Cubs Padres Matchup

Tonight the Cubs start a final three game series with the Padres before their ASG vacation — except for Baez, Contreras and Lester.  Let’s see what the Cubs have to deal with these next three days.  Here is the current team status line for San Diego.

-61.5 -22.7 351 442 40 56 -9.6 1.8 SDN

That’s top of MLB worst hitting right now.  Only KCA and BAL are ahead of them.  PITCH is less bad but still terrible and this team is -16 in the win/loss column.  Even Unearned Runs above average (UR) is terrible.  Let’s see what the Ouija Board says.

Ouija Board

DATE 07_13_10:10_PM CHN SDN

LINEAWAY CHN [ 0.563 ] < 0.552 > -123 $181
STARTAWAY -1.53(0.413) Tyler_Chatwood_CHN TIER 4
LINEHOME SDN [ 0.457 ] < 0.469 > +113 $213
STARTHOME -1.39(0.447) Clayton_Richard_SDN TIER 4
CHN 52 38 SDN 40 56
CHN Lineup 1 ==> SDN Starter 4 / Relief 2 == 0.584 CHN 4.88 runs
SDN Lineup 5 ==> CHN Starter 4 / Relief 1 == 0.416 SDN 3.97 runs
EV deltaWAA CHN 116 SDN 77
EV TierCombo CHN 106 SDN 89

The Ouija Board has once again expanded to include Expected Value.  Still working on a better way to present this but we’ll have to muddle through the above for now.  The last number in LINEAWAY and LINEHOME records is the value of the pot on a $100 bet.  The Cubs are favored so if they win you get your risked $100 back plus $81 making a total value of $181.  Ditto for LINEHOME record.  The second to last number in each record is the official nomenclature used by sports books and included for reference purposes only.  The bold number in each LINE record is the break even probability, the probability required for the Expected Value on a $100 to equal $100 (i.e. break even).  There is no point to bet if you’re going to break even.

The DeltaWAA line is the break even probability only looking at win/loss record and nothing else.  The Cubs are way ahead of the Padres in this   Historically teams teams with this difference win almost 64% of the time.

Tier Combo simulations, based upon the value of players playing today gives the Cubs a 0.584 chance of winning today, lower than deltaWAA but higher than the break even probability.  Since the Cubs are above their break even probability they could be a betting opportunity tonight.

The last section shows Expected Value of the two derived probabilities, deltaWAA and Tier Combo simulations.  Here is how they’re calculated for CHN.

CHN deltaWAA EV = P(win) * value = 0.639 * 181 = 116
CHN TierCombo EV = P(win) * value = 0.584 * 181 = 106

In both derived systems the CHN EV exceeds 100 but not enough to bet them.  The current working threshold is 120.  Another current rule is deltaWAA EV is never used to make a bet, only to wave off a bet.  Right now the CHN line is a discard.  The SDN line is a clear discard as its EV for both are way below the break even mark of 100.

SDN Tier Data

Type Tier Name_Teamid WAA
Lineups 5 SDN -9.01
SP 4 Eric_Lauer_SDN -0.71
SP 5 Luis_Perdomo_SDN -1.91
SP 4 Clayton_Richard_SDN -1.39
SP 4 Tyson_Ross_SDN -0.82
RP 2 SDN 6.32

This table sums up the important tier categories for the Padres.  Lineups and Relief (RP) are sums of groups of players, starters are single players.  SDN has a terrible starting rotation but a half way decent relief squad at Tier 2.  Their lineup is terrible which also should be expected based up on their poor BAT number in team status.  Let’s look at the relievers Cubs will face these next few days.

SDN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+082+ 2.06 Kirby_Yates_SDN PITCH
+188+ 1.20 Phil_Maton_SDN PITCH
XXXXX 1.09 Brad_Hand_SDN PITCH
XXXXX 1.07 Matt_Strahm_SDN PITCH
XXXXX 0.99 Craig_Stammen_SDN PITCH
XXXXX 0.97 Adam_Cimber_SDN PITCH
XXXXX -0.04 Robbie_Erlin_SDN PITCH
XXXXX -0.99 Phil_Hughes_TOT PITCH
Total 6.35

Not bad.  They’re close to a Tier 1 border.  Hopefully the Cubs can take them down a notch or two like what Cleveland did to Cincinnati Reds relief two days ago.  And finally, here is the Tier 5 lineup SDN played yesterday.

SDN Lineup

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07122018
-1.97 Travis_Jankowski_SDN RF-LF-CF 219
-0.88 Carlos_Asuaje_SDN 2B 147
0.99 Wil_Myers_SDN LF 113
-1.09 Eric_Hosmer_SDN 1B 385
-0.92 Jose_Pirela_SDN 2B-LF 356
-2.46 Freddy_Galvis_SDN SS 372
-1.74 Manuel_Margot_SDN CF 293
-0.32 Austin_Hedges_SDN CR 119
-0.61 Tyson_Ross_SDN PR 34
TOTAL WAA=-9.01 PA=2038 WinPct=0.415

That’s pretty bad.  Note that all those players above, except for Asuage,  have a much higher WAR than Anthony Rizzo who is now at WAR=-0.1.   This model has him ranked #137 now after dropping a little this month.  Let’s compare Travis jankowski and Anthony Rizzo.  Here are their current WARs.

WAR Data

Rank WAR Name_TeamID Pos
+198+ 1.3 Travis_Jankowski_SDN RF-LF-CF 2018
XXXXX -0.1 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 2018

Jankowski is actually ranked in the top 200 WAR ranking.  Here are the full lines for these two players according to this data model.

WAA Data

Rank WAA BA OBP PA RBI R Name_TeamID Pos
-054- -2.06 0.264 0.348 228 7 25 Travis_Jankowski_SDN RF-LF-CF
+127+ 1.66 0.236 0.333 357 59 36 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B

This model has Jankowski ranked  #54 in the bottom 200 with a whopping WAA=-2.06.  The Padres are -16 as a team and Jankowski is completely responsible for -2 of  that -16.  Batting averages aren’t that different, neither are OBPs.  Rizzo has a whopping 59 RBIs compared to Jankowski’s 7.  How could WAR get this so wrong?  Is there a single person who thinks Jankowski is out performing Anthony Rizzo this season?  Are the Cubs +14 game above 0.500 because everyone else is performing except for Anthony Rizzo?

If you subscribe to WAR philosophy you must think Jankowski is playing better and you must think that everyone in the above SDN lineup is also out performing Rizzo even though this model considers that group of players as worst in MLB.  Does SDN actually have the worst lineup in MLB as this model has measured?  If not, what caused them to have one of the worst records in baseball and why is their run differential in BAT so underwater?

A value system must be evaluated as to how accurately  it compares players.  This is an easy comparison.  I don’t think Theo Epstein is looking to trade Anthony Rizzo for Travis Jankowski any time soon.

That is all for today.  More league wide handicapping coming and then the All Star Break.  Until then ….