Cubs Brewers Series Analysis

Today is the second game of the Cubs Brewers series so let’s look at the Brewers.

28.1 -1.7 504 478 55 50 -1.5 0.1 MIL

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.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2015 -0.3 Junior_Guerra_CHA PITCH XXXXX
2016 4.0 Junior_Guerra_MIL PITCH +063+
2017 -1.3 Junior_Guerra_MIL PITCH -148-
Total 2.4

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.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07282017
-0.48 Jon_Jay_CHN LF 229
0.99 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B 414
2.18 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 446
1.74 Willson_Contreras_CHN C 329
0.46 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 284
-0.38 Albert_Almora_CHN CF 208
0.13 Addison_Russell_CHN SS 331
0.61 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B 299
-0.04 Jose_Quintana_TOT P 6
TOTAL WAA=5.21 PA=2546 WinPct=0.539

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.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07282017
2.06 Domingo_Santana_MIL RF 400
2.25 Ryan_Braun_MIL LF 200
4.60 Travis_Shaw_MIL 3B 386
1.24 Jesus_Aguilar_MIL 1B 211
-0.44 Hernan_Perez_MIL 2B 326
0.69 Manny_Pina_MIL C 237
-0.50 Lewis_Brinson_MIL CF 42
-1.18 Orlando_Arcia_MIL SS 365
-0.04 Brent_Suter_MIL P 10
TOTAL WAA=8.67 PA=2177 WinPct=0.576

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.


TeamID WAA IP WinPct
CHN 6.85 387 0.580
MIL -3.51 432 0.463

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….