Cubs Status 8/19/2017

Another week and another Cubs status.  Let’s start off with current team status with our last snapshot.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
2.5 44.7 538 497 60 54 -6.9 0.7 CHN 8/12/2017
19.1 40.8 587 535 64 57 -8.7 0.9 CHN 8/19/2017

BAT improved, PITCH declined and the Cubs went 4-3 or +1 for the week.  The Cubs have been bobbling the ball giving up runs because UR is down.   A baseball season is a marathon and if they eek out +1 every week until October they’ll finish +12 or +14 which is 87-75 or 88-74.  The 2003 Cubs won the NL Central with 88 wins.

Instead of listing top Cubs let’s do a roster dump for starting pitchers, relief, and hitters.  This will provide a more accurate status based upon who is on the team.  The BAT and PITCH numbers in team status are based upon  season long accumulation.  We did this for the entire league a few days ago.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+092+ 2.52 Jake_Arrieta_CHN PITCH
+136+ 1.89 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.42 Jose_Quintana_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.08 Jose_Quintana_CHA PITCH
XXXXX -0.94 John_Lackey_CHN PITCH
Total 3.97

Jake Arrieta pitched well again yesterday and has clawed his way back into the top 100.   Lester is missing for some reason.   The roster file has 25 players sans Lester.  Interesting.  His last game was bad so maybe he’s hurt.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+114+ 2.14 Brian_Duensing_CHN PITCH
+134+ 1.93 Wade_Davis_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.66 Justin_Wilson_DET PITCH
+168+ 1.62 Mike_Montgomery_CHN PITCH
+189+ 1.49 Pedro_Strop_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.86 Carl_Edwards_CHN PITCH
XXXXX -0.04 Felix_Pena_CHN PITCH
XXXXX -0.23 Rob_Zastryzny_CHN PITCH
XXXXX -0.29 Justin_Wilson_CHN PITCH
XXXXX -0.36 Hector_Rondon_CHN PITCH
Total 8.78

Relief has been dropping gradually but they’re still fielding 4 guys in the top 200.  Justin Wilson is listed twice because he’s an acquisition from Detroit.  He has pitched -0.29 for the Cubs which drops him out of top 200.  His 1.66 with Detroit is frozen and counts towards the overall value of the Cubs’ relief staff.  This is still a top tier MLB staff.  You can scan the table here to see all the other team’s relief values.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+065+ 3.02 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B-2B
+104+ 2.27 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-SS
+156+ 1.72 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B
XXXXX 1.20 Ian_Happ_CHN CF-2B-LF-RF
XXXXX 0.19 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF-CF
XXXXX 0.02 Tommy_La_Stella_CHN 3B-2B
XXXXX -0.06 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF
XXXXX -0.10 Alex_Avila_DET CR-1B
XXXXX -0.44 Albert_Almora_CHN CF
XXXXX -0.48 Jon_Jay_CHN LF-CF-RF
-177- -1.32 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B-LF-RF
Total 6.02

Wilson Contreras would have added another +2.5 to the hitter’s value.  Rizzo is solidly in the top 100 and Baez is close.  Sxhwarber is hovering around average and he has proven potential to put up +2 from now until October.  Rizzo usually settles in ranked between  #25 and #50 so he has some more climbing to do as well as Bryant.

Adding the above three totals comes to around +19 and the Cubs’ real W-L is +7.  This  discrepancy can be explained in three parts:  1) We don’t count the negative hitting value for pitchers so that number isn’t part of the hitters’ total.  Perhaps we should.  2) Many negative players aren’t on the team anymore, and 3) The total team WAA reflects the Pythagorean Expectation estimation, not real life.  PE and real life are often very close but there is error in the PE estimation.  That error is the error in this model and we know exactly what it is.  All  estimations have error.

Edit: Clarification for the statement now in bold above.  We absolutely count pitcher negative hitting value and it’s entirely necessary in order to balance all the books in this model.  We show and count that value when displaying lineups.  We don’t count that value against a pitcher’s pitching value.  Pitchers are listed as two separate players; a hitter and a pitcher.  Adding the negative pitching value for all Cubs’ pitchers this season comes to around -3 and around -2 for the current set of pitchers still on the rosterRight now we throw pitcher-hitters in a separate set from fielders as hitters.

The WAR value calculation is saddled with two sets of estimation errors; hits to runs and runs to wins.  A run based model only has one estimation, runs to wins.  The PE estimation was developed by Bill James and there is a proof you can read about here.

Blast from the Past 2003

Since we brought up the 2003 Cubs winning the NL Central with 88 wins let’s see where those Cubs were on this day in 2003.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-45.0 64.9 546 534 64 60 -6.5 -1.3 CHN  8/19/2003

Terrible hitting and great pitching and the Cubs were +4 in the real win/loss columns which is all that matters to the MLB commissioner.  Here are the Cubs in top 200 on this day in 2003.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+014+ 6.22 Mark_Prior_CHN PITCH
+029+ 5.21 Carlos_Zambrano_CHN PITCH
+042+ 4.45 Sammy_Sosa_CHN RF
+090+ 2.96 Kerry_Wood_CHN PITCH
+131+ 2.18 Moises_Alou_CHN LF
+143+ 2.02 Corey_Patterson_CHN CF
+152+ 1.91 Kyle_Farnsworth_CHN PITCH
+163+ 1.78 Mark_Guthrie_CHN PITCH
+181+ 1.55 Joe_Borowski_CHN PITCH

Nine guys in the top 200, 4 in top 100, this team was stacked with value compared with the current Cubs.   I suspect their current roster is far better than their run differential indicates.  We have historical lineups but don’t have a script to do these lookups and make a  table.  On this day the Cubs fielded an almost completely average lineup which is far better than their BAT  indicates in team status.

That is all for now.  Cubs play TOR in Wrigley at the standard 1:20pm.

Cubs Blue Jays series analysis

Cubs start another series this afternoon so let’s look at the Blue Jays.   Here is their current status line.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-45.1 -25.4 517 593 59 62 -5.9 0.4 TOR

Terrible BAT, bad PITCH and they’re -3 for the season.  This is a team that is over performing their Pytahgorean Expectation estimation and has a bad UR.  This is what we said back during the Diamondback series analysis.

According to Pythagorean Expectation they should have around 3 more wins and 3 less losses.  We have observed a correlation between high negative unearned runs above average and a team under performing that estimation.  We’ll do a study on this later to prove, disprove, or can’t prove later in the season

TOR right now is an example that disproves the above.  We’ll look into that more later.  The Cubs are +6 and TOR is -2 so the deltaWAA is | 6 – (-2) | = 8 in favor of the Cubs.  According to the table shown here that gives the Cubs 0.565 out of the box, home/away advantage/disadvantage irrelevant.  Let’s see what the Ouija Board has to say.

DATE 08_18 2:20_PM  TOR CHN
LINEAWAY TOR [ 0.389 ] < 0.385 >
STARTAWAY 1.47(0.568) J.A._Happ_TOR
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.643 ] < 0.643 >
STARTHOME 2.06(0.566) Jake_Arrieta_CHN

Cubs are hovering once again around the 0.667 mark that is 2-1.  The starter differential is null as both Arrieta and Happ are above water.  <anti jinx on> Arrieta has been pitching well lately.  <anti jinx off>    Let’s look at the starters Cubs may face in this series.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+018+ 4.79 Marcus_Stroman_TOR PITCH
+189+ 1.47 J.A._Happ_TOR PITCH
XXXXX -0.04 Nick_Tepesch_MIN PITCH
XXXXX -0.23 Nick_Tepesch_TOR PITCH
-036- -2.62 Marco_Estrada_TOR PITCH
Total 3.37

Happ is their second best starter and if they pitch Stroman the Cubs may be in trouble.  Here are their relievers who always get playing time.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+153+ 1.74 Danny_Barnes_TOR PITCH
+183+ 1.51 Ryan_Tepera_TOR PITCH
+198+ 1.43 Roberto_Osuna_TOR PITCH
XXXXX 0.40 Chris_Rowley_TOR PITCH
XXXXX 0.17 Tim_Mayza_TOR PITCH
XXXXX -0.19 Aaron_Loup_TOR PITCH
XXXXX -0.80 J.P._Howell_TOR PITCH
XXXXX -0.97 Matt_Dermody_TOR PITCH
Total 3.29

Good relief.  Not as good as the Cubs’ relief but they won’t be easy to hit.  It’s the pitcher/hitter combo that matters.  Cubs relievers don’t play against TOR relievers.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 08182017
0.23 Jose_Bautista_TOR RF 524
1.32 Josh_Donaldson_TOR 3B 335
3.63 Justin_Smoak_TOR 1B 477
0.06 Steve_Pearce_TOR LF 273
-0.99 Miguel_Montero_TOT C 157
-3.38 Kevin_Pillar_TOR CF 484
-0.73 Ryan_Goins_TOR SS 317
-2.25 Darwin_Barney_TOR 2B 252
0.00 J.A._Happ_TOR P 0
TOTAL WAA=-2.10 PA=2819 WinPct=0.486

Their lineup is under water and they have extremes at both ends of MLB with Smoak and Pillar.  WAR has Pillar in the top 100 but I don’t want to get into that right now.  The above numbers are correct.

EditDarwin Barney’s 2012 WAR was the inspiration for developing this data model.   He’s batting 8th and I just noticed.  Welcome back Darwin!  BTW: WAR currently has Barney in their bottom 100.  His WAR shine wore off after 2012.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 08182017
-0.53 Albert_Almora_CHN CF 245
1.74 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B 500
2.94 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 524
-1.32 Ben_Zobrist_CHN LF 353
1.30 Ian_Happ_CHN 2B 290
-0.25 Victor_Caratini_CHN C 40
-0.02 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 347
1.95 Javier_Baez_CHN SS 369
-0.59 Jake_Arrieta_CHN P 53
TOTAL WAA=5.23 PA=2721 WinPct=0.537

Cubs lineup has been increasing slowly for the last bunch of weeks and they’re almost at 0.540 which might be around their high for the season.  This is still a mid-tier lineup and when we explain lineup/pitcher combos we can place it into better context.

Irrational exuberance has been the norm for the Cubs playing at Wrigley Field.  The only number we know is 0.565 from a single table.  Cubs are fielding a better lineup and pitchers are a wash.   We don’t have any more information so the Ouija Board seems high for the Cubs line.

The probability for TOR is 1-0.565 = 0.435.  The TOR line is 0.385.  With what we don’t know this difference isn’t enough so this game would go into the discard bin.  We still are working on the pitcher/lineup combo tables which will use the value system defined by this data model.

Weekly state of the Cubs tomorrow or Sunday and then we’ll look at A+ and perhaps one day next week we’ll get these pitcher/lineup tables sorted out.  Until then….

State of the Tennessee Smokies and AA

We haven’t looked at the Tennessee Smokies or AA since the beginning of July.  Here are  their last two snapshots we made and current team status.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-5.5 13.6 283 269 36 33 2.4 1.9 Tennessee_Smokies_CHN 6/22/2017
-17.1 25.2 353 336 46 41 5.4 3.6 Tennessee_Smokies_CHN 7/11/2017
-44.0 48.2 464 452 62 57 4.7 3.3 Tennessee_Smokies_CHN  8/15/2017

Hitting tanked badly, pitching canceled that out and the Smokies went 16-16 since our last snapshot which is expected.  Let’s dive into their top players to see what happened during the last month.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+012+ 4.09 James_Pugliese_CHN PITCH 0.768
+018+ 3.70 Daury_Torrez_CHN PITCH 0.759
+043+ 2.90 Jason_Vosler_CHN BAT 0.625
+096+ 2.12 Jen-Ho_Tseng_CHN PITCH 0.606
+192+ 1.41 Andury_Acevedo_CHN PITCH 0.923
XXXXX 1.30 Brad_Markey_CHN PITCH 0.595
XXXXX 1.22 Adbert_Alzolay_CHN PITCH 0.677
XXXXX 1.01 David_Garner_CHN PITCH 0.647

Jason Vosler was ranked #3 in AA on 7/11 and has dropped to #43 which is still top 100.  He went from +4.18 to +2.90 which is a significant loss for a single month.  It means he was hitting way below league average along with many others on this team.  The two pitchers, Pugliese and Torrez maintained their rank which requires increasing their value.  We saw in team status how pitching has improved and you can see it in the above table.

The highlighted names in blue have moved to aaa or moved here from aplus leagues.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+192+ 1.41 Andury_Acevedo_CHN PITCH 0.923 aa
+192+ -0.65 Andury_Acevedo_ARI PITCH NA aa
XXXXX 0.21 Andury_Acevedo_CHN PITCH 0.579 aaa
+105+ 1.66 Adbert_Alzolay_CHN PITCH 0.591 aplus
XXXXX 1.22 Adbert_Alzolay_CHN PITCH 0.677 aa
+096+ 2.12 Jen-Ho_Tseng_CHN PITCH 0.606 aa
+169+ 1.68 Jen-Ho_Tseng_CHN PITCH 0.752 aaa
XXXXX 1.01 David_Garner_CHN PITCH 0.647 aa
XXXXX 0.32 David_Garner_CHN PITCH NA aaa

League is the last column.  We don’t have minor league rosters so can’t tell if Acevedo is with the Cubs or Arizona but he played in AAA with the Cubs after tearing up the AA league with a 0.923 Win%.  Alzolay moved from aplus to aa and has been pitching well.  Jen Ho Tseng went from aa to aaa and is pitching well for Iowa right now.  We’ll see if the MLB Cubs try him out in September.  It appears David Garner also moved to AAA after pitching well in aa but he doesn’t have enough playing time to compute a Win%.

This data model only takes the dataset and crunches it to make these sorts.  We don’t follow prospects and don’t even know anything about the above players.  Finally, let’s dump the top 25 of AA which will have many more players we  know nothing about other than their name ends up in this list.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+001+ 4.85 Garabez_Rosa_BAL BAT 0.697
+002+ 4.70 Jeremy_Barfield_BOS BAT 0.788
+003+ 4.66 Corey_Oswalt_NYN PITCH 0.680
+004+ 4.56 Tyler_Mahle_CIN PITCH 0.741
+005+ 4.51 Nick_Ramirez_MIL PITCH 0.802
+006+ 4.47 Viosergy_Rosa_OAK BAT 0.670
+007+ 4.41 Austin_Ross_CIN PITCH 0.745
+008+ 4.30 Kevin_Cron_ARI BAT 0.663
+009+ 4.28 Deck_McGuire_CIN PITCH 0.633
+010+ 4.24 Franmil_Reyes_SDN BAT 0.668
+011+ 4.14 Jonathan_Rodriguez_MIN BAT 0.672
+012+ 4.09 James_Pugliese_CHN PITCH 0.768
+013+ 4.09 Edwin_Rios_LAN BAT 0.737
+014+ 3.93 DJ_Stewart_BAL BAT 0.667
+015+ 3.86 Scott_Kingery_PHI BAT 0.734
+016+ 3.82 Anthony_Garcia_SLN BAT 0.711
+017+ 3.76 Christin_Stewart_DET BAT 0.654
+018+ 3.70 Daury_Torrez_CHN PITCH 0.759
+019+ 3.70 Ronald_Herrera_NYA PITCH 0.797
+020+ 3.59 Mike_Soroka_ATL PITCH 0.624
+021+ 3.55 Jack_Flaherty_SLN PITCH 0.752
+022+ 3.51 Scott_Barlow_LAN PITCH 0.682
+023+ 3.51 Gabriel_Quintana_DET BAT 0.667
+024+ 3.46 Jose_Fernandez_LAN BAT 0.680
+025+ 3.46 Dakota_Hudson_SLN PITCH 0.637

Cubs highlighted in blue. This list is compiled using the WAA value as a weighting factor so it means these are the top 25 players who accumulated value in AA this season, not necessarily the top 25 prospects in AA.  Evaluating prospect talent requires much more than this data model can provide.

The White Sox may have players in this list next year.  Most of their prospects are in A+ or A.  We’ll do A+ next and look into some of their acquisitions there.  Until then….

Top MLB Teams According to Roster Value

Due to yesterday’s screwup with  lineups I needed to make it easier to parse and present current roster value.  Usually value of lineups does not change that much from day to day but yesterday it changed significantly throwing off the entire analysis.  Had this been fed into an algorithm to predict a probability that probability would have been wrong.

The purpose of this blog is to be a prototype for an app that provides a window into this data model using the Cubs team as an example.  With the app you could do this analysis with any team at any time.  We choose weekly team status because not much changes in baseball from day to day.  But if you wanted to see the current status of say the Minnesota Twins or their status on September 4, 1996 it’s a simple lookup.  We’re working on the presentation using this blog.

Most baseball sites throw table upon table at you with so many numbers no one can make sense of it all.   Much of it is utter nonsense (i.e. WPA, OPS, etc. etc.)  which we may discuss later.   This model discerns value into a single weighting factor and a rank amongst the entire league, both pitchers and batters.  The weighting factor has a solid proof behind it, something that very few baseball stats can claim.

That said let’s take a look at the Reds’ entire 12 man hitting roster to see what happened yesterday.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+021+ 4.62 Joey_Votto_CIN 1B
+024+ 4.41 Scooter_Gennett_CIN 2B
+073+ 2.83 Adam_Duvall_CIN LF
+127+ 2.02 Zack_Cozart_CIN SS
+199+ 1.32 Eugenio_Suarez_CIN 3B
XXXXX 0.19 Patrick_Kivlehan_CIN RF-1B
XXXXX 0.10 Jesse_Winker_CIN RF
XXXXX -0.40 Stuart_Turner_CIN CR
XXXXX -0.78 Devin_Mesoraco_CIN CR
-169- -1.36 Billy_Hamilton_CIN CF
-079- -2.04 Tucker_Barnhart_CIN CR
-017- -3.36 Jose_Peraza_CIN 2B-SS
Total 7.55

This team has some great hitters and a couple of terrible hitters.  By replacing Barnhart and Peraza with Cozart and Mesoraco, -5 value came off the books and around +1 was added meaning the lineup added more than +6 to the group’s value which is significant.  Normally teams don’t have such extremes.   A team can improve on current value just by getting rid of a negative performer.  Sometimes they can’t either due to contract issues or that they need someone to play shortstop.  Here is the value of Cubs’ hitters for comparison.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+101+ 2.31 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B-2B
+130+ 1.93 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-SS
+156+ 1.64 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B
XXXXX 0.99 Ian_Happ_CHN CF-2B-LF-RF
XXXXX 0.08 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF-CF
XXXXX 0.04 Tommy_La_Stella_CHN 3B-2B
XXXXX -0.06 Alex_Avila_DET CR-1B
XXXXX -0.17 Jon_Jay_CHN LF-CF-RF
XXXXX -0.23 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF
XXXXX -0.42 Albert_Almora_CHN CF
-172- -1.34 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B-LF-RF
Total 4.77

These values include yesterday’s game.  The Cubs do not have extremes at both ends like the Reds even though their overall hitting value is lower.

Teams in playoff contention trade to upgrade their teams and teams not in contention trade to upgrade their minor leagues.  The roster value can differ significantly from their BAT and PITCH runs above average in the team status line.

Below is a table listing all 30 MLB teams sorted by their real WAA=W-L value listed in the last column.  All numbers below are total WAAs for hitters, pitchers, starting pitchers, relief staff, and total for the entire team.  Theoretically if you added up all team totals it should add to zero.  This model adds to zero but not all players listed in the 2017 player database are still playing.  Bad players get washed out so the sum of the league will be well above zero for those still playing.

TeamID Hitters Pitchers Starters Relief Total W-L
LAN 13.60 22.71 11.98 10.73 36.31 49
HOU 18.39 4.27 1.88 2.39 22.66 26
WAS 14.04 18.33 13.07 5.26 32.37 24
BOS 2.79 19.41 7.54 11.87 22.20 16
COL 17.09 4.93 -2.33 7.26 22.02 14
ARI 10.59 15.84 8.89 6.95 26.43 14
CLE 2.66 18.44 8.57 9.87 21.10 12
NYA 10.23 21.22 6.59 14.63 31.45 7
CHN 4.77 12.95 3.72 9.23 17.72 7
SLN 7.51 15.00 8.76 6.24 22.51 4
ANA -4.42 3.98 -2.71 6.69 -0.44 3
MIN -1.46 -2.49 -4.29 1.80 -3.95 2
MIL 7.85 9.93 1.74 8.19 17.78 2
KCA -3.50 5.27 2.11 3.16 1.77 2
BAL 7.21 -7.96 -16.42 8.46 -0.75 -1
TBA -2.78 7.34 2.35 4.99 4.56 -2
SEA 6.21 -2.90 -6.93 4.03 3.31 -2
PIT -5.56 9.20 1.68 7.52 3.64 -2
TEX 8.90 2.73 -1.02 3.75 11.63 -3
MIA 5.92 2.30 1.83 0.47 8.22 -3
TOR -2.56 6.18 3.97 2.21 3.62 -4
NYN 2.27 -1.63 0.76 -2.39 0.64 -10
DET 3.01 -2.30 -0.29 -2.01 0.71 -12
ATL -0.36 7.40 -0.31 7.71 7.04 -12
SDN -10.20 -4.89 -4.36 -0.53 -15.09 -14
OAK 1.13 -4.39 -4.23 -0.16 -3.26 -15
CIN 7.55 -6.44 -8.12 1.68 1.11 -21
CHA -10.15 -10.68 -7.57 -3.11 -20.83 -25
SFN -7.17 -5.86 -8.27 2.41 -13.03 -26
PHI -12.57 -0.87 -1.64 0.77 -13.44 -30

Highlighted in tan are the three teams in contention for NL Central and their total WAA value according to every player on the 25 man roster.  The Cubs are +7, SLN is +4 so the Cubs are (7-4)/2 = 1.5 games in first place right now.  The Cardinals have been improving their team and have a higher total player value on paper according to this data model.  Both the Cardinals and Cubs have better pitching than hitting.  From this table you can see which teams will probably end up in the NLCS and ALCS.

Also note the poor White Sox who got rid of all their good players have the worst total roster value in the entire league.  They also almost have the worst record as well.

That is all for now.  Had to write some scripts to compile the roster data but that’s very important at the end of the season and especially when we get into the playoffs.  Tomorrow State of Tennessee Smokies and the top AA players from all 30 affiliates.  Until then….

Cubs Reds series analysis

Tonight the Cubs play the Reds in Wrigley.  Here are two status lines for the Reds; current and the last time the Cubs played them on 6/30/2017.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
15.0 -64.8 373 419 32 44 5.8 -2.1 CIN 6/30/2017
9.7 -108.3 552 643 49 69 9.8 -2.2 CIN 8/14/2017

Their hitting above water but  pitching is terrible.  That’s probably why they’re trying out a reliever to start today.  Reds are -20 for the year losing -8 during the month and half since the Cubs played them.  UR is very good so they have decent fielding.  Let’s see what the Ouija Board has to say about tonight (noon snapshot).

DATE 08_14 8:05_PM CIN CHN
LINEAWAY CIN [ 0.370 ] < 0.357 >
STARTAWAY 0.10(0.511) Asher_Wojciechowski_CIN
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.667 ] < 0.667 >
STARTHOME -0.27(0.491) Jose_Quintana_TOT

Cubs are 2-1 favorites tonight and the line has been stable from the start.  Both pitchers are league average currently.  Quintan has a good career and Asher is a new guy, skipped 2016 and didn’t pitch well for HOU in 2015. We found that he pitched for the Reds’ AAA team. Here is our line for him.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct
+173+ 1.66 Asher_Wojciechowski_CIN PITCH 0.743  aaa

This is a minor league line that shows the WinPct rate.  Since players in the minors frequently move from league to league we need to know  the rate to make sense of the WAA overall value stat.  Asher climbed into the top 200 pitching with almost 45 innings pitched which puts him above 0.700  Win% which is very good.  He could pitch well like Eddie Butler coming off a bad career yet very good stint in AAA.  Unfortunately those are ifs ands and buts which we can’t measure.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
XXXXX 0.84 Luis_Castillo_CIN PITCH
XXXXX -0.27 Scott_Feldman_CIN PITCH
-134- -1.55 Sal_Romano_CIN PITCH
-035- -2.67 Tim_Adleman_CIN PITCH
-008- -4.43 Homer_Bailey_CIN PITCH
Total -8.08

Starting pitching terrible as expected.  These are the guys on the current roster and none of them are pitching tonight.  We wondered if Homer Bailey was worth $17.5M/year when they signed him.  Didn’t write too much  detail back then.  It was just a note to try and make sense of that signing.   The Reds are probably stuck with Homer Bailey like the Cubs were  with Edwin Jackson all those years.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+050+ 3.30 Raisel_Iglesias_CIN PITCH
+178+ 1.49 Wandy_Peralta_CIN PITCH
XXXXX 1.20 Drew_Storen_CIN PITCH
XXXXX 0.27 Michael_Lorenzen_CIN PITCH
XXXXX 0.10 Asher_Wojciechowski_CIN PITCH
XXXXX -0.15 Blake_Wood_CIN PITCH
XXXXX -0.48 Austin_Brice_CIN PITCH
XXXXX -0.82 Kevin_Shackelford_CIN PITCH
-057- -2.27 Robert_Stephenson_CIN PITCH
Total 2.64

Very decent relief staff which they probably use a lot.  Let’s look at lineups as of yesterday.  Lineup value doesn’t differ much even if Joe Maddon shuffles them every day.  It’s the sum of the lineup that counts towards its value.  The WAA for pitchers is for hitting not pitching.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 08142017
-1.49 Billy_Hamilton_CIN CF 501
2.12 Zack_Cozart_CIN SS 354
4.68 Joey_Votto_CIN 1B 514
2.92 Adam_Duvall_CIN LF 484
1.20 Eugenio_Suarez_CIN 3B 468
4.07 Scooter_Gennett_CIN 2B 338
-0.78 Devin_Mesoraco_CIN C 164
0.27 Patrick_Kivlehan_CIN RF 147
-0.27 Asher_Wojciechowski_CIN P 11
TOTAL WAA=12.73 PA=2981 WinPct=0.582

Update 6:10pm: We got today’s lineups and they are significantly different for each team. The CIN lineup is now close to the value of Arizona and the Cubs lineup declined from yesterday. It was significant enough to  update them and provide an explanation. Originally we gave CIN a slight edge but now this is a clear edge. This is a top tier lineup going against a mediocre starting pitcher. Since we haven’t crunched those numbers yet we don’t know but it should depress the Cubs’ probability of winning. The line of 0.667 in favor of the Cubs hasn’t changed. The rest not in italics are the original analysis from this morning.

This is quite an interesting lineup. They have three top tier MLB hitters in the middle of the lineup and three players canceling them out to end up with a very slightly above average BAT according to their team status above. This is a team with very good players and very bad players. Notice their SS and Catcher are their worst hitters. The overall lineup is above water and where the Cubs usually are. Let’s look at the Cubs lineup as of yesterday.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 08142017
-0.48 Jon_Jay_CHN CF 284
1.30 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B 482
1.74 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 506
-1.39 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B 341
-0.36 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF 359
0.06 Alex_Avila_TOT C 283
-0.15 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 334
-0.08 Addison_Russell_CHN SS 348
-0.17 Jose_Quintana_TOT P 11
TOTAL WAA=0.48 PA=2948 WinPct=0.503

Update 6:10pmCubs lineup dropped in value from what was published yesterday.  They are almost completely average.  There is a significant lineup deltaWAA of around +12 in favor of CIN today.  We don’t know what that means yet however.  Scratch what was written below.

Both lineups are around average so there’s a very slight lineup advantage to CIN.  Cubs’ pitching handled a much stronger Arizona lineup the last three days so we’ll see.

Let’s Handicap!

We don’t gamble here, just trying to find errors in the Ouija Board which is usually right.  The Cubs have been over valued at home all season against teams with much better records or who had much better starting pitching.  That was then this is now.  Let’s look at the  deltaWAA between these two teams using their real win loss records.  The Cubs are +6 and the Reds are -20 so …

deltaWAA = | 6 – (-20) | = 26.

Not too complicated.  Looking that up in the table we generated here we get the Cubs should have a 0.64 chance of winning today.  Pitching and lineup differences null.  We’re working on pitching/lineup combos but this game would be thrown out because there isn’t enough difference.

Therefore the Ouija Board seems spot on at 2/3 today given Quintana’s proven upside potential.  If you bet the Cubs you think the probability is much much higher.  IMHO, the numbers don’t show that yet.  In a betting algorithm this game would be discarded — do not bet either side.

Minor leagues AA and A+ coming soon and maybe some more historical data tables to digest.  Until then….