Cubs Cardinals series analysis

It seems like we just did this Cubs Cardinals series analysis and we did 10 days ago.   Not much changes in 10 days so this will be an abbreviated version.  Here are SLN status lines from today and ten days ago.

12.8 71.9 696 616 77 69 -5.0 -0.7 SLN 9/15/2017
15.1 60.7 738 664 81 74 -2.3 -0.6 SLN 9/25/2017

The Cardinals went 4-5 losing a win in the last 10 days.  From the above you can see how  their pitching  tanked.  They are now +7 real WAA and Colorado is +12.  It’s still possible they squeak into a wild card spot but if not they’ll be the best team in MLB not to have made the playoffs.  According to our playoff horse race table, as a team SLN was tied with the Cubs for total value.  The commissioner of MLB only cares about real wins and losses, not what this data model says.

Here’s what the Ouija Board says about today.

DATE 09_25 8:15_PM CHN SLN
LINEAWAY CHN [ 0.465 ] < 0.444 >
STARTAWAY -0.80(0.479) Jon_Lester_CHN
LINEHOME SLN [ 0.556 ] < 0.574 >
STARTHOME 2.83(0.742) Luke_Weaver_SLN
CHN 87 68 SLN 81 74

Cubs are underdogs and the line is moving in favor of SLN.  This is quite amazing and may indicate Cubs fans aren’t the only ones with irrational exuberance for home games.  According to the deltaWAA table which produces an initial expected probability the Cubs should have a 0.58 chance of winning today.  Right now the Cubs line is a bet with no other information known.  We have more information.

Lineups and pitching haven’t changed much from ten days ago and we’re not going to reproduce them again.  We concluded both CHN and SLN have tier 2 lineups.  Tonight Lester is a tier 3 starter and Weaver is tier 2.   Let’s analyize this using our average runs table introduced yesterday.  This game has the following lineup-starter pairs.

  1. 2-2  Tier 2 CHN lineup vs. Tier 2 SLN starter
  2. 2-3  Tier 2 SLN lineup vs. Tier 3 CHN starter

The first pair, 2-2, yields an average 4.5 runs for the Cubs.  This is slightly below average.  The second pair, 2-3, yields an average 4.9 runs for the Cardinals.  If we simulate based upon the distribution of those two sets (which we will do in the future), the Cardinals would be favored.

The Cubs have a tier 2 lineup and a tier 3 starter giving them a strength of 4.  According to our strength table at the end of this post, the average tier 2 team will have a strength of 4.3 meaning the Cubs are average.  The Cardinals, also tier 2 in real wins and losses has a strength of 2+2-1=3 which is above their average.

The deltaWAA probability has to move towards the Cardinals but how much?  This is still a work in progress.  Right now the deltaWAA table gives SLN a 1-0.58=0.42 chance of winning.  Lineup-starters won’t move the expected probability to  0.57 according to the Ouija Board but it could move it close to 50/50 or 50%.  An expected probability of even steven, a flip of a coin, falls under the 0.10 margin we need to bet the CHN line.

It is quite possible that lineup-starter combo pairs make the CHN line a discard.  There is no way anyone should bet the SLN line as it clearly exhibits irrational exuberance on the part of desperate Cardinals fans.  And as always, one game does not prove or disprove any of this.

We might update the playoff horse race soon.  Playoffs are coming and we’ll handicap every Cubs game, each wild card game, and whatever other series peaks our interest.  Until then….