Cubs start a weekend series with the Cardinals tonight. Let’s take a look how the Cardinals have been playing these last two months.
SLN Team Status
Over the last two weeks the Cardinals went 4-7 losing 3 games making them almost even steven in the win/loss column. Their PITCH improved while their BAT tanked causing the -3 team WAA during this period. Let’s look at today’s game records.
CHN SLN 05_31_8:15_PM
The game starts tonight at 7:15pm CST so lineups are from the last game they played. Cubs fielded one of their best lineups against HOU two days ago so CHN lineup will probably be less tonight . TC Sim requires another iteration so no recommends can be made on close calls like this. The Cubs look undervalued according to Vegas. Lines tend to shift towards the home team and the Cardinals have a loyal fan base so there could be some irrational exuberance in the betting market for this game.
Darvish having another bad year and Mikolas not putting up the numbers he did last season. Cardinals have a Starter advantage. Starters are compared to lineups however, not other starters.
Pretty mediocre starting rotation so far which you would expect from their average PITCH number in team status above.
Relief a little above average but they have two top top relievers in Gant and Brebbia, both ranked in the top 50 of this data model. WAR rarely has relievers in their top 100 and right now they rank Gant #112 and Brebbia #170. This is because WAR does not value middle relief very highly. Mathematically a run given up in the 7th inning counts equally with a run given up in the 9th inning. This model does not discriminate between middle relief and closers. The above shows these two relievers have been key in SLN staying even steven so far.
This model counts all relievers as a group and averages them. It looks like Michael Wacha is having a bad year and now they assigned him to relief. His negative value drives down SLN Relief numbers which might be unfair but you can’t pick and choose what players to not count because every team has pitchers like that on their relief staff and tier numbers are based upon averages of all 30 teams. Exceptions cannot be made here unless they’re made for every relief staff for every game since 1970.
That said, those two top relievers could shut down the Cubs later in the game more than their relief staff tier number suggests. We can eyeball this and spitball suggestions but a data model needs hard rules.
SLN Lineup 5/30/2019
The above was their lineup yesterday which is a little above average which is what their BAT in team status indicates as well. PITCH and BAT in team status are based off of seasonal run differential numbers. As a season progresses the value of pitching and hitting can diverge, sometimes dramatically, from what PITCH and BAT indicate. Since we’re only 1/3 into the current season and major trading hasn’t begun team status and roster value will track closely with each other.
That is all for now. New playoff horse race coming next as well as a simulation update. Until then ….