Cubs Marlins Matchup

We only do this analysis once per series and this is not a betting site.   This data model has analyzed data from the last 7 years of betting lines for every game and found them to be a very accurate predictor of a game’s probability.  A betting line fluctuates based upon the betting market.  The house more or less matches buyers with sellers adjusting the price based upon demand.  We call that a Ouija Board as it seems to be driven by some unknown force that pushes thousands of complete strangers to settle upon a true probability.  More on this later.  We introduced the Ouija Board in April here and here.

That said let’s look at today’s game:

DATE 06_05 8:05_PM Jun_5_16:17 MIA CHN
LINEAWAY MIA [ 0.435 ] < 0.476 >
STARTAWAY 1.09(0.581) Dan_Straily_MIA
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.583 ] < 0.545 >
STARTHOME -0.06(0.485) Eddie_Butler_CHN

The above are records spit out from the database and I haven’t figured out a better way to present them. The number in [] is the starting line and in <> is the current line.  The lines are converted into probabilities.  If you have to risk $2 to win $1 then you expect your team to have a break even probability of 2/(2+1)=0.667.  You think they have a greater chance than that.

The number in bold next to starters is their WAA which is the value stat computed by this data model.  In parens is  WinPct as shown how to calculate here.  Dan Strailly is pitching well this season and Eddie Butler is hovering around average.  Standard home field advantage if you know nothing of the two teams playing is 0.540.  The Cubs line started out at 0.583 and it has moved to 0.545 which is almost exactly home field advantage.  The betting market is taking a we don’t know attitude about this game.  Let’s look at the Marlin’s team status and see what kind of numbers they have as a team.

-8.1 -6.1 248 265 24 31 -2.0 -0.8 MIA

At 23-31 (WAA=-7) the Marlins are not having a good year.  Both BAT and PITCH a little underwater as well as Unearned Runs above average (UR).    Eyeballing this the Marlins have twice the negative WAA than they should based upon Pythagorean Expectation.  This means they’re getting a funny run distribution which could be bad luck or they’re not hitting on all cylinders — we don’t know.  This doesn’t mean they will “regress to the norm,” a term popular with other stat sites, because, like craps and slot machines, past results do not affect future results.  Let’s look at lineups.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 06052017
-1.68 Dee_Gordon_MIA 2B 236
1.78 Giancarlo_Stanton_MIA RF 232
0.67 Christian_Yelich_MIA CF 234
1.47 Marcell_Ozuna_MIA LF 236
-0.27 J.T._Realmuto_MIA C 192
-0.78 Derek_Dietrich_MIA 3B 158
0.17 Tyler_Moore_MIA 1B 35
0.21 J.T._Riddle_MIA SS 101
-0.36 Dan_Straily_MIA P 23
TOTAL WAA=1.22 PA=1447 WinPct=0.516

Even though the Marlins are underwater on BAT in their team status line which is a seasonal stat based on total runs scored, their lineup is slightly above average.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 06052017
-0.76 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B 185
0.36 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B 238
0.36 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 247
0.23 Willson_Contreras_CHN C 166
0.23 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 166
0.10 Albert_Almora_CHN CF 111
1.01 Javier_Baez_CHN SS 160
-0.19 Eddie_Butler_CHN P 8
-0.34 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF 215
TOTAL WAA=1.01 PA=1496 WinPct=0.513

The Cubs have about the same value lineup as MIA but with a weaker starter in Eddie Butler.  Here is Eddie Butler’s career which we posted before.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2014 -1.1 Eddie_Butler_COL PITCH -257-
2015 -3.5 Eddie_Butler_COL PITCH -028-
2016 -4.4 Eddie_Butler_COL PITCH -013-
2017 -0.1 Eddie_Butler_CHN PITCH XXXXX
Total -9.1

He has had a rough career but Theo and Jed et. al. must have seen something they liked in  him.  Butler had a couple decent starts this season and then slid back down to average.    Tonight is another pivotal game for his short career.  And finally, here are relief staffs.

TeamID WAA IP WinPct
MIA 1.62 188.3 0.539
CHN 5.10 196.6 0.617

Both teams have good relief but the Cubs are top tier, #4 in MLB (30 teams), and with Eddie Butler on the mound they may have to prove themselves once again.

And one final note.  Justin Bour is missing from MIA lineup for some reason.  We wrote about him last year when he hit a grand slam against the Cubs.   Justin came up through the Cubs’ farm system and played with these guys.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos 2013
+002+ 4.88 Kyle_Hendricks_Tennessee_Smokies_CHN_sl PITCH
+003+ 4.70 Javier_Baez_Tennessee_Smokies_CHN_sl BAT
+008+ 4.16 Justin_Bour_Tennessee_Smokies_CHN_sl BAT

All three of them were in top ten of the southern league and I think the Smokies won the championship that year.  The Cubs had to get rid of him for some reason and he went into the MIA system.  Here’s his career so far.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2014 0.4 Justin_Bour_MIA 1B XXXXX
2015 1.6 Justin_Bour_MIA 1B +203+
2016 1.2 Justin_Bour_MIA 1B +256+
2017 1.7 Justin_Bour_MIA 1B +061+
Total 4.9

He has had a fine career so far and this year is his best.  He may be sitting on the bench or on DL.  We don’t keep close track of rosters until the second half of the season.  Cubs status in two days.    Until then….