Cubs Nationals Matchup

I’ve been behind updating this site.  Today the Cubs play the Nationals in the second game of a series, the first of which they won yesterday by beating Max Scherzer.  Let’s look at this Washington team.  Cubs status will be coming very soon.  Matchup posts focus on opposing teams otherwise there’s data overload.

WAS Team Status

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
WAS 13 18 2.3 -13.4 4.1 20190504
WAS 18 26 -8.6 -25.9 1.3

In the last two weeks WAS went 5-8 losing 3 games and now have a team WAA = 18-26 = -8.  Their hitting and pitching tanked which led to a -3 WAA for that period.  Let’s look at the game table showing handicapping information.

CHN WAS 05_18_7:15_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
CHN 10 0.442 0.596 135 0.98 3.00 0.05
WAS -8 0.576 0.404 70 0.05 1.09 -3.00

The deltaWAA between these two teams is

WAA{CHN} – WAA{WAS} = 10 – (-8) = +18

This is a rather large difference.  Vegas has the Cubs an underdog with a break even probability of 0.442.  TC Sim has Cubs at almost 60% probability of winning tonight.  EV for the Cubs at 135 puts them way over the tentative threshold of 115.

The snapshot for lineups above are from yesterday.  Current lineups come out later and I don’t want to wait.  It probably won’t change much.  Relief for WAS is terrible with a maxed out tier number of -3.  Cubs’s relief is almost exactly current league average with a tier number almost 0.

Let’s look at starters for tonight.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Jon_Lester_CHN 2.94 0.842 38.7 3.00
Stephen_Strasburg_WAS 0.97 0.576 57.0 1.09

Considering the terrible PITCH number in WAS team status, Stephen Strasburg is a rock star on that team with around a +1 tier number, around 1/2 standard deviation above current league average.  Current league averages are higher than Seasonal league averages which are reflected in run differential used to calculate BAT and PITCH in team status.

It has been observed that in many cities there is irrational exuberance for home teams driving the lines in that direction.  This seems like the case.  Strasburg has had a great career but so has Lester who is a maxed out +3 tier number and currently ranked in MLB top ten at #8 according to this data model.  WAR has Strasburg ranked #22 and Lester ranked #26.

If a team has a 60% chance of winning they have a 40% chance of losing.  A single game outcome does not prove or disprove anything.

WAS Lineup 05172019

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 0.46 Trea_Turner_WAS BAT 15
XXXXX 0.53 Victor_Robles_WAS CF-RF 172
+025+ 1.85 Anthony_Rendon_WAS 3B 123
+103+ 1.39 Howie_Kendrick_WAS 3B 108
XXXXX 0.67 Juan_Soto_WAS LF 145
XXXXX 0.38 Kurt_Suzuki_WAS CR 81
-032- -1.87 Brian_Dozier_WAS 2B 154
XXXXX -0.94 Michael_A._Taylor_WAS CF 50
XXXXX -0.36 Max_Scherzer_WAS BAT 23
Total 2.11 0.547

The above is WAS lineup from yesterday.  Above average from a seasonal point of view but the above is almost exactly current league average.

Note:  Max Scherzer’s  WAA in a lineup table is his hitting record — not pitching.  This model needs to count pitchers’ hit numbers but that value is not used for ranking.

WAS  Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
XXXXX 1.20 Sean_Doolittle_WAS 20.0
XXXXX 0.25 Erick_Fedde_WAS 10.7
XXXXX 0.13 Justin_Miller_WAS 15.7
XXXXX -0.19 Kyle_Barraclough_WAS 16.7
XXXXX -0.59 Wander_Suero_WAS 17.0
XXXXX -0.99 Dan_Jennings_WAS 4.7
XXXXX -1.22 Joe_Ross_WAS 10.7
-021- -1.95 Matt_Grace_WAS 20.0
Total -3.36 0.369

This is a maxed out terrible relief staff and probably what drove down their seasonal PITCH differential in team status above.  Once Cubs get into this relief staff they should be able to score some runs — but nothing is guaranteed.

WAS Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+029+ 1.97 Patrick_Corbin_WAS 58.7
XXXXX 0.97 Stephen_Strasburg_WAS 57.0
XXXXX 0.97 Max_Scherzer_WAS 65.3
XXXXX -0.73 Anibal_Sanchez_WAS 42.3
-072- -1.39 Jeremy_Hellickson_WAS 36.0
Total 1.79 0.531

Above are the various starters on the Nationals.  Patrick Corbin is their ace who the Cubs might face tomorrow.  WAR has Corbin ranked #8 , the same rank this model has for Lester.  Whatever.

Cubs status coming next.  Currently scripts are being written so reports like this can be done for any team, for any day, and any year with a click of a mouse.   More about this later.  Until then ….