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World Series Game 1

World Series Game 1 tonight in Houston.

Playoff Horse Race — The End

TeamID W-L Total Hitters Starters Relief UR
HOU 52 70.6 31.5 26.7 12.4 14.4
WAS 24 51.0 24.9 20.9 5.2 18.4

This is the final edition of playoff horse race for 2019.  Looks like HOU is better in each category.  Both teams have very positive UR which means good fielding.   There probably won’t be many stupid errors that lose a game but strange things sometimes happen in a World Series however.

WAS HOU 10_22_8:08_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
WAS 24 0.364 0.385 106 3.98 3.26 0.32
HOU 52 0.661 0.615 93 4.00 4.00 3.32

Vegas has Houston favored more than TC Sim but not by much.  The WAS line is pretty close and will be closer if home field advantage was taken into account.  Right now home field hasn’t been incorporated into TC Sim and won’t be until there is a sold proof as to how it should be done.

HOU leads in WAA, and R.  Starters and Lineups almost equal.  Washington has weak relief which will haunt them every game this series.  WAS lack of relief is compensated by a set of good starters which will be shown again in detail tomorrow.  WAS Lineup isn’t as powerful.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Max_Scherzer_WAS 6.40 0.667 172.3 3.26
Gerrit_Cole_HOU 9.64 0.704 212.3 4.00

Both pitchers hover around average in post season which is below average for top tier MLB pitchers.

Both Houston and Yankees featured only 3 starters in their roster.  The last time that was done in a 7 game series was the 2009 Yankees who did this in both ALCS and WS.  ALCS Game 6 turned into a reliever smorgasbord for both teams because each team had only 3 starters.

Rosters are out and here are starting rotations for each team.

WAS Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+017+ 6.40 Max_Scherzer_WAS 172.3
+026+ 5.96 Patrick_Corbin_WAS 202.0
+028+ 5.88 Stephen_Strasburg_WAS 209.0
+128+ 2.60 Anibal_Sanchez_WAS 166.0
Total 20.84 0.625

HOU Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+001+ 9.70 Justin_Verlander_HOU 223.0
+002+ 9.64 Gerrit_Cole_HOU 212.3
+009+ 7.35 Zack_Greinke_HOU 208.7
Total 26.69 0.686

Houston is going with 3 starters again.  Interesting that those three starters are valued more than all four on Washington.  Only need four games to win.  Lineups coming later and relief rosters will be shown tomorrow.  Until then ….’

Update: Lineups are in.

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
XXXXX 0.06 Ryan_Zimmerman_WAS 1B 190
+132+ 2.56 Kurt_Suzuki_WAS CR 309
XXXXX 0.02 Victor_Robles_WAS CF-RF 617
Total 25.34 TIER=3.98

HOU Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+023+ 6.17 George_Springer_HOU CF-RF-DH 556
+089+ 3.34 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B 548
+124+ 2.67 Michael_Brantley_HOU LF-DH 637
+011+ 7.22 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B-SS 690
+052+ 4.45 Yuli_Gurriel_HOU 1B-3B 612
+137+ 2.54 Carlos_Correa_HOU SS 321
+042+ 5.00 Yordan_Alvarez_HOU DH-LF 369
-133- -2.08 Martin_Maldonado_HOU CR 374
-137- -1.97 Josh_Reddick_HOU RF-LF 550
Total 27.34 TIER=4.00

Too very equal lineups.   Nationals have a very improved lineup compared to their NLCS lineups; most likely due to DH being used in Houston. Lineups face starters however to score runs — not opposing lineups.

ALCS Game 6

ALCS Game 6 tonight.  No travel day due to the rain out. Let’s see what the odds makers are up to.

NYA HOU 10_19_8:08_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
NYA 44 0.444 0.473 106 4.00 -0.22 3.18
HOU 52 0.574 0.527 92 4.00 -0.26 3.28

TC Sim and Vegas pretty much in agreement.  Home field advantage would move TC Sim even closer to Vegas.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Chad_Green_NYA 0.55 0.536 69.0 -0.22
Jose_Urquidy_HOU 0.48 0.553 41.0 -0.26

Update 1st inning: Brad Peacock started for HOU.  This changed sometime after 4pm.  Doesn’t affect TC Sim since Peacock and Urquidy are around equal in value this season.

Now this is interesting.  Both of the above starters are listed as relievers which means both teams tonight are using what they call openers — a very recent managerial strategy.  The opener gets the top of the lineup out early allowing the real starter to work the bottom part of the lineup first.  Like closers and other relievers, openers can theoretically pitch many games in a row.

This causes a problem for the way TC Sim works in estimating probabilities.  The dataset used for drawing numbers is based upon traditional starter value.  The above shows two below average pitchers as starters.  As relievers they are above average and add value to their team’s relief staff.

Not sure how Vegas is handling this but there are ways of estimating  real starters and that is something which will need to be done.  It doesn’t happen much now where it would poison the dataset but this strategy could become more ubiquitous in the future.  This might be the first time it has been done in post season.  Let’s look at the long form record of these two relievers starting tonight.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
XXXXX 0.55 69.0 4.17 15 39 Chad_Green_NYA PITCH
XXXXX 0.48 41.0 3.95 7 2 Jose_Urquidy_HOU PITCH

Green started 15 games so Yankees have done this many times before.  If you add Games Start (Gs) and Game Relief (Gr) ; Green pitched a little more than 1 inning per game appearance.  It looks like Urquidy may have actually pitched in a traditional starting role for Astros.  He’s almost 5 IP per game appearance.  Maybe he could be considered a long opener or something like that.  Urquidy started this season in AA.

Year Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos WinPct League Age
2019 XXXXX 0.48 Jose_Urquidy_HOU PITCH XXX mlb
2019 +078+ 2.25 Jose_Urquidy_HOU PITCH 0.732 aaa 24
2019 XXXXX -0.32 Jose_Urquidy_HOU PITCH 0.456 aa 24

Here are Starting rotations for both teams.

NYA Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+149+ 2.42 James_Paxton_NYA 150.7
XXXXX 0.84 Luis_Severino_NYA 12.0
XXXXX 0.25 Masahiro_Tanaka_NYA 182.0
Total 3.51 0.546

Looks like both HOU and NYA went with 3 starters while WAS and SLN used 4.  One would think a team would need at least 4 in a 7 game series.  Severino pitched 4 days ago, Tanaka 2 days ago, and Paxton yesterday.  Ruh roh for tomorrow.

HOU Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+001+ 9.70 Justin_Verlander_HOU 223.0
+002+ 9.64 Gerrit_Cole_HOU 212.3
+009+ 7.35 Zack_Greinke_HOU 208.7
Total 26.69 0.686

Verlander pitched yesterday, Greinke two days ago, Cole 4 days ago.  If Cole is the real starter tonight TC Sim will shift towards HOU significantly.

The opener concept needs more study.  I haven’t seen the Cubs or any NL team Cubs played this season do this.   AL teams may be doing this quite frequently however.  Right now we have nothing in the code that detects this nor a way to estimate the real starter.  More on this later.

NYA Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+035+ 5.29 DJ_LeMahieu_NYA 2B-3B-1B 655
+172+ 2.14 Aaron_Judge_NYA RF-DH 447
+062+ 3.97 Gleyber_Torres_NYA SS-2B 604
XXXXX 1.51 Aaron_Hicks_NYA CF 255
+043+ 4.96 Edwin_Encarnacion_NYA 1B-DH 486
+142+ 2.48 Didi_Gregorius_NYA SS 344
+104+ 3.11 Gary_Sanchez_NYA CR-DH 446
+099+ 3.17 Gio_Urshela_NYA 3B 476
+126+ 2.65 Brett_Gardner_NYA CF-LF 550
Total 29.28 TIER=4.00

HOU Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+023+ 6.17 George_Springer_HOU CF-RF-DH 556
+089+ 3.34 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B 548
+124+ 2.67 Michael_Brantley_HOU LF-DH 637
+011+ 7.22 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B-SS 690
+052+ 4.45 Yuli_Gurriel_HOU 1B-3B 612
+137+ 2.54 Carlos_Correa_HOU SS 321
+042+ 5.00 Yordan_Alvarez_HOU DH-LF 369
-133- -2.08 Martin_Maldonado_HOU CR 374
-137- -1.97 Josh_Reddick_HOU RF-LF 550
Total 27.34 TIER=4.00

That’s all for now.  Until then ….

ALCS Game 5

ALCS Game 5 tonight.  Starters for these two teams met in ALCS Game 2 which HOU won in 11 innings.

HOU NYA 10_18_7:08_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
HOU 52 0.592 0.557 94 4.00 4.00 3.28
NYA 44 0.426 0.443 104 4.00 0.87 3.18

Houston has a maxed out Tier 4.00 pitcher starting.  Lineup and Relief about even between each team.   Vegas has Houston favored more than TC Sim in this game.  Yankees on the ropes here so their desperation is high.  TC Sim currently does not incorporate home field advantage.  Not sure how much that pushes EV up for NYA but probably not enough to make this a betting opportunity.

Note: ELO has HOU favored by 51%.  Vegas started the day with Yankees favored at 56%.  At 8 AM the line was 57% Yankees and at 10 AM it swung to where it is above.  This could have been a data entry mistake by our Vegas data source.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Justin_Verlander_HOU 9.70 0.696 223.0 4.00
James_Paxton_NYA 2.42 0.572 150.7 0.87

These two met in Game 2.  Paxton got pulled in 3rd after giving up a run.  Verlander pitched almost 7 giving up 2 runs.  Both good playoff numbers.  Paxton doesn’t have a post season record yet.  Here is Verlander’s again.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
+033+ 2.50 189.0 3.00 29 4 Justin_Verlander_TOT PITCH  post season

Verlander very good, ranked #33 of all players in post season from 1903 to 2018.  Below are the maxed out Tier 4.00 lineups for both teams yesterday ( these should be similar to today’s lineups ).

HOU Lineup Yesterday

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+023+ 6.17 George_Springer_HOU CF-RF-DH 556
+089+ 3.34 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B 548
+124+ 2.67 Michael_Brantley_HOU LF-DH 637
+011+ 7.22 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B-SS 690
+052+ 4.45 Yuli_Gurriel_HOU 1B-3B 612
+042+ 5.00 Yordan_Alvarez_HOU DH-LF 369
+137+ 2.54 Carlos_Correa_HOU SS 321
XXXXX 1.09 Robinson_Chirinos_HOU CR 437
-137- -1.97 Josh_Reddick_HOU RF-LF 550
Total 30.51 TIER=4.00

Normally I hand color these in WordPress but there’s too much coloring bold blue in both these lineups.

NYA Lineup Yesterday

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+035+ 5.29 DJ_LeMahieu_NYA 2B-3B-1B 655
+172+ 2.14 Aaron_Judge_NYA RF-DH 447
XXXXX 1.51 Aaron_Hicks_NYA CF 255
+062+ 3.97 Gleyber_Torres_NYA SS-2B 604
+043+ 4.96 Edwin_Encarnacion_NYA 1B-DH 486
+126+ 2.65 Brett_Gardner_NYA CF-LF 550
+104+ 3.11 Gary_Sanchez_NYA CR-DH 446
+099+ 3.17 Gio_Urshela_NYA 3B 476
+142+ 2.48 Didi_Gregorius_NYA SS 344
Total 29.28 TIER=4.00

Both lineups almost identical in value at +30 and both in the top 15 strongest lineups in league championship series history since MLB started playing league championships in 1969.

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 ….

NLCS Game 4

NLCS Game 4 tonight.  Let’s look at Handicapping for this game.

SLN WAS 10_15_8:05_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
SLN 20 0.400 0.432 X 0.17 2.22 2.12
WAS 24 0.615 0.568 X 3.36 2.95 0.30

TC Sim has this game less favored for WAS than Vegas.  At 0-3 it’s pretty much over for the Cardinals.  Winning the next 4 games is around a 4% chance given they’re usually an underdog based on roster value and in Vegas.  The easiest path for a team in this situation is get it over with quickly and go home.  Situations like this are difficult if not impossible to model mathematically.  ELO has WAS at 63%.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Dakota_Hudson_SLN 4.70 0.621 174.7 2.22
Patrick_Corbin_WAS 5.96 0.633 202.0 2.95

These two starters are fairly equal in capability.

Update 10/16:  Since we’re from the future we know Patrick Corbin gives up 4 runs over 5 innings pitched in this game.  He gave up 6 runs in relief earlier which means the start of his post season career isn’t going well.  If Corbin is a dud in the playoff that will hurt Washington’s chances in World Series because they’ll need 4 starters.

Here are published lineups for tonight.

SLN Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 0.88 Tommy_Edman_SLN 3B-2B-RF 349
XXXXX -0.59 Jose_Martinez_SLN RF 373
+129+ 2.58 Paul_Goldschmidt_SLN 1B 682
+084+ 3.42 Marcell_Ozuna_SLN LF 549
XXXXX -1.07 Yadier_Molina_SLN CR 452
XXXXX 1.07 Paul_DeJong_SLN SS 664
XXXXX -0.82 Harrison_Bader_SLN CF 406
-174- -1.72 Kolten_Wong_SLN 2B 549
XXXXX 0.00 Dakota_Hudson_SLN none 0
Total 3.75 TIER=0.15

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
XXXXX 0.06 Ryan_Zimmerman_WAS 1B 190
XXXXX 0.02 Victor_Robles_WAS CF-RF 617
XXXXX -0.88 Yan_Gomes_WAS CR 358
XXXXX 0.00 Patrick_Corbin_WAS none 0
Total 18.37 TIER=2.74

This is a very good lineup but will be over 1 tier below either what Yankees or Astros can produce.

NLCS is over if WAS wins tonight.  Historical post season coming soon.  Until then ….