Cubs Cardinals Matchup

Today the Cubs start a series with the Cardinals so let’s look at this series.  Here is a status line for SLN.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
-14.0 36.6 425 408 46 48 -7.0 0.3 SLN

Cardinals are under water with their hitting but pitching is keeping them near 0.500 and at 46-48 they are at -2, or where the Cubs were at during All Star break.  Their UR is almost as bad as the Cubs which has cost them some games.  Here’s what the Ouija Board has to say about today (noon snapshot).

DATE 07_21 2:20_PM Jul_21_12:17 SLN CHN
LINEAWAY SLN [ 0.400 ] 0.427
STARTAWAY 2.67(0.597) Carlos_Martinez_SLN
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.615 ] 0.590
STARTHOME 0.44(0.518) Jake_Arrieta_CHN

Martinez is ranked #55 and is having a good year so far and Arrieta is having a mediocre slightly around average year.

Here is Martinez’ career.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2014 -0.6 Carlos_Martinez_SLN PITCH XXXXX
2015 3.8 Carlos_Martinez_SLN PITCH +046+
2016 5.1 Carlos_Martinez_SLN PITCH +027+
2017 2.7 Carlos_Martinez_SLN PITCH +055+
Total 10.3

Martinez seemed to have found his groove the last few years and he’s pitching at that pace again this season.  He’s around Quintana in career value so far.  Here are the two lineups today.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07212017
0.78 Matt_Carpenter_SLN 1B 386
2.23 Tommy_Pham_SLN LF 264
0.29 Dexter_Fowler_SLN CF 312
0.63 Jedd_Gyorko_SLN 3B 333
-0.44 Yadier_Molina_SLN C 329
0.36 Paul_DeJong_SLN SS 158
-0.32 Kolten_Wong_SLN 2B 198
0.08 Randal_Grichuk_SLN RF 241
-0.02 Carlos_Martinez_SLN P 39
TOTAL WAA=3.59 PA=2260 WinPct=0.531

Cardinals have an above average lineup.  This is when lineups can differ greatly from team status lines.  A team will get rid of bad players and replace them with better ones if they can.  Lineups are almost always better than their season long BAT column and the disparities become greater near the end of the season.  Tommy Pham is having a good season this year.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07212017
0.65 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 257
-0.69 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B 260
1.87 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 415
1.11 Willson_Contreras_CHN C 302
-0.27 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF 294
1.07 Ian_Happ_CHN CF 227
0.38 Addison_Russell_CHN SS 306
0.94 Javier_Baez_CHN 3B 283
-0.34 Jake_Arrieta_CHN P 43
TOTAL WAA=4.72 PA=2387 WinPct=0.538

The lineup value is around the same which you wouldn’t  know simply looking at team status.  These numbers above are past results.  The Cubs just won 6 in a row and all these guys were hitting.  They have proven potential from winning a World Series and if those players are truly back, the Cubs’ lineup is much better.  Unfortunately we can’t measure ifs ands or buts.

We have talked about irrational exuberance this season when the Cubs played at home.  At around 0.600 Cubs bettors are risking $1.50 to win $1.  That is the premium and means the probability at the break even point or Expected Value is 0.600 or 60%.  If they played this game 10 times the Cubs should win 6 and lose 4.  Since they can’t do that we’ll never know the true underlying probability.

From 1960 to today the home team has won 54% and the away team 46%.  We have been touting this as a baseline in all these analysis.  We’ll do a post on this later but this advantage/disadvantage is far more complicated.  We did another analysis and found that after looking at the delta between Cubs’ WAA and Cardinals’ WAA the Cubs should be around 0.580 for today’s game.  This will be explained later in more detail.

This is very close to the closing line today.  The Cubs/Cardinal usually are nail biters even when the Cubs were terrible.  If you use that as your yard stick then the game is a coin flip so the Cardinals getting the premium today would be the better bet.  We’ll get more into Expected Value later too.  It’s getting late and the game is going to start in 15 minutes.