Cubs record against mediocre pitching

Note:  I did this analysis awhile ago counting the Cubs’ record against good pitching, bad pitching, and mediocre pitching.  Looking back I only posted the results of their record against bad pitching.  Here are the numbers for against good and mediocre pitching.  Cleveland has 1 good and 3 mediocre pitchers in their World Series rotation.  The below was written July 29.   If I get motivated I may run these scripts again for the complete season.  April is excluded because there isn’t enough data to rank players.

The Cubs most likely will face Josh Tomlin in Game 2.

XXXXX -0.88 Josh_Tomlin_CLE PITCH

He is unranked and slightly below average and considered “mediocre.”  Cleveland will almost certainly start this guy for Game 1.

+025+ 5.21 Corey_Kluber_CLE PITCH

Being ranked 25th in MLB for both pitchers and batters he’s considered a good pitcher for which the Cubs had trouble hitting this season.  The Cubs did clobber Clayton Kershaw but, like Greg Maddux, Kershaw has issues pitching in the playoffs.  Kluber hasn’t shown playoff jitters so far.  If the Cubs can split first two games in Cleveland then they have a very very good chance.

Cubs record against good and mediocre pitching

Here are the Cubs playing against good pitchers.

score TOTAL WIN=7  LOSE=12  WinPct=0.368

Ouch.  Where did they get all their wins?  Here are Cubs against mediocre pitchers…

score TOTAL WIN=33  LOSE=13  WinPct=0.717

They killed the mediocre pitchers throughout the season to put them at 0.600.  Unfortunately in the playoffs and World Series they’ll be facing mostly good to great
pitchers.

April games were left out of above because there isn’t enough data to discern value between pitchers.

NLCS and Nate Silver

On Friday, October 21, 2016 at 1:23:11 AM UTC-5, Frank Sereno wrote:

> Nate Silver’s Fivethirtyeight.com has installed the Cubs as
> favorites to win the World Series after last night’s win at 51%
> while the Indians are at 39 and the Dodgers at 10.

That’s interesting.  The Vegas lines on this would be far more accurate than Nate Silver.  I don’t have them however.

Although Nate Silver’s  election analysis is the best in industry because polling data can predict the future, he struggles with sports and much of it is simply made up.  It would be interesting to see all his math on this.  Some of the writers who work for him have published complete nonsense with their sports analysis but I digress…

The next two games for the Cubs should be around 50/50.  Kershaw should be favored in Game 6 like he was in game 2 but Arrieta should be equally favored the next game.  To keep the math simple let’s just say even steven both games.

The Dodgers have a 25% chance of going to the World Series, Cubs 3/4 or 75%.

If Nate is giving the Cubs 50% to win the WS that means his handicap for them is  66.6% favorites for the series against Cleveland.  This is quite high.  He thinks Dodgers would be almost even with Cleveland.

For LAN:  0.25 * 0.40 =~ 10%
For CHN:  0.75 * 0.67 =~ 50%

P(CLE) = P(Opponent = LAN)*( 1 – P(LAN)) + P(Opponent = CHN) * (1 – P(CHN))

where P(TeamID) is probability that team wins the series after winning the NLCS.

We know P(LAN) = 0.40 , P(CHN) = 0.67
P(Opponent = LAN) = 0.25
P(Opponent = CHN) = 0.75

Plugging all those numbers in I get Cleveland should be 40%.

> I have to work Saturday so at least I won’t have to hear Joe Buck
> verbally fellate Clayton Kershaw.

It will be funny to listen if Clayton has a bad game which is very much in the realm of possibility.  I will miss Larry King however.Watching Larry squirm and check his watch was priceless.  I hope I never have to see his face on TV  again.

Step away from the ledge

NOTE:  Ironically when I started making this data model in 2013 I covered the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox extensively.  Now that my Cubs have a legit shot at a World Series I haven’t done much here at all.  This is because the data model is finished and although data comes in every day I still haven’t found a way to beat the lines put out by Vegas or ESPN.  Now that the Cubbies are down 2-1 I made this analysis.

The Cubs just have to win one in LA to get back home field advantage.  Step away from the ledge.  Here is today’s line…

DATE 10_19 8:05_PM Oct_19_10:02 CHN LAN
LINEAWAY CHN [ 0.545 ] < 0.512 >
STARTAWAY 3.46 John_Lackey_CHN
LINEHOME LAN [ 0.500 ] < 0.512 >
STARTHOME 1.39 Julio_Urias_LAN

At WAA=1.39 Urias is unranked, out of the top 200 so he’s average.  According to an analysis I did awhile ago Cubs do well against average pitchers.  Rich Hill and Kershaw are well above
average.  The Cubs had problems with way above average and for some reason  way below average pitchers (but there won’t be any of them).

The line started giving the Cubs home field advantage but now it’s in we absolutely have
no idea territory.  Flip a coin.  Heads the Cubs win, tails they lose.  It’s that close.

If both games are even steven the probability for LAN to win the next two games are:

P(win next two) = (1/2)*(1/2) = 1/4 or 25%

Same for the Cubs.  So the probability of Cubs returning to Wrigley this year is 1-0.25=0.75 or 75%.  Not too complicated. This series is far from over.  Whoever wins today changes these probabilities drastically.

Here was the Kershaw game line ….

DATE 10_16 8:05_PM Oct_16_18:02 LAN CHN
LINEAWAY LAN [ 0.567 ] < 0.554 >
STARTAWAY 8.57 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.452 ] < 0.467 >
STARTHOME 8.88 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN

The Ouija board had the Dodgers as clear favorites. They didn’t care that Kershaw wasn’t Clayton Kershaw in the playoffs.  I think that when Dave Roberts put Kershaw in to close out the NLDS in a real live game situation that did something to Kershaw’s psyche.  That’s a trait which can   earn one a Manager of the Year trophy.  Let’s hope that’s the only trophy LAN gets.

If the Cubs make it back to Wrigley hopefully Kershaw reverts back to playoff Kershaw.  Then
the Cubs should be OK.

Giant Mets Analysis

The Ouija board says!

DATE 10_05 8:05_PM Oct_5_14:02 SFN NYN
LINEAWAY SFN [ 0.512 ] < 0.535 >
STARTAWAY 7.37 Madison_Bumgarner_SFN
LINEHOME NYN [ 0.535 ] < 0.488 >
STARTHOME 6.76 Noah_Syndergaard_NYN

I converted the lines into probabilities they represent which is what they really are.  The number in [] is the starting bid, in <> is current as of this snapshot at 2pm.

It’s moving slightly towards SFN.  Even though both starters are about equal SFN has home field advantage as an away team.  Home field advantage is around 0.540 for the  past 50 or so years.

BAT|PITCH|Rs|Ra|W|L|UR|LR|TeamID
-48.2 94.9 671 617 87 75 12.0 -5.6 NYN
-13.2 71.8 715 631 87 75 16.0 3.4 SFN

Both teams have won through pitching.  SFN’s bat is a bit better.  Both teams have  extraordinary URs, unearned runs above average at +12 and +16.

Bumgarner is a vet and Syndergaard is a relative newbie so the Ouija board tilts towards SFN.  Not sure if it matters who the Cubs play because they had better be able to take either team if they’re a WS champion caliber team.

I don’t have lineups yet but here’s a snapshot of both team’s last game on 10/2.

DATE 10022016
-0.06 Curtis_Granderson_NYN CF
-0.36 Asdrubal_Cabrera_NYN SS
3.74 Jay_Bruce_TOT RF
0.53 Lucas_Duda_NYN 1B
-1.87 Kelly_Johnson_TOT 2B
0.04 Michael_Conforto_NYN LF
-0.25 Eric_Campbell_NYN 3B
-1.91 Kevin_Plawecki_NYN C
-0.04 Gabriel_Ynoa_NYN P
TOTAL -0.19

DATE 10022016
-2.69 Denard_Span_SFN CF
0.82 Brandon_Belt_SFN 1B
2.33 Buster_Posey_SFN C
1.68 Hunter_Pence_SFN RF
1.07 Brandon_Crawford_SFN SS
0.13 Angel_Pagan_SFN LF
1.26 Joe_Panik_SFN 2B
-0.00 Conor_Gillaspie_SFN 3B
-0.65 Matt_Moore_TOT P
TOTAL 3.95

Both lineups better than their status lines but SFN is still a little better hitting wise.
Also note Curtis Granderson, at -0.06, has made a tremendous comeback from a poor start.  Here’s his trajectory since start of August.

08052016 -2.42 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF
08112016 -2.21 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF
08152016 -2.50 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF
08192016 -2.65 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF
08232016 -2.44 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF
08282016 -2.62 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF-CF
09032016 -2.10 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF-CF
09072016 -1.76 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF-CF
09112016 -1.53 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF-CF
09152016 -1.28 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF-CF
09192016 -1.45 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF-CF
09252016 -1.07 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF-CF
09302016 -0.40 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF-CF
2016-final 0.04 Curtis_Granderson_NYN RF-CF

He’s one the main reasons the Mets are playing this game today.  The Cubs were looking at him a couple years ago IIRC.

We’ll see.

I’ll do Cubbies Friday.

Cubs in top ten as of 9/13/2016

+001+ 8.84 Nolan_Arenado_COL 3B
+002+ 8.59 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
+003+ 7.22 Madison_Bumgarner_SFN PITCH
+004+ 6.87 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B-LF-RF
+005+ 6.85 Mookie_Betts_BOS RF
+006+ 6.78 Jon_Lester_CHN PITCH
+007+ 6.70 Edwin_Encarnacion_TOR DH-1B
+008+ 6.70 Noah_Syndergaard_NYN PITCH
+009+ 6.66 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH
+010+ 6.45 Josh_Donaldson_TOR 3B-DH

I have been doing this for three years now and have seen quite a few top tens in the
dataset that goes back to 1900. Rarely does a team field three players this late in the
season. The Cubs never have.

Here are Hendricks’ and Lester’s WAR

+036+ 4.6 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
+050+ 4.2 Jon_Lester_CHN PITCH

No love for either of these pitchers with WAR. Even this guy ranks higher.

+011+ 6.0 Adam_Eaton_CHA RF-CF

Here is Arrieta this day in 2015

+001+ 11.19 Zack_Greinke_LAN PITCH
+002+ 9.70 Josh_Donaldson_TOR C
+003+ 9.11 Jake_Arrieta_CHN PITCH

The competition was a bit stiffer last year. Arrieta was a little better than Hendricks this time last season.

Here’s a year when the Yankees and Giants put three guys in the top ten.

+001+ 19.28 Lou_Gehrig_NYA 1B
+002+ 17.35 Babe_Ruth_NYA OF-RF-LF
+003+ 14.09 Lefty_Grove_OAK PITCH
+004+ 12.45 Earl_Averill_CLE CF-OF
+005+ 10.65 Bill_Walker_SFN PITCH
+006+ 10.39 Al_Simmons_OAK OF-LF
+007+ 9.45 Ben_Chapman_NYA OF-LF-RF-2B
+008+ 8.76 Chuck_Klein_PHI OF-LF-RF-CF
+009+ 8.76 Carl_Hubbell_SFN PITCH
+010+ 8.04 Mel_Ott_SFN OF-CF-RF

Ironically both teams finished second proving MLB doesn’t hand out WS trophies for most guys in top ten. It was the Cardinals (SLN) who beat the As (OAK) in the WS that year.

The above numbers are off the charts and will probably never be reached in modern day baseball.