Cubs Giants Matchup

Here’s what the noon snapshot of the Ouija Board says.

DATE 05_22 8:05_PM May_22_12:17 SFN CHN
LINEAWAY SFN [ 0.365 ] < 0.370 >
STARTAWAY -0.17(0.478) Ty_Blach_SFN
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.648 ] < 0.667 >
STARTHOME -0.17(0.484) John_Lackey_CHN

The Cubs again are at 0.667 which is a probability of 2 out of 3 to win this game. According to the above the starting pitchers are of equal value. Cubs have home field which is 0.54 without any other information available. Let’s look at yesterday’s lineups for both teams. Lineups won’t be available for today until later.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 05212017
-0.44 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B 141
-0.40 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF 174
0.50 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B 180
-0.13 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 189
0.42 Ian_Happ_CHN CF 26
0.27 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 111
0.27 Willson_Contreras_CHN C 129
0.71 Addison_Russell_CHN SS 158
-0.23 Jake_Arrieta_CHN P 18
TOTAL WAA=0.99 PA=1126 WinPct=0.517
WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 05212017
-0.53 Denard_Span_SFN CF 93
-1.09 Joe_Panik_SFN 2B 165
-0.27 Christian_Arroyo_SFN 3B 104
-0.02 Brandon_Belt_SFN 1B 182
0.06 Brandon_Crawford_SFN SS 117
-0.71 Eduardo_Nunez_SFN LF 167
-0.57 Nick_Hundley_SFN C 77
0.02 Mac_Williamson_SFN RF 17
-0.19 Matt_Cain_SFN P 12
TOTAL WAA=-3.30 PA=934 WinPct=0.432

The Giants have a below average lineup so far this season and the Cubs are slightly above average.  Note: The above numbers include all games up to the day before yesterday, not yesterday’s games.  That shouldn’t matter much anyway.

Here are relief staff numbers for all games up to today.

TeamID WAA IP WinPct
SFN -0.17 165.7 0.495
CHN 3.25 158.2 0.593

SFN is slightly below average.  Cubs still top tier.  Here’s SFN team status.

-43.8 -18.1 154 217 19 26 -0.4 -0.7 SFN

At 19-26, the Giants aren’t having a good start to this season.   Both  BAT and  PITCH are under water.  In theory the Cubs should be favored much higher than they were the last two games against a first place team but they’re not.  Whatever happens in a single game does not prove or disprove any of this however.  We’ll do Cubs’ status in a couple of days.  Until then….

Cubs Brewers Matchup

Today is a day game so the Cubs are in the top of the 4th down 2-1 and Eddie Butler has thrown 92 pitches which is a lot.   Here’s what the Ouija Board has to say about the game that’s going on right now.

DATE 05_19 2:20_PM May_19_14:17:02 MIL CHN
LINEAWAY MIL [ 0.380 ] < 0.391 >
STARTAWAY 0.00(NA) Paolo_Espino_MIL
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.644 ] < 0.624 >
STARTHOME 0.59(NA) Eddie_Butler_CHN

There’s a new field added in () which will compute the Winpct of the pitcher for context.  Both pitchers above do not have enough innings to make that calculation meaningful.  This is Paolo Espino’s first pitching appearance and Eddie Butler had his first a few days ago and pitched well. The Cubs are favored much higher than standard home field advantage which is 0.54.

Let’s see what kind of team MIL has by examining their status line.

36.8 -3.4 221 190 24 18 2.5 0.1 MIL

You can quickly see they are a hitting team with a well above average BAT and very slightly below average PITCH.  This may be why they’re trying out a new guy today.  MIL is in first place in NL Central.  Let’s peruse lineups.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 05192017
0.73 Eric_Sogard_MIL LF 22
2.83 Eric_Thames_MIL 1B 155
0.15 Jonathan_Villar_MIL 2B 180
1.78 Travis_Shaw_MIL 3B 155
0.57 Domingo_Santana_MIL RF 149
0.36 Jett_Bandy_MIL C 87
0.48 Keon_Broxton_MIL CF 139
0.17 Orlando_Arcia_MIL SS 139
TOTAL WAA=7.08 PA=1026 WinPct=0.632
WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 05192017
-0.19 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF 170
0.71 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B 176
-0.02 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 185
0.44 Ian_Happ_CHN CF 22
-0.27 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B 138
0.23 Willson_Contreras_CHN C 125
0.92 Javier_Baez_CHN SS 127
-0.06 Eddie_Butler_CHN P 3
-0.13 Jon_Jay_CHN RF 86
TOTAL WAA=1.64 PA=1032 WinPct=0.530

Milwaukee has a far better lineup than CHN. Let’s look at relief because with new guys on both teams starting the relief staff may be getting some work today.

TeamID WAA IP WinPct
MIL 2.14 148 0.565
CHN 3.44 149.2 0.604

Both teams have above average relievers with the Cubs slightly better.

Given MIL has much better hitting and starting pitching is a wash because we don’t know and relief staffs are close to equal, the Ouija Board is giving a big premium to the Cubs.  The Ouija Board believes the Cubs will continue to play like they did the last three games at home.

Finally, before hitting post, Cubs up 3-2 in the bottom of the 4th inning, Butler is out, Montgomery is in to probably pitch a bunch of innings.  Until then….

UPDATE 5/20/2017

Yesterday was horrible weather for playing baseball.  Not sure if the Ouija Board took that into account.  The Brewers are a first place team and this model shows they have a good team.  That the Ouija Board is giving such a premium to the Cubs is interesting.  If yesterday was an outlier, let’s look at today’s line even though the game is rained out.

DATE 05_20 2:20_PM May_20_10:17 MIL CHN
LINEAWAY MIL [ 0.330 ] < 0.357 >
STARTAWAY 0.63(0.563) Chase_Anderson_MIL
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.688 ] < 0.667 >
STARTHOME -1.36(0.363) Jake_Arrieta_CHN

Arrieta is having a rough start to this year and Anderson is above average but not quite in the top 200.   The Ouija Board still gives the Cubs a 2/3 probability of winning this game.  Later in the season I’ll present my Ouija Board analysis over the past 6 years of lines for every baseball game.  The bottom line:  It’s very accurate as a whole but for particular games it can be very inaccurate.  Devising an algorithm to discern this is a difficult challenge.  That is all for Ouija Board talk until the next series and matchup analysis.

State of the Cubs 5/17/2017

Here are the Cubs’ two most recent team status lines.

17.1 1.1 166 155 17 16 -9.2 2.0 CHN 5/10/2017
3.8 11.0 181 175 19 19 -10.1 1.2 CHN  5/17/2017

In the last week BAT has tanked despite all the runs they scored yesterday and PITCH is up.  The Cubs went 2-3 which is a WAA=-1 and now they’re a completely average team at 19-19.  Unearned Runs above average (UR) is still declining which is not good.  Here are Cubs in the top 200.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+032+ 1.78 Mike_Montgomery_CHN PITCH
+047+ 1.57 Wade_Davis_CHN PITCH
+086+ 1.16 Carl_Edwards_CHN PITCH
+164+ 0.76 Jon_Lester_CHN PITCH
+179+ 0.69 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
+200+ 0.61 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B

As we described here the Cubs have a top tier relief staff so it’s no surprise the top three players are relievers.  We saw in team status how BAT tanked leaving Kris Bryant barely in the top 200.  Let’s not dwell on the rest of the team since it’s early in the season.  A 0.500 team does not usually have a lot of high WAA superstars because their WAA=0 and all their players must add to that value.

Blast from the Past

In order to put the current Cubs in perspective let’s look back to 1935.

-41.0 36.2 137 135 18 17 8.5 -1.7 CHN 06/03/1935

They started later back then and used to catch up by having two games for the price of one, commonly known back then as a double header.   The above is a snapshot on June 3 when they had about the same number of games.

The Cubs had terrible BAT and very good PITCH and they balanced out to be around a 0.500 team at this time in 1935.  Here is how they ended the year.

90.1 138.7 847 596 100 54 17.1 5.3 CHN 1935
79.3 159.8 808 556 103 58 9.0 3.9 CHN 2016

They end that year with WAA=100-54=+46 and go to the World Series.  Their BAT made a remarkable comeback and their PITCH kept chugging along.  Their final status line that year looks much like how the 2016 Cubs ended. A team wins 104 games with a WAA=+46 in a 162 game season.

Here are Cubs in top 50 back then which is the top 100 today because we have twice as many teams and players.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+011+ 6.99 Bill_Lee_CHN PITCH
+013+ 6.87 Larry_French_CHN PITCH
+016+ 6.68 Lon_Warneke_CHN PITCH
+028+ 5.14 Gabby_Hartnett_CHN CR
+030+ 5.02 Charlie_Root_CHN PITCH
+044+ 3.70 Augie_Galan_CHN LF-OF
+053+ 3.09 Chuck_Klein_CHN OF-RF


Cubs Reds Matchup

Today the Cubs start a series with the Reds. Let’s see what the Ouija Board has to say after the Cubs lost 2 out of 3 at SLN.

DATE 05_16 8:05_PM May_16_18:17 CIN CHN
LINEAWAY CIN [ 0.361 ] < 0.357 >
STARTAWAY -1.60 Bronson_Arroyo_CIN
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.653 ] < 0.667 >
STARTHOME -0.25 John_Lackey_CHN

The Cubs are heavy favorites at 0.667 which is exactly 2-1. If you want to bet the Cubs today you have to risk $2 to win $1. Bronson Arroyo is having a bad year and is ranked #33 worst MLB player this season. Lackey has fought back and at -0.25 is almost even steven. If he pitches well today he’ll be above average for the season. So the Cubs have home field advantage which gives them 0.54 and a better pitcher. Let’s look at lineups.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
-0.50 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF 160
0.61 Kris_Bryant_CHN RF 162
-0.23 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 171
0.13 Ian_Happ_CHN CF 8
-0.21 Jeimer_Candelario_CHN 3B 18
0.44 Addison_Russell_CHN SS 146
0.19 Willson_Contreras_CHN C 116
-0.10 John_Lackey_CHN P 14
0.44 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B 119
TOTAL WAA=0.76 PA=914 WinPct=0.516
WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
0.10 Billy_Hamilton_CIN CF 164
0.55 Zack_Cozart_CIN SS 132
2.46 Joey_Votto_CIN 1B 163
1.28 Adam_Duvall_CIN LF 150
1.20 Eugenio_Suarez_CIN 3B 149
0.57 Scott_Schebler_CIN RF 145
-0.73 Jose_Peraza_CIN 2B 147
-1.09 Tucker_Barnhart_CIN C 95
-0.36 Bronson_Arroyo_CIN P 15
TOTAL WAA=3.97 PA=1160 WinPct=0.566

CIN has a much better lineup today. here are their relief numbers.

TeamID WAA IP WinPct
CHN 3.67 139.6 0.618
CIN 2.21 145 0.568

Cubs have better relief pitching but CIN is also well above average and with Arroyo pitching they may need to rely on that today.  The Ouija Board is giving the Cubs a very large premium.  Perhaps they think Arroyo will finish off his lengthy career like Edwin Jackson.  If so the Cubs should get some of their hitting mojo back today.  We can only hope.

We only do one of these per series matchup unless the lines move unexpectedly in either direction.

Top Ten Players in MLB 5/15/2017

Here are the top ten players in MLB according to this data model as of end of day yesterday.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+001+ 4.22 Bryce_Harper_WAS RF
+002+ 3.84 Ervin_Santana_MIN PITCH
+003+ 3.44 Ryan_Zimmerman_WAS 1B
+004+ 3.23 Jason_Vargas_KCA PITCH
+005+ 3.15 Dallas_Keuchel_HOU PITCH
+006+ 2.86 Aaron_Judge_NYA RF
+007+ 2.83 Eric_Thames_MIL 1B
+008+ 2.79 Chris_Sale_BOS PITCH
+009+ 2.79 Carlos_Carrasco_CLE PITCH
+010+ 2.60 Mark_Reynolds_COL 1B

No Cubs and one ex-White Sox.  Washington still has two hitters in top ten.  Washington has a WAA=28-13=+15 so the above two players contribute about half that.  Here is the top ten MLB on this day last year (2016).

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
1 3.70 Jake_Arrieta_CHN PITCH
2 3.21 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH
3 3.19 Chris_Sale_CHA PITCH
4 3.09 Jose_Quintana_CHA PITCH
5 2.98 Jordan_Zimmermann_DET PITCH
6 2.88 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
7 2.75 Jon_Lester_CHN PITCH
8 2.75 Nolan_Arenado_COL 3B
9 2.44 Danny_Salazar_CLE PITCH
10 2.42 Yoenis_Cespedes_NYN OF

The Cubs had three guys in the top ten last year with a record 0f 27-9 (WAA=+18) and on their way to clinching the NL Central at this time in mid-May.  Arrieta, Rizzo , and Lester contributed about 1/2 of that +18 and these guys also helped:

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
11 2.39 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B
14 2.23 Jason_Hammel_CHN PITCH
36 1.70 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B
64 1.34 Addison_Russell_CHN 2B
71 1.26 Dexter_Fowler_CHN OF
89 1.11 Matt_Szczur_CHN OF
128 0.90 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH

Table above are top ten Cubs this day last season.  We’ll do state of the current Cubs team in a couple of days.  Until then ….