Cubs Cardinals Matchup

There are 2430 MLB baseball games per season and two lines per game.   It is very difficult to understand the betting market that makes up the Ouija Board by crunching numbers and testing different theories.   Walking through  just the Cubs has been informative.  After going 0-6 on that road trip I would have suspected bettors would be a little cautious about the Cubs.  Here’s what they say so far (11am snapshot).

DATE 06_02 2:20_PM Jun_2_11:04 SLN CHN
LINEAWAY SLN [ 0.412 ] < 0.397 >
STARTAWAY 1.83(0.641) Lance_Lynn_SLN
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.605 ] < 0.618 >
STARTHOME -1.30(0.398) John_Lackey_CHN

Standard home field advantage is 0.54 so the Cubs are getting a big premium today even though the Cardinals have a far better and younger pitcher on the mound.  The line started out at 0.605 and has been moving slightly towards the Cubs.  Interesting!  Not what I expected at all.   Let’s look at the current Cardinals team status.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-29.7 28.5 212 212 26 25 0.6 0.6 SLN

The Cards have a slightly better W-L record than the Cubs but both teams are hovering around average.  Their BAT is well below average and their PITCH well above average and everything cancels out making them average.  So we have two average teams playing each other who always played close over the years no matter how badly the Cubs were and the Ouija Board still gives the Cubs a big premium.  Let’s look at lineups.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 06022017
-0.02 Dexter_Fowler_SLN CF 199
0.19 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 1B 207
-0.73 Stephen_Piscotty_SLN RF 126
-0.67 Yadier_Molina_SLN C 191
-0.90 Jhonny_Peralta_SLN 3B 49
-1.72 Aledmys_Diaz_SLN SS 208
0.04 Paul_DeJong_SLN 2B 15
0.25 Magneuris_Sierra_SLN LF 32
-0.42 Lance_Lynn_SLN P 21
TOTAL WAA=-3.99 PA=1048 WinPct=0.427

Hello Dexter Fowler!  We’ll do ex-Cubbies soon.  As expected, the Cardinals have a below average lineup that’s worse than San Diego’s.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 06022017
-0.19 Ian_Happ_CHN CF 64
0.53 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B 226
0.42 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 235
-0.42 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B 174
0.27 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 154
-0.00 Miguel_Montero_CHN C 74
-0.67 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF 206
0.10 Addison_Russell_CHN SS 191
-0.25 John_Lackey_CHN P 19
TOTAL WAA=-0.21 PA=1343 WinPct=0.497

Maddon is always moving guys around in the lineup which, IMHO, is good.   The Cubs lineup has now dropped very slightly below average.  It is down a lot from the last bunch of lineups in past series matchups.  Let’s look at relief.

TeamID WAA IP WinPct
SLN -1.76 160.7 0.451
CHN 4.43 186.5 0.607

With such a high PITCH I didn’t expect the Cardinals’ relief staff to be underwater.  The Cubs still have a top tier relief staff ranked #5 in MLB (30 teams).  Their relievers are the reason they’re only 2 games under instead of 6 or 7 right now.

One game does not prove or disprove anything but IMHO the Ouija Board seems to be over valuing the Cubs today.  This is just an observation not a recommendation.  There could be other forces involved like emotions that statistics cannot measure.  The Ouija Board may think the Cubs’ players are more desperate to win than the Cardinals and will be more focused today.   We’ll see.  Until then….