Actually today is the final day for the NLDS. The ALDS finished last night which we forgot to handicap in all the confusion. Today we’ll analyze what happened yesterday and handicap the NLDS game tonight.
Strasburg had his head in the game and pitched like the Tier 1 pitcher we assumed. Arrieta and Lester pitched well. Cubs’ relief dropped the ball not that it mattered since the Cubs didn’t score any runs. You can’t win a baseball game without scoring at least one run. Since WAS changed starters the betting markets became tumultuous. I assume previous bettors with Roark pitching had their bets canceled. The CHN line was up to 0.667 with Roark which should never be that high in a playoff game. There was irrational exuberance in Wrigley yesterday. Let’s look at the final line from Game 4 NLDS.
DATE 10_11 4:05_PM WAS CHN
LINEAWAY WAS [ 0.400 ] < 0.522 >
STARTAWAY 7.46(0.691) Stephen_Strasburg_WAS
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.615 ] < 0.502 >
STARTHOME 3.17(0.585) Jake_Arrieta_CHN
This is basically a flip of a coin we don’t know. Lines typically settle like that when in turmoil. It started with the Cubs having a 61.5% chance of winning but that was with Roark pitching. The following two lineup-combo pairs would be applicable for this game with Strasburg:
- 1-2 Tier 1 WAS lineup vs. Tier 2 CHN starter –> 4.7 runs for WAS
- 2-1 Tier 2 CHN lineup vs. Tier 1 WAS starter –> 4.3 runs for CHN
Arrieta could be considered a Tier 3 starter in the playoff season based on the numbers posted yesterday. That would drop CHN down to 3.9 runs giving a clear advantage to WAS. If we had our simulations finished we could come up with an actual number. Washington was favored based on our blind numbers. There were too many wild cards like weather to bet this game and with a proper margin Washington needed to be 60% or higher to bet the WAS line which certainly isn’t the case with this tier difference. The CHN line was a clear discard.
It is not known whether Tanner Roark would have had the same success as Strasburg. Sometimes when bats go cold it doesn’t matter who is on the mound. WAS burned their best starter which means the Cubs’ face Gonzalez who they scored 3 runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched in Game 2. The Cubs would have won that game if not for relief pitching. Cubs relief squad performance in the first half of the season is the reason the Cubs are in the playoffs, Now they may be the reason the Cubs get booted from the playoffs. Baseball, like life, is full of ironies like that.
Let’s look at tonight. Here is the current line.
DATE 10_12 8:05_PM CHN WAS
LINEAWAY CHN [ 0.565 ] < 0.512 >
STARTAWAY 4.26(0.637) Kyle_Hendricks_CHN
LINEHOME WAS [ 0.455 ] < 0.512 >
STARTHOME 0.00(NA) NONE_WAS
Update: Dusty is playing games not releasing his starter which we expect to be Gonzalez. Not sure if he can pitch Scherzer or would he pitch Roark? I don’t care. He has to pitch someone and his best someone available is Gonzalez. Whatever.
Hendricks and Gonzalez are Tier 1. WAS has a Tier 1 lineup, CHN Tier 2. This is about as good and as close as two teams can get. The Cubs have a Tier 2 lineup because they played Tier 3 baseball the first half of the season. I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to inject Mulligans by only counting the second half of a season. They don’t do that in golf.
Note: In our post for Game 1 NLDS we incorrectly labeled Hendricks as Tier 2. He should be considered Tier 1. This will be automated by next season. Right now we’re assigning tiers manually for current games. It is automated for historical games.
The Cubs started out at 0.565 which seems like exuberance. What you want to happen does not influence the probability of what will happen. Right now the line has settled on even steven. This game is a do not bet discard. WAS may be slightly favored but not much and certainly not enough to have an advantage on the house. Betting when you don’t have an advantage is called gambling. We do not support gambling.
That is all for today. ALDS postmortem tomorrow. Good luck Cubs!