It has been a fortnight since a Cubs status was published. The Cubs then had a real WAA=19-15=4 and the Cubs now have a real WAA=25-21=4 which means they are still moving sideways. Sideways is better than sinking to the cellar. Last season the Cubs moved sideways all the way to All Star break.
Let’s look at team status today compared to a fortnight ago.
Both BAT and PITCH are up yet that hasn’t affected their W/L record which is the only stat that matters in the above table. This was discussed with the brief review of Bill James’ article on Judge and Altuve. For now the Cubs are going to have players that add up to much greater than their W/L record. This usually balances out as the volume of data increases. That is a topic for another time however.
UR is improving which is good and overall the Cubs are in the OK category. Let’s look at their top players.
Javier Baez has been fluttering around the top 10 in MLB all season and now at #16. Lester pitched well yesterday as he has all season. Rizzo is rising to the top. He usually settles in between the 25-50 rank each season. There is a disagreement with WAR however. Here is how WAR ranks Rizzo and Bryant.
WAR has Rizzo unranked and Bryant near the top. This has to be due to OPS which is not a value stat yet the media uses it as one. WAR is based upon runs created and this will get explained in further detail when the OPS series continues (as soon as I get motivated).
WAR takes hits and total bases to estimate runs, then uses runs (more or less) like this data model uses, to estimate wins — while folding in defense. It is a hodge podge of made up formulae by people treating math like cooking a stew. There is no way Rizzo should have a 0.0 WAR (I didn’t double check this number however). Here is a second level detail that will be displayed by the app upon drilling down.
The numbers in green are rates that count hits that relate to the runs created estimation WAR uses. OBP is also the O in OPS. Rizzo is way low and Bryant is very high. This would explain their WAR valuations.
Note: The level 3 drill down on a player will show stats like home runs, total bases , etc. We probably won’t show OPS however (still debatable since none of level 3 stats matter for value purposes, or maybe it will be level 4).
The numbers in tan are their actual run production which is about the same for both players. I’m not going to get into how the sausage is made but real runs are used to estimating wins in this data model. Rizzo has generated a lot of real runs, the R in the RHE line, the only number that matters in determining who wins a baseball game. This model has Bryant in the top 200 and rising. In subsequent articles on OPS we’ll discuss the error in runs created as it relates to leagues, teams, and then down to individual players.
And finally, let’s look at current tier allocation for CHN.
Lineups and Relief (RP) are groups of players and the Cubs have top of the league value in each of those categories. Starters (SP) are individuals and the Cubs have a mixed bag. Guys like Darvish are pitching below their capability so there is room for improvement and nothing to be worried about for now.
Blast from the past will begin again next week or next fortnight. The “What is an OPS” series will also continue as soon as I get motivated and figure out how to present this data. Until then ….