NL Wild Card Game

Playoff season starts tonight with the NL Wild Card game between Brewers and Nationals in Washington.  This post will be like a regular season matchup post except it will feature both teams’ instead of just the team playing the Cubs.

Teams submit a 25 player roster at the beginning of each set of playoffs.  September expansion rosters cause problems for tiering for many reasons that we’ll get into later.  Tiering for playoffs will use end of August rosters using end of year data for all non playoff teams.

Wild Card playoff games are one and out.  Let’s look at these two teams.

MIL Team Status

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
MIL 78 69 -22.0 -16.7 8.9 20190914
MIL 89 73 -9.1 8.9 6.4 20191001

Last two weeks Brewers went from +9 to +16 gaining 7 games which is very good.  Both BAT and PITCH improved to register almost even steven for the season in run differential.

WAS Team Status

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
WAS 81 65 59.5 37.3 16.9 20190914
WAS 93 69 82.9 43.8 18.4 20191001

Nationals went from +16 to +24 gaining 8 games  in the last two weeks of this season which is also very good.  These two team put the Cubs’ -5 games performance during their last two week run into perspective.

BAT improved tremendously, PITCH up, and UR, Unearned Runs above average, which is second best in MLB behind OAK this season.

MIL WAS 10_01_8:08_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
MIL 16 0.377 0.400 106 0.13 0.90 0.17
WAS 24 0.643 0.600 93 3.97 3.28 -0.51

Washington is up in WAA, way up in Lineup and Starter.  MIL has a slight edge with relief but both squads hovering around average.  At 0.643 Vegas has WAS almost a 2-1 favorite tonight.  TC Sim has them less favored at 0.600 ( 3/2 ).  Both systems are fairly equal, both favor the Nationals tonight.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Brandon_Woodruff_MIL 2.37 0.588 121.7 0.90
Max_Scherzer_WAS 6.40 0.667 172.3 3.28

Not much more to say about this.  Being a one game series each team plays their best  starter.  There is no need to list starters since this is a one game series.

MIL Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+096+ 3.25 Josh_Hader_MIL 75.7
+197+ 1.78 Junior_Guerra_MIL 83.7
XXXXX 1.70 Brent_Suter_MIL 18.3
XXXXX 0.57 Alex_Claudio_MIL 62.0
XXXXX 0.00 Jay_Jackson_MIL 30.3
XXXXX -1.01 Drew_Pomeranz_MIL 104.0
-191- -1.66 Freddy_Peralta_MIL 85.0
Total 4.63 TIER=0.17

That’s a good top end to this relief squad but it drops off quickly which will be trouble for Brewers if Woodruff goes down early.  And if he does Brewers have real starters to do long relief.

WAS Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+079+ 3.51 Daniel_Hudson_WAS 73.0
XXXXX 0.69 Tanner_Rainey_WAS 48.3
XXXXX 0.65 Sean_Doolittle_WAS 60.0
XXXXX -0.59 Hunter_Strickland_WAS 24.3
XXXXX -1.30 Fernando_Rodney_WAS 47.7
Total 2.96 TIER=-0.51

WAS relief is no bowl of cherries either.  Hudson had a good season but he can’t pitch every inning in relief unless Scherzer goes 7 or 8 innings.  But they have Stasburg and Corbin sitting on the bench if things get out of hand.

MIL Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 0.38 Trent_Grisham_MIL CF-LF-RF 183
XXXXX 0.27 Yasmani_Grandal_MIL CR-1B 632
+125+ 2.65 Mike_Moustakas_MIL 3B-2B 584
XXXXX 1.64 Keston_Hiura_MIL 2B 348
+160+ 2.29 Ryan_Braun_MIL LF 508
XXXXX 1.74 Eric_Thames_MIL 1B-RF 459
-058- -2.96 Lorenzo_Cain_MIL CF 623
-100- -2.37 Orlando_Arcia_MIL SS 546
XXXXX 0.00 Brandon_Woodruff_MIL none 0
Total 3.64 TIER=0.13

At Tier 0.13 this is a league average lineup.  Looks like Yelich is still missing.

WAS Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 1.47 Trea_Turner_WAS SS 569
XXXXX -0.86 Adam_Eaton_WAS RF 656
+005+ 8.95 Anthony_Rendon_WAS 3B 646
+020+ 6.19 Juan_Soto_WAS LF 659
+085+ 3.42 Howie_Kendrick_WAS 1B-2B-3B 370
+078+ 3.53 Asdrubal_Cabrera_WAS 3B-2B 514
+132+ 2.56 Kurt_Suzuki_WAS CR 309
XXXXX 0.02 Victor_Robles_WAS CF-RF 617
XXXXX 0.00 Max_Scherzer_WAS none 0
Total 25.28 TIER=3.97

This is a rock em sock em lineup that should light up a relatively mediocre playoff pitcher like Woodruff.  Tier 3.97 means this lineup is almost 2 complete standard deviations above league average based on 30 MLB teams.  This is a lineup that can win a World Series.

The next playoff horse race post will come when when the 8 divisional contenders release their playoff rosters.  If WAS wins it will be interesting to see how they fare against teams like LAN and HOU.  The MLB commissioner makes teams play the game instead of determining who wins based on best stats.  One game playoffs can be a crap shoot where anything can happen.  Having a 60% chance of winning means WAS has a 40% chance of losing — well within the realm of possibility.

AL Wild Card tomorrow and then some historical playoff horse race tables coming next.  Until then ….