ALCS Game 4

ALCS Game 4 tonight between Houston and Yankees.  Houston is up 2-1 and won back home field advantage.  One more HOU win in NYC and NYA will be in trouble.

HOU NYA 10_17_8:08_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
HOU 52 0.455 0.563 X 4.00 3.77 3.28
NYA 44 0.565 0.437 X 4.00 -0.39 3.18

This is a very interesting game table.  Vegas and ELO have Yankees favored 57%.   TC Sim has Houston favored 56% making Houston a betting opportunity had this been a regular season game.  It’s not.

External factors such as home field advantage and desperation that are significant in playoffs need to be considered.  This is a must win for Yankees much more than it is for Astros and Yankees have some of the most enthusiastic fans in MLB.  Home field does move the needle in playoffs.  This will be studied to determine how much in off season.  Desperation is even harder to model mathematically so we have to sort of wing it.

The numbers above need to be placed into context.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Zack_Greinke_TOT 7.35 0.658 208.7 3.77
Masahiro_Tanaka_NYA 0.25 0.506 182.0 -0.39

On paper Greinke is ranked #9 according to this data model, #28 according to WAR.  Both WAR and this data model have Tanaka unranked.  On paper Greinke is a far superior pitcher.  Here are both of their post season records.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
-081- -1.47 75.7 4.40 13 3 Zack_Greinke_TOT PITCH
+027+ 2.69 50.0 1.26 8 1 Masahiro_Tanaka_NYA PITCH

Greinke ranked in bottom 200 at #81, Tanaka top 50 at #27.  Ranks are out of all post season players since 1903 when the first World Series was played.  In ALCS game 1 Greinke gave up 3 runs in 6 IP which is around average for regular season but terrible for post season and matches his 4.40 ERA above.

In ALCS game 1 Tanaka went 6 innings giving up 0 runs in an away park.  Post season is strange.  Many players who play well in regular season choke and vice versa.  Not all starters have extensive post season experience like these two pitchers.

If the values of these two starters are reversed as shown in post season records TC Sim shows Yankees 53% favorites.  Desperation and home field advantage should push that very close to what Vegas estimated.  It has also been observed that home field may suppress away hitting which is a major HOU advantage.  How much is unknown.

It is unclear however whether or not Vegas bettors know about the above post season records.  Most players don’t have playoff experience or very little where an  evaluation can’t be made.  Although possible, right now we don’t lookup post season records for relievers or lineups.  Something to look into for next season though and maybe we’ll make some new tables for this World Series.

Lineups Today

I’m not waiting for lineups tonight which should be very similar to lineups yesterday.  Both Yankees and Astros field around a +30 WAA lineup which are both maxed Tier 4.00.  Tiers are calculated against all 30 MLB regular season lineups however.  Washington who will play in the 2019 World Series fields around a +20 WAA lineup, a little less then Tier 3.00.

We have lineup data for post seasons dating back to 1903.  Only World Series were played from 1903 to 1968.  League championships like this started in 1969 , then Divisional series started then the wild card game.  There are a lot of playoff games now which is why modern players will eventually rise to the top of post season ranking.

We can however separate out the different type of series so let’s look at the top 20 lineups in league championship series from 1969 to 2018.

Year LeagueID TeamID WAA PA
1976 lc CIN 43.15 5030
1982 lc MIL 40.63 5365
2003 lc BOS 39.75 5499
2015 lc TOR 35.22 5101
2009 lc NYA 34.25 5377
2011 lc TEX 34.13 4799
1975 lc CIN 33.24 4830
1971 lc PIT 31.61 4140
1972 lc CIN 31.40 4391
1998 lc NYA 30.26 4349
1969 lc MIN 29.92 4662
2018 lc BOS 29.48 4791
2004 lc BOS 28.79 5083
2013 lc BOS 28.48 4457
1996 lc BAL 28.43 5593

There have been 196 teams who played in league championships from 1969 to 2018.  These are the top 20 lineups out of those 196 teams.  Both Astros and Yankees are fielding top top league championship lineups based upon historical standards.

This list will go back to 1903 when we do this for World Series.  Not much more to say about this game.  Both these teams play tomorrow when we’ll do this again.  Until then ….