Cubs Braves series analysis

Cubs play the Braves tonight starting another series again.  They haven’t had many days off lately.  Let’s look at Atlanta.

-16.3 -43.9 600 665 59 72 -2.9 -1.9 ATL

BAT bad, PITCH worse at 59-72 they have a real WAA=-13.  Cubs are at +12 so the deltaWAA is 25 in favor of the Cubs.  If we look at our table here we get the Cubs will have a (let’s call it) 0.64 probability of winning with no other information other than deltaWAA.  Let’s see what the Ouija board thinks.

DATE 08_31 8:05_PM  ATL CHN
LINEAWAY ATL [ 0.351 ] < 0.333 >
STARTAWAY 0.06(0.504) Sean_Newcomb_ATL
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.688 ] < 0.688 >
STARTHOME 2.16(0.596) Kyle_Hendricks_CHN

Started out high for the Cubs and stayed that way.  Since 0.688 is higher than our estimate of 0.64 we wouldn’t bet that line.  Although we would never bet against the Cubs, assuming you’re say a White Sox or Cardinal fan let’s explore betting that line.  Our estimate of Atlanta winning is 1-0.64 = 0.36.    Our table estimated a probability higher than the Ouija Board which is good.   Right now it isn’t a big enough difference to meet our threshold.  We need at least a 10% estimated advantage over the house and this doesn’t make it.

Assuming this did make the threshold more information will push this probability in either direction.  Starting pitching, Relief, and Lineups are important aspects of a game.  The deltaWAA based upon seasonal wins and losses, like run differential, cannot necessarily describe the current team playing.   WAA has proven additive properties according to this data model so we can determine the strength of each of these three aspects.

We’ll talk more about tiers in future posts.  The tl;dr version is there are 5 tiers of players from best =1 to worst =5 — much like a reverse movie rating.  Hendricks is currently tier 3 average and Newcomb is a new guy and after 75 IP he’s tier 3 this season too.

Since we don’t have lineups until late we’ll look at their entire hitting squad.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+070+ 3.15 Freddie_Freeman_ATL 1B-3B
+115+ 2.39 Matt_Adams_ATL 1B-LF
XXXXX 1.13 Kurt_Suzuki_ATL CR
XXXXX 0.36 Tyler_Flowers_ATL CR
XXXXX 0.25 Ozzie_Albies_ATL 2B
XXXXX 0.25 Lane_Adams_ATL LF
XXXXX 0.02 Brandon_Phillips_ATL 2B-3B
XXXXX -0.36 Nick_Markakis_ATL RF
XXXXX -0.42 Matt_Kemp_ATL LF
XXXXX -1.18 Ender_Inciarte_ATL CF
-140- -1.68 Dansby_Swanson_ATL SS
-062- -2.27 Jace_Peterson_ATL 2B-3B-LF
Total 1.64

This would be a tier 3 hitting squad.  If they don’t play Peterson the lineup is better but probably still tier 3.  The Cubs have a tier 2 lineup now.

For the Cubs we have a tier 2 Cubs lineup going against  a tier 3 Braves pitcher.  For ATL we have a tier 3 Braves lineup going against a tier 3 Cubs starter.    These tables are still being worked as to how they push our above estimated probability based on deltaWAA.   Our dataset right now is all games from 1970 – 2016.

The line according to deltaWAA is quite high in favor of the Cubs.  One would expect the Cubs would have a bigger tier advantage than 3-3/2-3 lineup starter combo pairs indicate.  This may push the probability in favor of ATL raising it higher than 0.36.  How much higher?  We don’t know.  Since we don’t know the deltaWAA table stands and this game goes into the discard bin.  Cubs fans would never have even considered the ATL line making this an easy game to discard.

And finally here are Atlanta’s starting pitchers as listed in their roster.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+158+ 1.81 R.A._Dickey_ATL PITCH
XXXXX 0.06 Sean_Newcomb_ATL PITCH
XXXXX -0.02 Lucas_Sims_ATL PITCH
-199- -1.30 Julio_Teheran_ATL PITCH
-181- -1.43 Mike_Foltynewicz_ATL PITCH
Total -0.88

Atlanta usually has great pitching when they end up in the playoffs.  The above is why they’re out of contention.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+097+ 2.60 Jose_Ramirez_ATL PITCH
+157+ 1.81 Arodys_Vizcaino_ATL PITCH
+182+ 1.64 Sam_Freeman_ATL PITCH
XXXXX 0.65 Jason_Motte_ATL PITCH
XXXXX 0.10 Dan_Winkler_ATL PITCH
XXXXX -0.08 A.J._Minter_ATL PITCH
XXXXX -0.17 Jason_Hursh_ATL PITCH
XXXXX -1.22 Matt_Wisler_ATL PITCH
-120- -1.81 Jim_Johnson_ATL PITCH
Total 3.52

There must be a Manager 101 course that teaches every would be manager to focus on relief staff.   This looks like a tier 3 relief staff according to this table.

Overall ATL is not as bad as their seasonal record indicates.  Let’s see how that plays out the next three games.

We’ll probably start the lineup starter combo tables explanation next.  There are some interesting initial findings.  Then we’ll compile the historical playoff dataset to add the last couple of years and run some reports that may finally show some Cubs players!  Until then….