AL Wild Card Game

Tonight is the AL wild card game.  Let’s look at the Twins and Yankees.

103.8 93.9 858 660 91 71 -5.3 1.4 NYA
62.3 -37.0 815 788 85 77 -0.3 -0.1 MIN

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

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.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
-137- -1.07 22.7 5.56 2 6 Ervin_Santana_ANA PITCH

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.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 10032017
3.51 Brian_Dozier_MIN 2B 705
-0.02 Joe_Mauer_MIN 1B 597
0.65 Jorge_Polanco_MIN SS 544
1.95 Eddie_Rosario_MIN LF 589
1.87 Eduardo_Escobar_MIN 3B 499
0.27 Max_Kepler_MIN RF 568
-0.00 Byron_Buxton_MIN CF 511
0.04 Jason_Castro_MIN C 407
-0.02 Robbie_Grossman_MIN DH 456
TOTAL WAA=8.25 PA=4876 WinPct=0.532

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.

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 10032017
0.10 Brett_Gardner_NYA LF 682
8.92 Aaron_Judge_NYA RF 678
4.98 Gary_Sanchez_NYA C 525
2.94 Didi_Gregorius_NYA SS 570
2.04 Starlin_Castro_NYA 2B 473
0.90 Greg_Bird_NYA 1B 170
2.35 Aaron_Hicks_NYA CF 361
0.97 Jacoby_Ellsbury_NYA DH 409
1.34 Todd_Frazier_TOT 3B 576
TOTAL WAA=24.55 PA=4444 WinPct=0.606

This is a rock ’em sock ’em lineup and a regular season Tier 1 lineup.

So we have these two pairs.

  1. 1-1 Tier 1 NYA lineup vs. Tier 1 MIN starter
  2. 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….