Cubs Rays series analysis

The Cubs play the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.  We know the Cubs so let’s take a look at the Rays.  Here is their team status so far this season.

-57.3 48.7 635 659 73 77 -11.1 -6.4 TBA

Terrible hitting for the season, good pitching, and TBA is -4 for the season.  Their UR of -11 shows they have had terrible fielding this season — worse than the Cubs.  The Cubs may get some freebie runs this series more than the freebies they may let up.  Let’s see what the Ouija Board thinks of today.

DATE 09_19 7:10_PM CHN TBA
LINEAWAY CHN [ 0.512 ] < 0.463 >
STARTAWAY 2.23(0.585) Mike_Montgomery_CHN
LINEHOME TBA [ 0.535 ] < 0.558 >
STARTHOME 1.24(0.530) Chris_Archer_TBA
CHN 83 66 TBA 73 77

We added two new rows to highlight each team’s record, the deltaWAA which we discussed before and the expected probability derived from the deltaWAA table.  The Cubs should have a 0.62 chance of winning solely based upon win/loss records.

Yikes! The Cubs are underdogs!  How could that be?  I double checked this with ESPN.  This may be the first time in over two years where Cubs fans can legitimately bet on the Cubs.  The CHN line of 0.46 is well below our margin of 0.1.  Montgomery is better than Archer this season although Archer has a better overall career.  Let’s call both starters tier 3 and look at each lineup tonight.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 09192017
-0.55 Jon_Jay_CHN CF 390
-0.97 Ben_Zobrist_CHN LF 454
5.27 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 647
2.86 Willson_Contreras_CHN C 393
0.61 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN DH 458
2.58 Ian_Happ_CHN 2B 378
0.48 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 446
0.17 Addison_Russell_CHN SS 353
3.07 Javier_Baez_CHN 3B 477
TOTAL WAA=13.52 PA=3996 WinPct=0.565

That’s a tier 2 lineup and that’s without Kris Bryant.  The Cubs have really improved hitting from earlier in the season.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 09192017
-0.44 Kevin_Kiermaier_TBA CF 385
0.99 Steven_Souza_TBA RF 579
-0.42 Evan_Longoria_TBA 3B 635
1.89 Logan_Morrison_TBA 1B 555
-0.63 Wilson_Ramos_TBA C 196
-0.06 Lucas_Duda_TOT DH 455
-1.87 Adeiny_Hechavarria_TOT SS 313
-0.42 Corey_Dickerson_TBA LF 593
-2.37 Brad_Miller_TBA 2B 378
TOTAL WAA=-3.34 PA=4089 WinPct=0.484

This is a below average lineup, possibly tier 4 but we’ll call it tier 3.

We have a tier 2 CHN lineup  going against a tier 3 TBA starter and a tier 3 TBA lineup going against a tier 3 CHN starter.  This may or may not move the probability in favor of the Cubs but it certainly won’t make up the difference.

There has to be a reason for this and it could be the markets are using WAR.  WAR has Archer unranked like we do so that’s not it.  Let’s look at what WAR thinks of the current TBA batters.

Rank WAR Name_TeamID Pos
+051+ 4.0 Kevin_Kiermaier_TBA CF
+064+ 3.7 Steven_Souza_TBA RF
+068+ 3.6 Evan_Longoria_TBA 3B-DH
+074+ 3.5 Logan_Morrison_TBA 1B-DH
+184+ 2.1 Corey_Dickerson_TBA LF-DH
XXXXX 1.5 Lucas_Duda_TOT 1B-DH
XXXXX 1.3 Mallex_Smith_TBA CF-LF
XXXXX 0.9 Adeiny_Hechavarria_TOT SS
XXXXX 0.4 Jesus_Sucre_TBA CR
XXXXX 0.3 Brad_Miller_TBA 2B-DH
XXXXX 0.1 Peter_Bourjos_TBA CF-LF-RF
-253- -0.3 Trevor_Plouffe_TOT 3B-DH
-141- -0.5 Wilson_Ramos_TBA CR
-009- -1.4 Danny_Espinosa_TOT 2B
Total 19.20

WAR has their hitting squad ranked pretty high for a team that is so underwater in runs scored.  Look at all the batters above in the top 100.  That’s a lot for a team that’s -4 in the win/loss columns.  It can’t be for exceptional fielding with TBA having a team UR=-11 can it?

I don’t know.  We’re calling the CHN line as an opportunity.  It should be noted we have not proven this system with the last 7 years of daily line data.  One game will not prove or disprove any of this.  If you’re going to bet anyway, you may as well bet the Cubs today.  This is probably the first opportunity since early 2015.

Anyway, enough of that.  Here is a roster pitcher dump of starters and relievers the Cubs will see these next couple of day.


Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+103+ 2.86 Alex_Cobb_TBA PITCH
+146+ 2.18 Jacob_Faria_TBA PITCH
XXXXX 1.24 Chris_Archer_TBA PITCH
XXXXX 0.23 Blake_Snell_TBA PITCH
XXXXX -0.17 Matt_Andriese_TBA PITCH
XXXXX -0.36 Jake_Odorizzi_TBA PITCH
Total 5.98


Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+115+ 2.62 Tommy_Hunter_TBA PITCH
+181+ 1.78 Alex_Colome_TBA PITCH
XXXXX 1.68 Sergio_Romo_TBA PITCH
+159+ 1.47 Steve_Cishek_TBA PITCH
XXXXX 1.20 Chase_Whitley_TBA PITCH
XXXXX 1.03 Dan_Jennings_CHA PITCH
+159+ 0.57 Steve_Cishek_SEA PITCH
XXXXX 0.48 Andrew_Kittredge_TBA PITCH
XXXXX 0.25 Brad_Boxberger_TBA PITCH
XXXXX 0.19 Jose_Alvarado_TBA PITCH
XXXXX 0.02 Dan_Jennings_TBA PITCH
XXXXX -0.21 Chaz_Roe_ATL PITCH
XXXXX -0.90 Ryne_Stanek_TBA PITCH
XXXXX -1.03 Sergio_Romo_LAN PITCH
-177- -1.55 Austin_Pruitt_TBA PITCH
Total 7.98