Today is the second game of the Cubs Brewers series so let’s look at the Brewers.
The Brewers have decent hitting and average pitching and slightly below average fielding. They only scored 2 runs yesterday but somehow the Cubs made their pitching look good. The Cubs are now at +6 and the Brewers at +5 so the delta WAA is very close to 0. This means these teams on paper should be equal. Let’s see what the Ouija Board has to say.
DATE 07_29 7:10_PM Jul_29_ CHN MIL
LINEAWAY CHN [ 0.623 ] < 0.636 >
STARTAWAY 0.63(0.543) Kyle_Hendricks_CHN
LINEHOME MIL [ 0.408 ] < 0.385 >
STARTHOME -1.34(0.397) Junior_Guerra_MIL
To bet the Cubs you’ll have to risk $1.75 to win $1 today. This translates into a 64% winning percentage. Starting pitching matters and Guerra is well underwater and Hendricks is slightly above average but has proven capability from last year. The market thinks Hendricks can shut down MIL bats like Quintana did yesterday and the Cubs hitters will pad some stats with Guerra. Right now we don’t have a proven method to estimate the true underlying probability better than the market so 64% it is.
Guerra was probably a September call up in 2015 and pitched very well last season finishing ranked #63. He is having a bad year so far which affects his career total. If he has an epiphany and pitches like last year then the Ouija Board is probably wrong. Unfortunately you can’t model ifs ands and buts.
Let’s look at lineups from yesterday since I don’t want to wait and it won’t be much different.
Cubs now have two standout hitters. Even though neither is in the top 100 yet Rizzo has been in it consistently for the last few years. Their lineup WinPct is the highest it has been since the beginning of the season. As we get to the end of the season lineups are going to be much different than their seasonal BAT number derived from season long accumulated run differential.
The last time we analyzed a Cubs Brewers series on 5/19 they had a 0.630 WinPct. That was early in the season when the dataset was smaller so rates reflect short term fluctuations. Above represents a where they have converged long term. The Brewers still have a better lineup than the Cubs. The Cubs may have potential if you factor in ifs ands or buts.
The Innings Pitched column above reflects IP for the current pitchers listed as relievers not the actual IP that team pitched in relief. This is used to calculate WinPct. Although Cubs relief faltered they are climbing back above +7 and the Brewers relief is under water. This means if the Cubs knock out Guerra MIL isn’t in much better shape. The Ouija Board is taking this into account as well. A relief staff can pitch 1/3 to 1/2 of each game so the entire staff is extremely important to a team’s success, not just the guy getting all the saves.
That is all for now. It might be time to do MLB leaders again since it has been almost a month since we did our All Star picks. We’ll also look at the Cubs AAA, AA, and A+ teams next month. Until then….