Cubs Pirates Matchup and Opening Day

Apparently the game has been postponed until tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be around 50F but they should play the double header Wednesday when it will be in the 60s.  Whatever.  We don’t have enough current data to make any analysis.  According to the team career chart the Cubs are near the top and the Pirates are near the bottom.   If the Pirates have a lot of young guys ready to break out career totals won’t tell the story.  Let’s see what the Ouija board has to say.

DATE 04_09 3:20_PM PIT CHN
LINEAWAY PIT [ 0.397 ] < 0.426 >
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.618 ] < 0.600 >
PIT 6 2 CHN 4 4

The code is pulling in current year wins and losses but there is not enough playing time where that makes a difference.  The Cubs are favored around 3/2.  You’ll need to think they have a better than 60% chance of winning today to bet the Cubs, 42.6% for the Pirates.  Sheer home field advantage is 56%.

Without any current year data let’s look at career data of starters and relievers the Cubs will face these next few days.  The career data below is sum based upon 2015-2017 seasons.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+XXXXX+ 1.60 Jameson_Taillon_PIT SP
+XXXXX+ -0.00 Chad_Kuhl_PIT SP
+XXXXX+ -0.10 Trevor_Williams_PIT SP
+XXXXX+ -0.80 Steven_Brault_PIT SP
+XXXXX+ -1.40 Ivan_Nova_PIT SP
Total -0.70

Nova may be their worst starter these last three years but most experienced.  Pittsburgh will need him to perform if they have any chance this season.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+090+ 6.20 George_Kontos_PIT RP
+092+ 6.10 Felipe_Rivero_PIT RP
+XXXXX+ 0.40 Edgar_Santana_PIT RP
+XXXXX+ 0.30 Dovydas_Neverauskas_PIT RP
+XXXXX+ -1.20 Josh_Smoker_PIT RP
+XXXXX+ -2.70 Michael_Feliz_PIT RP
+XXXXX+ -4.90 Tyler_Glasnow_PIT RP
Total 4.20

Relief not bad.  If some of their bottom guys get washed out of the league their relief staff will improve.  If they don’t wash out and pitch well this season their RP will also improve.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+019+ 13.00 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN SP
+028+ 10.80 Jon_Lester_CHN SP
+050+ 8.50 Jose_Quintana_CHN SP
+153+ 4.00 Yu_Darvish_CHN SP
+XXXXX+ 0.20 Tyler_Chatwood_CHN SP
Total 36.50

Very good starting staff.  Darvish was out of service in 2015.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+117+ 5.20 Mike_Montgomery_CHN RP
+121+ 5.10 Pedro_Strop_CHN RP
+129+ 4.90 Steve_Cishek_CHN RP
+147+ 4.20 Brandon_Morrow_CHN RP
+XXXXX+ 2.60 Justin_Wilson_CHN RP
+XXXXX+ 2.40 Carl_Edwards_CHN RP
+XXXXX+ 2.00 Brian_Duensing_CHN RP
+XXXXX+ -7.40 Eddie_Butler_CHN RP
Total 19.00

As always Maddon likes a decent relief staff.  Relievers carried the Cubs the first half of last season.  Eddie Butler had a rough 2015 and 2016 but pitched a little above average last season and pitched well for the Iowa Cubs.  If he figured out how to pitch in MLB the Cubs RP is even better.

That is all for now.   In the upcoming days we’re going to crunch more career snapshots from past seasons to hopefully provide perspective as to how predictive they are.  Every year a new crop of superstars emerges from the minors with a career WAA=0.  Everyone starts out at zero.  Until then….