Cubs Reds Matchup

Cubs start a four game series with the Reds in Cincinnati.  Let’s look at this matchup focusing on the team the Cubs face.  A new Cubs status is coming soon.  Here is the current team status for CIN.

-3.9 -52.0 315 376 28 45 0.1 -1.2 CIN

BAT slightly underwater but the PITCH looks bad.  CIN 5th from worst in the league which is KCA at -92.   We should see more evidence of this as we drill down into the Reds team.  They have real WAA=-17.  As we progress in the season, the current talent on a team will differ from the seasonal numbers posted above.  Let’s see what the Ouija Board thinks of this matchup.

Ouija Board

DATE 06_21_7:10_PM CHN CIN

LINEAWAY CHN [ 0.612 ] < 0.615 >
STARTAWAY 1.16(0.562) Kyle_Hendricks_CHN TIER 2
LINEHOME CIN [ 0.403 ] < 0.400 >
STARTHOME -2.62(0.310) Matt_Harvey_TOT TIER 5
CHN 42 29 CIN 28 45
CHN Lineup 2 ==> CIN Starter 5 / Relief 1 == 0.591 CHN 5.06 runs
CIN Lineup 3 ==> CHN Starter 2 / Relief 1 == 0.409 CIN 4.12 runs

Cubs lineups have been fluttering between Tier 1 and Tier 2 which means they’re right on the border.  Borders don’t matter in the simulations which will be explained more later.  Hendricks is back to Tier 2.  He also is right by a border, between Tier 2 and Tier 3.  Matt Harvey is having another bad year.  NYN dumped him and the Reds need someone to pitch and not be too terrible.  At Tier 5 Harvey is considered terrible.

The markets have the Cubs clear favorites at 0.615.  Based upon win/loss records, the Cubs are (what they say) 15 games ahead of CIN which translates into a deltaWAA=30 which translates into a 0.639 expected probability for CHN.

Win/loss records are seasonal.  Tier Combo simulations reflect who is actually on the roster in the lineup, relief, and the starter for today.  The simulations give the Cubs 0.591 advantage.  All of these numbers align with the market so both lines a complete discard.

This brings us to Matt Harvey.  Let’s look at his career because I recall him being a pretty good pitcher once.

Matt Harvey Career

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2012 1.8 Matt_Harvey_NYN PITCH +187+
2013 6.4 Matt_Harvey_NYN PITCH +010+
2015 5.3 Matt_Harvey_NYN PITCH +020+
2016 -1.5 Matt_Harvey_NYN PITCH XXXXX
2017 -5.0 Matt_Harvey_NYN PITCH -010-
2018 -1.8 Matt_Harvey_NYN PITCH -020-
2018 -0.8 Matt_Harvey_CIN PITCH -020-
Total 4.4

His best years were 2013 and 2014 and worst season was last year and he’s on track to exceed that.  His upside capability is fantastic but hitters must have figured out how to hit him and maybe he can’t figure out how to fix that.  Let’s look at Tier Data for the Reds.

CIN Tier Data

Type Tier Name_Teamid WAA
Lineups 3 CIN 3.49
SP 5 Luis_Castillo_CIN -3.13
SP 3 Anthony_DeSclafani_CIN -0.19
SP 5 Matt_Harvey_CIN -2.62
SP 3 Tyler_Mahle_CIN 0.17
SP 5 Sal_Romano_CIN -2.75
RP 1 CIN 7.22

Lineup is Tier 3 average which is what we would expect from their BAT in team status.  Three Tier 5 starters in their rotation which is also what we would expect from their PITCH in team status.   They have a Tier 1 relief staff which is unexpected.  Let’s take a look at CIN relief.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+041+ 2.39 Jared_Hughes_CIN PITCH
+135+ 1.39 Amir_Garrett_CIN PITCH
+163+ 1.22 Raisel_Iglesias_CIN PITCH
+170+ 1.18 David_Hernandez_CIN PITCH
+195+ 1.03 Michael_Lorenzen_CIN PITCH
XXXXX 0.88 Dylan_Floro_CIN PITCH
XXXXX -0.04 Jackson_Stephens_CIN PITCH
-092- -1.41 Wandy_Peralta_CIN PITCH
Total 6.64

Unless a reliever is an uber closer, they usually get the short end of the stick when it comes to most baseball analysts.   All relievers on a relief staff, whatever inning they pitch are very valuable since they usually pitch 1/3 of each game, but as a team.  A run given up in the 7th inning is equally important mathematically as a run given up in the 9th.  As we saw last year, most successful teams in the playoffs have Tier 1 relief squads.

CIN isn’t making the playoffs this season but maybe Theo can acquire one of these guys for next season or even this season somehow.  You can never have enough pitchers!

CIN Lineup

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 06202018
1.26 Scott_Schebler_CIN RF 220
-0.90 Tucker_Barnhart_CIN C 241
0.38 Joey_Votto_CIN 1B 313
2.25 Scooter_Gennett_CIN 2B 286
3.25 Eugenio_Suarez_CIN 3B 242
-0.99 Jesse_Winker_CIN LF 235
-0.99 Jose_Peraza_CIN SS 299
-0.53 Tyler_Mahle_CIN P 23
-0.25 Billy_Hamilton_CIN CF 244
TOTAL WAA=3.49 PA=2103 WinPct=0.532

This is a Tier 3 average lineup.  WAR has Joey Votto ranked much higher than this data model has.  Joey Votto has admitted to being a big fan or WRC+ .  Joey Votto plays to maintain his WRC+.  His actual run production, which makes the Reds 17 games under is slightly above average.  WAR has him ranked #47 amongst all baseball players both pitchers and batters.  WAR has Joey Votto ranked significantly higher than Anthony Rizzo.  Who would you rather have on your team?  That is how you evaluate a value stat.

That is all for today.  Cubs status coming soon and it’s almost time for our All Star picks once we get data as to who the fans picked.  That’s always fun.  Fans like to pick based upon players who do well for their Draft Kings teams,  which doesn’t always agree with who has been helping their real teams win.  Until then ….