier Combo simulations call this an even steven game.  Milwaukee’s better relief balances out Dodgers’ better starter in Buehler.  Lineups are almost identical in value and they both hover around the Tier 1/2 league border of +15.  Simulations do not use hard tier borders so they consider them equal,  Hard Lineup Tier numbers for these two teams were reversed in the last two games.

Due to this large premium a MIL bet will net $260 on a $100 bet for a $160 profit whereas Dodger bettors can only expect a profit of $57 should they win.  If the simulations are correct, this means an Expected Value on a $100 MIL bet to be $128.  It drops to $120 based upon historical home field advantage.

Based upon Part 7 of Playoff Horse Race, the Dodgers have a deeper bench with respect to hitting.  Simulations do not take bench value into account presently.  Also, the above is based upon posted lineups from Saturday.  They should be close enough today where it might not sway the outcome in Dodgers’ favor that much.

BTW: Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com pegs this game at 61%/39% LAN/MIL break even probability which is within the house spread.  Vegas lines seem to hover around wherever his model sets them.  This will be an off season study as Nate makes available all his data for the year.  We have historical lines data, his data, and Tier Combo data.  Since we’re from the future we will find out  who is most accurate.  Until then ….

Might update this post with current lineups when they come out later.

Update:  Lineups are in for 10/15.  LAN goes to Tier 1 and MIL drops to Tier 2.  They are still close but LAN is better today.  This drops TC sim EV for the MIL line to 123 from 128.

MIL Lineup

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 10152018
-1.32 Lorenzo_Cain_MIL CF 620
8.44 Christian_Yelich_MIL LF-RF-CF 651
2.27 Ryan_Braun_MIL LF-1B 447
2.73 Travis_Shaw_MIL 3B-2B-1B 587
6.26 Jesus_Aguilar_MIL 1B 566
1.55 Mike_Moustakas_MIL 3B-DH 635
-0.90 Erik_Kratz_MIL CR 219
-2.21 Orlando_Arcia_MIL SS 366
-1.30 Jhoulys_Chacin_MIL PR 68
Total WAA=15.52 PA=4159 WinPct=0.572

LAN Lineup

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 10152018
2.42 Joc_Pederson_LAN LF-CF 443
4.98 Max_Muncy_LAN 1B-3B-2B 481
2.06 Justin_Turner_LAN 3B 426
3.04 Manny_Machado_LAN SS-3B 709
2.10 Cody_Bellinger_LAN 1B-CF 632
2.58 Yasiel_Puig_LAN RF 444
1.91 Yasmani_Grandal_LAN CR 518
1.74 Enrique_Hernandez_LAN CF-2B-SS-RF-LF 462
-0.88 Walker_Buehler_LAN PR 47
Total WAA=19.95 PA=4162 WinPct=0.592