Tonight is the AL wild card game. Let’s look at the Twins and Yankees.
As we mentioned in part 3 of our playoff horse race series, the Yankees were tied for the second best team on paper of all 10 teams in the playoff season. The Twins were the worst. The above shows the Twins have bad pitching but in the wild card game they can pitch their best pitcher. Let’s see what the Ouija Board thinks.
DATE 10_03 8:05_PM MIN NYA
LINEAWAY MIN [ 0.333 ] < 0.317 >
STARTAWAY 5.38(0.614) Ervin_Santana_MIN
LINEHOME NYA [ 0.688 ] < 0.718 >
STARTHOME 6.09(0.642) Luis_Severino_NYA
MIN 85 77 NYA 91 71
DELTAWAA 12 WINPCT 0.582 NYA
The Ouija Board gives the Yankees a 72% chance of winning tonight. DeltaWAAs in playoffs will be reduced because everyone in the playoff season is above average. The regular season deltaWAA table gives NYA a 58% chance of winning which means MIN has a 1-0.58=0.42 chance. The line for MIN is now around 0.32 which is almost exactly 0.10 below our expected probability of 0.42. Unfortunately we have seen that regular season records do not influence the outcome of playoff games very much. The regular season deltaWAA table is invalid. We must use lineup-starter combo tables.
This is post season when almost every starting pitcher will be well above average. These two starters can be considered regular season Tier 1. Let’s look at post season.
This is Severino’s first post season but Santana has been here before and hasn’t pitched well in his 22+ innings pitched so far. Sanatana has pitched enough in the post season to make it into the bottom 200 at rank 137.
Let’s look at lineups.
At 0.532 Win% Twins’ lineup is pretty mediocre especially considering their high BAT number in team status derived from the season long run differential. This would be considered a Tier 3 lineup.
This is a rock ’em sock ’em lineup and a regular season Tier 1 lineup.
So we have these two pairs.
- 1-1 Tier 1 NYA lineup vs. Tier 1 MIN starter
- 3-1 Tier 3 MIN lineup vs. Tier 1 NYA starter
We don’t have lineup-starter combo tables computed for the playoffs yet. Using the runs table described here we get pair 1 above will yield 4.3 runs for the Yankees and pair 2 will yield 3.9 runs for the Twins. We can simulate this using real distributions and come up with a percentage. Since Santana is a Tier 4 or Tier 5 playoff pitcher, if we used that value the Yankees would score 5.2 runs and be clear favorites, as they are with the Ouija Board.
Betting the Yankees is out of the question. In order to bet the Twins they would have to have a 42% chance of winning. Eyeballing these numbers which is all we can do now, and the fact that Santana is unstable in the playoffs facing a top tier Yankees’ lineup, the Yankees should be well above 60% and possibly close to 70% tonight. This would make the Twins line a discard as well.
tl;dr Both lines a discard. Do not bet this game.
We’ll try and get better playoff numbers done before NLDS and ALDS. Until then….