Today is Friday July 27, 1984 and Cubs, after taking 2 out of 3 from the Phillies, travel to New York for a 4 game series which culminates in a scheduled double header on Sunday. Let’s look at these two teams.
Below are NL East standings as of end of day yesterday 7/26.
NL East 19840726
Cubs 3 1/2 games behind Mets who suffer from bad hitting but very good PITCH. Cubs are the opposite but their PITCH is less bad than Mets’ BAT. Seasonal run differential can be deceptive late in a season as teams contending for playoffs make acquisitions to fix problems they know they have.
The WAA column is simply team wins minus team losses defined in this data model as WAA’; the same value used for players. Mets are 7 WAA ahead of Cubs. Divide that by 2 and you get 3 1/2 which is number of games they are ahead in first place. Not too complicated.
L, S, and R columns are tier numbers representing team Lineups, Starters, and Relief squads for today’s game. Cubs starting a massive maxed out tier 4.00 lineup which is more than 2 standard deviations above league average for lineups as of beginning of today.
Mets starting a much better pitcher than Cubs and have much better relief.
Every 2 tier numbers is one complete standard deviation above league average for the complete set of MLB starters. Gooden is more than that today. Ruthven is almost a complete standard deviation below current league average.
Pitchers however face opposing lineups, not opposing pitchers — except when they’re batting in a lineup. Gooden must deal with a lineup better than him. Ruthven faces a much weaker lineup, yet that lineup is still better. Let’s see what happens.
This is commonly known as a pitchers duel. Each superior lineup had trouble scoring against the pitcher they faced.
Gooden pitches 8 giving up one run, Jesse Orosco in for the save in the ninth. Ruthven gives up 2 in 6 1/3 and Tim Stoddard finishes the game for Cubs.
CHN Lineup 198407270
Leon Durham back in the clean up spot but it didn’t matter much today. This lineup scores 11 runs tomorrow however.
NYN Lineup 198407270
At 0.24 total WAA this is an almost completely even steven lineup based upon seasonal numbers. As a season progresses the league average for lineups goes up as teams replace negative value players with new guys, thus making this lineup below average with a tier number of -1.12, a little over 1/2 standard deviation below current league average for lineups. This concurs with Mets’ negative BAT in team status above.
CHN START Roster 19840727
These are the current set of starters for Cubs. Sutcliffe still climbing out of the hole he dug the first couple of months with Cleveland. He pitched well against Phillies. Eckersley is also starting to rise which you can’t see from this static snapshot. Since we’re from the future we know what happens these next few months which will unfold more with each of these matchup reports.
NYN START Roster 19840727
Mets have 3 solid starters which compensates for their under water lineups.
CHN RELIEF Roster 19840727
Reuschel dragged this relief squad into negative territory. He’s on 5 day rest so Frey may make him a starter again soon.
NYN RELIEF Roster 19840727
This is a very good near top of MLB set of relievers which also concurs with Mets’ excellent PITCH in team status above.
That is all for now. Cubs lose today but since we’re from the future we know they take the next 3 against the Mets sweeping the Sunday double header only allowing Mets 1 run in both games. This series will bring the Cubs within 1 1/2 games ( 3 WAA ) of first place in NL East.
Phillies come to Chicago on Monday 7/30 which we’ll cover next with another look at this matchup. Until then ….
Update from the year 2020:
On this day in the year 2020 Cubs travel to Cincinnati to start a 4 game series. Normally Aprils are when we fix broken scripts and get all the data moving smoothly again for ranking and handicapping in May.
We have complete opening rosters for Cubs and all teams and ready to run a playoff horse race. Vegas lines are also coming in even though they changed their API very slightly for the first time in 5 years of doing this. It wasn’t much of a change so the data is coming in and everything seems to be working again.
Cubs are slight favorites at 52.6%, Reds at 49.8% tonight according to Vegas. Still tweaking the simulator to take 3 year split data. I was going to rush to get all of this online but it appears the entire MLB season could be in jeopardy only 4 days into this shortened season. This means there may be no reason to rush.
If things settle down perhaps a current season matchup post will happen when Cubs play Pirates on 7/31.
So we’ll see. In the meantime, since we are from the future, we know the 1984 season finishes to completion and well into October without any controversy except for that one team that loses home field advantage in the playoffs because they can’t play night games at home.
End of Update