Cubs White Sox Matchup

Looks like a 1:20pm Monday home game against the White Sox.  The cross town classic which was once  a two weekend event has been relegated to Monday afternoon.  That said the commissioner of MLB still counts this game as either a W or L for either team.  Let’s look at team status for the White Sox.

-35.1 -1.8 421 473 38 57 -11.5 -0.9 CHA

Terrible hitting and average pitching making them -19 in the win/loss columns.   That UR is very bad too which probably significantly led to them having a much worse record than estimated using the Pythagorean Expectation estimation on their run differential.  The delta WAA is the difference between two teams calculated as:

deltaWAA = abs ( WAA[home team] – WAA[away team] )

abs is absolute value.  The Cubs have a real WAA of +5 so the deltaWAA for this game is

deltaWAA = |+5 – (-19)| = 24

According to history the better team with a +24 deltaWAA wins 58% of the time without any other knowledge of the two teams.  Home or away is irrelevant.  This will be explained in more detail in a later post.  Let’s look at what the Ouija Board thinks.

DATE 07_24 2:20_PM CHA CHN
LINEAWAY CHA [ 0.290 ] < 0.317 >
STARTAWAY -0.63(0.467) Miguel_Gonzalez_CHA
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.730 ] < 0.714 >
STARTHOME 0.44(0.532) Kyle_Hendricks_CHN

Welcome back Kyle Hendricks!  The Ouija Board started out giving a huge advantage to the Cubs today.  They dropped to 71.4% which means Cubs’ bettors pay out around 2.7 – 1 to make this bet.  Miguel Gonzalez is a little under water right now. Let’s look at his career.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2012 1.6 Miguel_Gonzalez_BAL PITCH XXXXX
2013 0.4 Miguel_Gonzalez_BAL PITCH XXXXX
2014 1.8 Miguel_Gonzalez_BAL PITCH +165+
2014 -0.4 Miguel_Gonzalez_PHI PITCH +165+
2015 -3.1 Miguel_Gonzalez_BAL PITCH -039-
2016 1.4 Miguel_Gonzalez_CHA PITCH XXXXX
2017 -0.6 Miguel_Gonzalez_CHA PITCH XXXXX
Total 1.1

A fairly average, capable pitcher who burns a lot of innings.  Hendricks is coming off DL and he struggled a bit earlier in the season.  If he’s back to 2016 form the Cubs have a clear starter advantage.

Here are the lineups for today.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07242017
0.61 Melky_Cabrera_CHA LF 395
0.23 Yoan_Moncada_CHA 2B 7
1.41 Jose_Abreu_CHA 1B 401
1.39 Avisail_Garcia_CHA RF 346
0.61 Matt_Davidson_CHA 3B 280
-2.31 Tim_Anderson_CHA SS 347
-0.65 Adam_Engel_CHA CF 108
-1.24 Kevan_Smith_CHA C 151
-0.06 Miguel_Gonzalez_CHA P 2
TOTAL WAA=-0.02 PA=2037 WinPct=0.500

White Sox have an even steven 0.500 lineup with a couple of good hitters and another shortstop who can’t hit as well as their catcher.  Overall this lineup is better than their  BAT derived from seasonal run differential.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07242017
0.57 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 262
0.84 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B 389
1.64 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 419
1.30 Willson_Contreras_CHN C 307
-0.44 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF 298
-0.78 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B 265
-0.36 Jon_Jay_CHN CF 211
0.88 Javier_Baez_CHN SS 287
-0.19 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN P 20
TOTAL WAA=3.51 PA=2458 WinPct=0.527

Cubs fielding around the same as usual lineup but it’s getting better.  Cubs have a slight hitting advantage here with past stats but have a big advantage if these guys play like they did last season.  Here is relief.

TeamID WAA IP WinPct
CHA 6.05 344.7 0.579
CHN 6.17 370.1 0.575

Both teams have decent relief.  Cubs’ relief faltered a bit lately and the White Sox traded away a couple of their good relievers so we’ll see.   If the White Sox didn’t have +6 relief they would be 25 games under instead of 19.

The Cubs need to mop up teams like this but that hasn’t been the case in the first half of the season so we won’t know which Cubs team shows up today.  The premium Cubs’ bettors must pay seems kind of steep and we have seen them being overvalued at home all season.  Hopefully the Ouija board is prescient today.  We’ll see although whatever happens today does not prove or disprove the underlying true probability whatever that happens to be.