Tonight the Cubs play the Reds in Wrigley. Here are two status lines for the Reds; current and the last time the Cubs played them on 6/30/2017.
Their hitting above water but pitching is terrible. That’s probably why they’re trying out a reliever to start today. Reds are -20 for the year losing -8 during the month and half since the Cubs played them. UR is very good so they have decent fielding. Let’s see what the Ouija Board has to say about tonight (noon snapshot).
DATE 08_14 8:05_PM CIN CHN
LINEAWAY CIN [ 0.370 ] < 0.357 >
STARTAWAY 0.10(0.511) Asher_Wojciechowski_CIN
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.667 ] < 0.667 >
STARTHOME -0.27(0.491) Jose_Quintana_TOT
Cubs are 2-1 favorites tonight and the line has been stable from the start. Both pitchers are league average currently. Quintan has a good career and Asher is a new guy, skipped 2016 and didn’t pitch well for HOU in 2015. We found that he pitched for the Reds’ AAA team. Here is our line for him.
This is a minor league line that shows the WinPct rate. Since players in the minors frequently move from league to league we need to know the rate to make sense of the WAA overall value stat. Asher climbed into the top 200 pitching with almost 45 innings pitched which puts him above 0.700 Win% which is very good. He could pitch well like Eddie Butler coming off a bad career yet very good stint in AAA. Unfortunately those are ifs ands and buts which we can’t measure.
Starting pitching terrible as expected. These are the guys on the current roster and none of them are pitching tonight. We wondered if Homer Bailey was worth $17.5M/year when they signed him. Didn’t write too much detail back then. It was just a note to try and make sense of that signing. The Reds are probably stuck with Homer Bailey like the Cubs were with Edwin Jackson all those years.
Very decent relief staff which they probably use a lot. Let’s look at lineups as of yesterday. Lineup value doesn’t differ much even if Joe Maddon shuffles them every day. It’s the sum of the lineup that counts towards its value. The WAA for pitchers is for hitting not pitching.
Update 6:10pm: We got today’s lineups and they are significantly different for each team. The CIN lineup is now close to the value of Arizona and the Cubs lineup declined from yesterday. It was significant enough to update them and provide an explanation. Originally we gave CIN a slight edge but now this is a clear edge. This is a top tier lineup going against a mediocre starting pitcher. Since we haven’t crunched those numbers yet we don’t know but it should depress the Cubs’ probability of winning. The line of 0.667 in favor of the Cubs hasn’t changed. The rest not in italics are the original analysis from this morning.
This is quite an interesting lineup. They have three top tier MLB hitters in the middle of the lineup and three players canceling them out to end up with a very slightly above average BAT according to their team status above. This is a team with very good players and very bad players. Notice their SS and Catcher are their worst hitters. The overall lineup is above water and where the Cubs usually are. Let’s look at the Cubs lineup as of yesterday.
Update 6:10pm: Cubs lineup dropped in value from what was published yesterday. They are almost completely average. There is a significant lineup deltaWAA of around +12 in favor of CIN today. We don’t know what that means yet however. Scratch what was written below.
Both lineups are around average so there’s a very slight lineup advantage to CIN. Cubs’ pitching handled a much stronger Arizona lineup the last three days so we’ll see.
We don’t gamble here, just trying to find errors in the Ouija Board which is usually right. The Cubs have been over valued at home all season against teams with much better records or who had much better starting pitching. That was then this is now. Let’s look at the deltaWAA between these two teams using their real win loss records. The Cubs are +6 and the Reds are -20 so …
deltaWAA = | 6 – (-20) | = 26.
Not too complicated. Looking that up in the table we generated here we get the Cubs should have a 0.64 chance of winning today. Pitching and lineup differences null. We’re working on pitching/lineup combos but this game would be thrown out because there isn’t enough difference.
Therefore the Ouija Board seems spot on at 2/3 today given Quintana’s proven upside potential. If you bet the Cubs you think the probability is much much higher. IMHO, the numbers don’t show that yet. In a betting algorithm this game would be discarded — do not bet either side.
Minor leagues AA and A+ coming soon and maybe some more historical data tables to digest. Until then….