Even a baseball season can go into extra innings and today there are two games due to ties. Technically this is regular season but realistically playoff season started for both these teams last Thursday or Friday.
Let’s handicap these two games. We already covered the Brewers last Thursday and the Cubs on 9/23. Not much changes over the span of a week except for win loss records. First let’s look at another playoff horse race table of the top 11 teams in MLB according to this data model. Ten of those 11 are in the playoffs.
Playoff Horse Race
Teamids in light blue are those playing today which will be handicapped here. LAN and COL couldn’t be farther apart in value while CHN and MIL are separated only by a couple WAA games in estimated value but tied in real wins and losses — which is the only stat that really matters in baseball.
The above is based on expanded rosters with only top 7 counted for relief.
The highlighted numbers in Relief column show both Brewers and Cubs with very similar Tier 1 relief staffs. We’ll see how this matters in the next part.
Let’s look how the betting market views these two games and where our simulations may or may not differ.
DATE 10_01_1:05_PM MIL CHN
LINEAWAY MIL [ 0.455 ] < 0.465 > +115 $215
STARTAWAY 2.50(0.560) Jhoulys_Chacin_MIL TIER 2
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.565 ] < 0.556 > -125 $180
STARTHOME -0.02(0.499) Jose_Quintana_CHN TIER 3
DELTAWAA 0 WINPCT 0.500 NONE
MIL Lineup 2 ==> CHN Starter 3 / Relief 1 == 0.531 MIL 4.59 runs
CHN Lineup 2 ==> MIL Starter 2 / Relief 1 == 0.469 CHN 4.30 runs
TeamID TC dWAA
MIL 114 106
CHN 84 91
Cubs are stuck pitching Quintana and Chacin is one of the Brewers’ top 2 starters according to current year data. Lineup data was from yesterday and each team had a Tier 2 lineup. Since the current Tier 1/2 boundary is +15.35 both lineups should be Tier 2 today. They are close enough in value the simulations consider them equal Relief is equal. And MIL has a starting pitcher advantage.
Cubs have home field advantage which is not factored in simulations because it is not much of a factor during regular season. The playoff season is different however. We saw last season when two identical Tier combos, one played in New York, and one played in HOU had drastically different lines. Home field advantage is still a work in progress and can only be talked through in these upcoming playoff analysis posts.
The TC Combo simulations make Milwaukee a favorite due to starting pitching differences but the market favors Cubs at around 55%. This make Expected Value for MIL equal to $114 on a $100 bet. This is below our tentative 120 threshold to be a betting opportunity but close. deltaWAA however is 0 meaning this is an even steven flip of a coin game. This lowers Milwaukee’s advantage.
In playoffs however win/loss records should not be taken into account. Complete analysis of playoff data has not been done and simulations rely on historical regular season data because there is a mountain of it. Rarely will a playoff team field Tier 4 or 5 of anything. This is another subject matter for the off season when Theo and Jed are shopping for new players.
I suspect home field advantage would be a wave off factor. Historically home teams beat away teams around 54% of the time. Being blind to all other factors, EV for the MIL line would be around 100 because 0.46 is almost exactly the break even probability from the market.
Both lines a discard. Since this is a national game Cub and Brewer fan irrational exuberance should have less effect.
DATE 10_01_4:05_PM COL LAN
LINEAWAY COL [ 0.400 ] < 0.385 > +160 $260
STARTAWAY 1.74(0.541) German_Marquez_COL TIER 3
LINEHOME LAN [ 0.630 ] < 0.630 > -170 $158
STARTHOME 4.07(0.640) Walker_Buehler_LAN TIER 1
DELTAWAA 0 WINPCT 0.500 NONE
COL Lineup 1 ==> LAN Starter 1 / Relief 2 == 0.500 COL 4.59 runs
LAN Lineup 2 ==> COL Starter 3 / Relief 3 == 0.500 LAN 4.59 runs
TeamID TC dWAA
COL 130 130
LAN 79 79
The above is based upon lineup yesterday. COL has some very high value hitters in their lineup but LAN has a deeper bench. The playoff horse race ranking above is based upon expanded rosters. Unlike relief, all hitters are counted. Today everyone on the expanded roster can play. Even though TC combo simulations are calling this an even steven game, and that surprised me, LAN should have a Tier 1 lineup when they are released later today. This should tilt in favor of LAN but not nearly enough to bring down an EV = 130 for COL to less than 120.
The difference in wins and losses for these two teams (deltaWAA) is 0 — obviously. This translates into even steven to which is why that EV is 130 for Colorado too.
Home filed advantage would push in favor of LAN as well as the fact that Rockies players had to fly to LA in order to play this game at 3pm CST. That game is so early because the loser has to fly to either Milwaukee or Chicago tonight.
This is another thing we know that would favor LAN but have no way to mathematically model how much. Throughout the season we have seen how LA fans tend to run up LAN lines in the betting market when they play at home. That might be due to Larry King’s money. 🙂
You will win $1.60 on every dollar bet on Colarado today plus your bet back. That is a fairly high return for evenly matched teams. The unknown effects of travel, home field advantage, and that we don’t have current lineups, should wave this off — for now.
NL MVP Race
Stats for today count as regular season and there are two players in the hunt for NL MVP playing against each other.
Well well well. I don’t think it’s possible for Baez to make that up in a single game which means Christian Yelich is NL MVP. Let’s hope that’s the only trophy MIL gets this season.
The above represents a little over a month of playing in a 6 month season. To put this into context, Yelich gained, let’s say, +4 WAA in a single month, to make the math easy. If he did that every month he would have a +24 WAA for an entire season.
Edit 10/1/2018: That should be +3 for the month of September (8.35-5.17) instead of +4. This would extrapolate out to +18 WAA over 6 months based upon a +3/month rate (which you shouldn’t).
The current leaders are:
A WAA > +12 is high for a single season in modern baseball and Yelich would be double that. The highest single season post 1900 MLB history is:
Wow! The above is how rates can be deceptive and should never be used for ranking purposes. Yelich is having a spectacular month which made this game today possible for the Brewers and why he should be NL MVP regardless on the outcome — unless Baez hits a walk off grand slam 🙂
That is all for now. Cubs playing now and my source for lineups still doesn’t have them. Oh well. Wild Card games next then playoff horse race with playoff rosters. Until then ….