Cubs Status 5/2/2019

Today the Cubs are off and will face the Cardinals tomorrow for the first time this season.  Let’s do a Cubs status and since we’re now in May, player rosters can be shown with rankings.

NL Central

SLN 20 10 20.4 7.1 5.3
CHN 16 12 20.4 21.3 -3.7
MIL 17 15 18.4 -30.8 4.3
PIT 14 14 -41.1 32.3 -6.7
CIN 13 17 -27.1 33.2 7.3

The above table is the new format for team status.  Normally we focus on CHN for Cubs Status but since we’re just starting out in handicapping season let’s look at where the Cubs fit into the NL Central.  The BAT , PITCH , and UR columns are runs above league averages for hitting, pitching and unearned runs given up.

The Cubs are in second place with very good and very balanced BAT and PITCH.  Their UR is under water at -3.7 but it was much worse earlier in April.  They will face SLN tomorrow in a weekend series.  Handicapping for that will be shown tomorrow.

Tier Data

Type Name_TeamID Tier #
Lineups 1.34
SP Yu_Darvish_CHN -0.76
SP Cole_Hamels_CHN 2.09
SP Kyle_Hendricks_CHN -1.04
SP Jon_Lester_CHN 3.00
SP Jose_Quintana_CHN 1.48
RP 2.16

The above show Tier numbers for Lineups, Relief (RP) , and each starting pitcher listed on the roster.  A Tier number has a range of +3 to -3.  This number is explained more in the simulation series.   Cole Hamels and Lester are pitching in top tier of the league.  Jon Lester is currently ranked #18 out of all MLB players, BAT and PITCH, in this data model.   The above table does not show WAAs or rank for SPs but maybe it should.

CHN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+018+ 1.76 Jon_Lester_CHN 26.0
XXXXX 1.24 Cole_Hamels_CHN 36.7
XXXXX 0.92 Jose_Quintana_CHN 33.7
XXXXX -0.25 Yu_Darvish_CHN 28.7
XXXXX -0.40 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 25.3
Total 3.27 0.598

The above shows an above average relief staff with a Win % of 0.598 which is very good.  According to Tier Data that puts them 2 tiers above the MLB mean for relief pitching.  This may seem counter intuitive to many Cubs fans biased by observation.  Cubs also sent Rosario and Edwards to AAA which takes a lot of negative value off the books.

CHN Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+018+ 1.76 Jon_Lester_CHN 26.0
XXXXX 1.24 Cole_Hamels_CHN 36.7
XXXXX 0.92 Jose_Quintana_CHN 33.7
XXXXX -0.25 Yu_Darvish_CHN 28.7
XXXXX -0.40 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 25.3
Total 3.27 150 IP 0.598

The above table shows Cubs’ starters again with WAA and Innings pitched.  So far all 5 starters have pitched fairly equal number of innings.


Rank WAA Name_TeamID PA
+015+ 1.89 Javier_Baez_CHN 128
XXXXX 1.05 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 128
XXXXX 0.82 David_Bote_CHN 79
XXXXX 0.69 Jason_Heyward_CHN 105
XXXXX 0.19 Kris_Bryant_CHN 124
XXXXX 0.17 Daniel_Descalso_CHN 88
XXXXX -0.04 Taylor_Davis_CHN 6
XXXXX -0.21 Mark_Zagunis_CHN 29
XXXXX -0.29 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 86
XXXXX -0.46 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN 96
XXXXX -0.69 Albert_Almora_CHN 81
Total 3.12 0.560

Update 5/4/2019 2AM: There is a bug in the html parser script that left out Willson Contreras in the above list.  Right now can’t figure out why and there are random missing catchers on other teams.  Rosters are mainly used for evaluating relief squads and Pitchers appear unaffected.  Lineups come into this model differently and do not rely on roster data so simulations are not affected.   The fix for this will show up in the next Cubs status two weeks from now.  Contreras is having a career year so far so he adds this much value to the above:

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+049+ 1.32 Willson_Contreras_CHN CR

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At rank #15, Baez is making a run for MVP again.  He’s  just 3 spots above Jon Lester.  There is a minimum  WAA > 1.25 in order to be ranked so Rizzo is still unranked but playing very well.  It is still very early in the season and only 60 MLB players have made rank so far.  This will increase until it reaches the cutoff of 200 — which should be around mid season.

The above shows the entire position players on the active roster according to our roster source which could be a day or two behind.  Simulation uses lineups valuations which is similar to their entire hitting squad. Cubs lineups have been hovering around +1 tier number which is above average but not near top of the league right now.

The Cubs are +20.4 with hitting according to run differential, almost equal to their PITCH number, but overall pitching has much higher tier numbers.   Run differential represents seasonal data and not who is currently on the roster.  It’s much easier to unload bad pitching than bad hitting.   Even this early in the season we’re seeing deviation from seasonal data.

That is all for now.  Cubs Cardinals Matchup tomorrow.  Until then ….