Cubs Diamondbacks series analysis

Cubs start a series with the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight so let’s take a look at them and what the market thinks of this game.  Here is a team status line for ARI.

BAT PITCH Rs Ra W L UR LR TeamID
38.1 93.2 528 404 60 45 -9.6 0.3 ARI

ARI is +15 in the win/loss columns.  They have great PITCH, very high BAT, and a terrible UR.  They flub the ball a lot in important situations.  If you run Pythagorean Expectation on this run differential they should be around +24.  I am starting to see a pattern of bad UR leading to a bad run distribution leading more games lost than necessary.  This can be proven or disproven so we’ll write a script and see if there’s a true correlation.  Bottom line, Arizona still has a top tier MLB team.  Let’s see what the Ouija Board thinks of today.

DATE 08_01 8:05_PM ARI CHN
LINEAWAY ARI [ 0.400 ] < 0.383 >
STARTAWAY -0.15(0.494) Patrick_Corbin_ARI
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.630 ] < 0.632 >
STARTHOME 1.41(0.549) Jon_Lester_CHN

That’s quite a premium Cubs bettors must pay to bet the Cubs.  Lester has had a few good starts lately and Corbin is pitching around average this season.  Let’s look at his career.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2012 -1.2 Patrick_Corbin_ARI PITCH XXXXX
2013 1.7 Patrick_Corbin_ARI PITCH +194+
2015 0.6 Patrick_Corbin_ARI PITCH XXXXX
2016 -3.6 Patrick_Corbin_ARI PITCH -032-
2017 -0.0 Patrick_Corbin_ARI PITCH XXXXX
Total -2.5

He’s a below average career pitcher who had a terrible season last year.  Considering ARI has such a high PITCH let’s look at their other pitchers for the rest of this series.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+012+ 4.79 Zack_Greinke_ARI PITCH
+036+ 3.42 Robbie_Ray_ARI PITCH
+045+ 3.19 Archie_Bradley_ARI PITCH
+071+ 2.65 Zack_Godley_ARI PITCH
+132+ 1.87 Andrew_Chafin_ARI PITCH
+133+ 1.85 Taijuan_Walker_ARI PITCH
+153+ 1.68 T.J._McFarland_ARI PITCH

The pitchers in tan are their starters listed on their roster.  These are the guys the Cubs face next.  Let’s look at lineups from each team’s last game.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07302017
0.32 David_Peralta_ARI LF 367
0.19 Chris_Owings_ARI 2B 385
4.49 Jake_Lamb_ARI 3B 428
5.75 Paul_Goldschmidt_ARI 1B 449
3.38 J.D._Martinez_TOT RF 263
0.38 Ketel_Marte_ARI SS 66
0.48 Chris_Iannetta_ARI C 168
-0.17 Gregor_Blanco_ARI CF 178
-0.08 Taijuan_Walker_ARI P 33
TOTAL WAA=14.74 PA=2337 WinPct=0.621

Now that’s a rock ’em sock ’em lineup.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07302017
-0.76 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B 296
-0.53 Jon_Jay_CHN LF 236
0.92 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B 423
1.55 Willson_Contreras_CHN C 338
0.04 Addison_Russell_CHN SS 336
0.48 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 293
-0.44 Albert_Almora_CHN CF 212
-0.27 Victor_Caratini_CHN 1B 24
-0.78 John_Lackey_CHN P 40
TOTAL WAA=0.23 PA=2198 WinPct=0.502

Cubs were missing Rizzo in the lineup so it dropped to even steven.  ARI has a clear lineup advantage today.  Here is their relief.

TeamID WAA IP WinPct
ARI 7.64 336.3 0.602

As expected their relief staff is top notch so if Corbin gets hit the pitchers following him will be better.  The Cubs have been over valued all season at home and it appears that may be the case again tonight.   The Cubs are +8, ARI is +15 so they are +7 over the Cubs.  According to my chart ARI should have a 51.5% chance of winning if no other information is available.  ARI has the better lineup but that lineup is going against better pitching.   Tonight might be the easiest game of the series.  This is the type of team the Cubs need to defeat if they expect to advance in the playoffs.  We’ll see.