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Cubs Dodgers Matchup 7/12/1984

Cubs start their first series post All Star break at home against the Dodgers. They just played LAN about two weeks ago in Los Angeles. Let’s look at this matchup.

Team Status

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR  
CHN 48 36 56.4 -12.7 2.2
LAN 45 43 -39.5 20.3 0.2

The above are beginning of day numbers.

Tier Combos

  WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
LAN 2 X 0.332 X -1.54 3.34 -0.21  
CHN 12 X 0.668 X 4.00 1.49 0.67  

WAA is simply team wins minus team losses.  At +2 LAN is way behind Padres’ +15 in the NL West.  Cubs in a virtual tie with the Mets at +12.  There are no wild cards this year.

Cubs fielding a maxed Tier 4.00 lineup but Dodgers almost cancel that out with a Tier 3.34 starter.  Cubs have above water Relief.  Tier Combo simulation gives the Cubs almost exactly 2-1 or 2/3 favorites today.  Let’s dig down into these teams.

Starters

Rank WAA IP Name TeamId Rest Tier
+017+ 3.55 127.3 Alejandro_Pena LAN 2 3.34
+100+ 1.64 95.0 Steve_Trout CHN 6 1.49

Trout is a halfway decent starter, Pena is top of MLB.  Starters face opposing team lineups.  Let’s see what happens.

Line Scores

TeamID Linescore R TB H E
LAN 0001010000 2 16 10 1
CHN 2000000001 3 12 8 0

Cubs top of MLB lineup only manages 2 runs against Pena in 8 innings and 1 against their reliever.  That run in the 10th was a Sandberg home runs. Here’s a Tribune headline the next day.

Actually this game was more a pitchers duel but walk off home runs are always exciting.

Let’s look at lineups.

LAN Lineup 198407120

Rank WAA Name Tm Pos PA
-111- -1.28 Steve_Sax LAN 2B 333
XXXXX -0.61 Bill_Russell LAN SS 186
XXXXX 0.9 Pedro_Guerrero LAN RF 362
+096+ 1.74 Mike_Marshall LAN LF 287
XXXXX 0.04 Candy_Maldonado LAN CF 162
XXXXX -0.13 Steve_Yeager LAN CR 146
XXXXX -0.34 Franklin_Stubbs LAN 1B 155
XXXXX -0.76 German_Rivera LAN 3B 57
XXXXX -0.63 Alejandro_Pena LAN PR 47
TOTAL -1.07

This is a below average lineup which concurs with their under water BAT in team status.

CHN Lineup 198407120

Rank WAA Name Tm Pos PA
XXXXX 0.92 Bob_Dernier CHN CF 334
+029+ 3.04 Ryne_Sandberg CHN 2B 384
+055+ 2.35 Gary_Matthews CHN LF 331
+007+ 3.95 Leon_Durham CHN 1B 274
XXXXX 0.36 Keith_Moreland CHN RF 237
+024+ 3.13 Jody_Davis CHN CR 315
+050+ 2.48 Ron_Cey CHN 3B 297
XXXXX -0.04 Dave_Owen CHN SS 53
XXXXX -0.36 Steve_Trout CHN PR 39
TOTAL 15.83

This is a maxed out, top of MLB, Tier 4 lineup.

LAN START Roster 19840712

Rank WAA Name Pos IP Rest
+017+ 3.55 Alejandro_Pena START 127.3 0
+076+ 1.99 Rick_Honeycutt START 118.7 1
+071+ 2.08 Fernando_Valenzuela START 142.3 3
XXXXX -0.27 Bob_Welch START 106.7 4
XXXXX 0.10 Orel_Hershiser START 71.3 5
TOTAL 7.45

Dodgers have three good starters who would take them far if they had a half way decent set of hitters in their lineup.

CHN START Roster 19840712

Rank WAA Name Pos IP Rest
+100+ 1.64 Steve_Trout START 95.0 0
-101- -1.36 Rick_Sutcliffe START 131.0 1
-018- -2.67 Rick_Reuschel START 75.3 2
-009- -3.12 Dennis_Eckersley START 119.7 3
+120+ 1.47 Scott_Sanderson START 58.3 4
TOTAL -4.04

Sutcliffe rising from negative value accrued first half of the season.

LAN RELIEF Roster 19840712

Rank WAA Name Pos IP Rest
+118+ 1.49 Tom_Niedenfuer RELIEF 40.3 0
XXXXX 0.10 Orel_Hershiser RELIEF 71.3 1
XXXXX -0.38 Ken_Howell RELIEF 13.0 1
XXXXX -0.25 Pat_Zachry RELIEF 47.0 1
XXXXX -0.94 Burt_Hooton RELIEF 56.3 6
XXXXX 0.08 Larry_White RELIEF 1.0 6
TOTAL 0.10

Niedenfuer, Dodgers top reliever, gave up the walk off HR to Sandberg in the 10th.  This is Orel Hershiser’s rookie year when they had him pitching relief and starts.  He has a tremendous second half finishing 1984 ranked #25 in MLB.  His career then takes off finishing #3 in 1985 and on and on.

CHN RELIEF Roster 19840712

Rank WAA Name Pos IP Rest
+098+ 1.66 Tim_Stoddard RELIEF 53.3 0
XXXXX -0.23 Lee_Smith RELIEF 53.3 1
XXXXX 0.04 Warren_Brusstar RELIEF 37.7 2
XXXXX -0.86 Chuck_Rainey RELIEF 88.3 2
XXXXX 1.05 Rich_Bordi RELIEF 53.7 4
TOTAL 1.66

Tim Stoddard is riding high now but will sink to even steven by season end. 

That’s all for the wrap up on this 4 game weekend series.  Day off Monday then Padres come into town on 7/16.  Until then ….

Harold Baines

This was printed in the Chicago Tribune sports section on July 9, 1984 , one day before the All Star game on July 10.

The lede asks did Joe Altobelli, AL manager, make a mistake by not choosing future HOFer Harold Baines for the All Star team after having a great game on the last day before All Star break, 7/8/1984. Since this article was written day of the All Star game the author, Bob Logan, did not know the AL loses.

As a team the White Sox are right now in first place in AL West with a +3 WAA at the beginning of 7/8.  Talks of a subway series are once again in vogue.  Their lineups however are almost exactly league average and all  CHA starters are under water except for Richard Dotson.  By the end of 1984 White Sox end up -14 WAA, second to last place in AL West.

Here’s Baines’ box score entry on 7/8/1984.

Rank WAA Name PA R RBI TB H W Pos
XXXXX 1.05 Harold_Baines 5 1 4 9 4 0 RF

At the start of this game Harold Baines is unranked and not even in the top ten right fielders according to Part 2 of our All Star picks series.   We have shown over the years that there are many highly qualified candidates in each position but only so many slots on an All Star roster.  Who gets chosen by fans or managers can be very arbitrary which is why listing the number of All Star appearances on a player’s career resume can obfuscate.  Some players will have better second halves, some will have worse.  Some are merely chosen due to their popularity with fans and/or in markets with a lot of voters. 

End of year stats are all that should matter in evaluating a career.  Here’s Harold Baines’ trajectory through 1984.  Highlighted is the snapshot date taken for our outfield All Star picks.

Harold_Baines RF

DateID Rank WAA
19840426 XXXXX -0.42
19840510 XXXXX -0.63
19840524 XXXXX -0.48
19840607 XXXXX 0.19
19840621 XXXXX 0.44
19840705 XXXXX 0.97
19840722 +139+ 1.34
19840805 +144+ 1.47
19840819 +070+ 2.71
19840902 +100+ 2.33
19840916 +135+ 1.85
19840930 +081+ 3.04

By the end of 1984 Baines’ ranked almost #80 which is rank #100 in 30 team leagues.  There were many much better AL right fielders than Baines when the 1984 All Star team was chosen as well as at the end of the season.

End of 1984 Right Fielders

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos  
+002+ 7.83 Dave_Winfield_NYA RF-CF  
+004+ 7.08 Dwight_Evans_BOS RF  
+016+ 5.77 Kirk_Gibson_DET RF  
+043+ 4.16 Darryl_Strawberry_NYN RF-CF  
+050+ 3.72 George_Bell_TOR RF-LF  
+059+ 3.49 Fred_Lynn_ANA RF-CF  
+077+ 3.17 Andre_Dawson_WAS RF  
+081+ 3.11 Harold_Baines_CHA RF  
+085+ 2.92 Larry_Parrish_TEX RF-DH-3B  
+092+ 2.73 Dave_Parker_CIN RF  

Neither Krik Gibson or Dwight Evans made the All Star cut in 1984 either and both were far more deserving than Baines. 

Season starts up again tomorrow with the Cubs facing Dodgers at Wrigley Field.  Until then ….

1984 All Star Picks Part 3

Pitchers are picked by managers although they could have been voted on in 1984. Below are sorts of top starters and relievers as of July 6 according to  this data model. Color coded red are All Star picks for AL, blue for NL.

Starters

Rank WAA Name TeamID Pos
+001+ 6.13 Phil_Niekro NYA SP
+004+ 4.28 Dave_Stieb TOR SP
+013+ 3.59 Richard_Dotson CHA SP
+014+ 3.44 Nolan_Ryan HOU SP
+018+ 3.36 Geoff_Zahn ANA SP
+020+ 3.28 Bruce_Hurst BOS SP
+023+ 3.21 Storm_Davis BAL SP
+022+ 3.21 Joaquin_Andujar SLN SP
+025+ 3.15 Ricky_Mahler ATL SP
+033+ 3.02 Joe_Niekro HOU SP
+035+ 2.96 Charlie_Lea WAS SP
+034+ 2.96 Ricky_Horton SLN SP
+036+ 2.94 Ray_Burris OAK SP
+039+ 2.81 Alejandro_Pena LAN SP
+042+ 2.77 Mike_Boddicker BAL SP
+043+ 2.75 Dwight_Gooden NYN SP

Dave Stieb gets picked to start for AL ( highlighted in red ) and Charlie_Lea for NL  Not much difference in WAA value between Nolan Ryan who didn’t get chosen as primary starter and Charlie Lea.  Nolan Ryan and Gooden get picked as reserve.  Houston Astros (HOU) is a National League team.

Who is Charlie Lea?

Charlie_Lea

Year Rank WAA TeamID Pos
1980 XXXXX 0.29 WAS PITCH
1981 -083- -1.62 WAS PITCH
1982 +103+ 2.54 WAS PITCH
1983 +056+ 3.63 WAS PITCH
1984 +023+ 5.08 WAS PITCH
1987 XXXXX -0.73 WAS PITCH
1988 -022- -3.23 MIN PITCH
TOTAL X 5.96   PITCH

1984 will be Lea’s best year of his career.  Arm and shoulder injuries keep  him from pitching the next two years and after that — not so well.   In 1984 WAS was the Montreal Expos.

Phil Niekro had a tremendous start to this season yet finishes 1984 ranked #61 losing almost 3 WAA in value from today.  Ironically his fortunes will be opposite of his team (NYA) who go from -9 WAA as of today to +12 WAA by season end making Yankees best team in MLB if the commissioner allowed for first half mulligans.  

The baseball-handbook.com site will allow simple drill down into this Yankee roster and see player seasonal and team WAA trend lines as well as other oddities that may arise from these reports.

Relievers

Rank WAA Name TeamID Pos
+005+ 4.09 Doug_Sisk NYN RP
+028+ 3.09 Dan_Quisenberry KCA RP
+032+ 3.02 Bruce_Sutter SLN RP
+046+ 2.58 Willie_Hernandez DET RP
+051+ 2.48 Craig_Lefferts SDN RP
+056+ 2.37 Dave_Righetti NYA RP
+060+ 2.23 Luis_Sanchez ANA RP
+064+ 2.14 Jesse_Orosco NYN RP
+070+ 1.97 Ernie_Camacho CLE RP
+076+ 1.93 Tom_Tellmann MIL RP
+075+ 1.93 Tom_Niedenfuer LAN RP
+083+ 1.85 Bill_Dawley HOU RP
+082+ 1.85 Bill_Caudill OAK RP
+092+ 1.78 Jeff_Reardon WAS RP
+095+ 1.68 Mike_Jeffcoat CLE RP

Orosco and Sutter get picked for NL,   Quisenberry, Harnandez, and Claudill for AL.  Doug Sisk had a very good first half season.  His second half doesn’t go so well as he drops from being ranked #5 to #72 by season end.

Sutter pitches even better second half making him the first and only reliever ( probably forever and ever ) to be the top ranked pitcher by end of year according to this data model.  1984 will be the best year of his career — and he played for the Cardinals!

Since there were 24 teams of 25 players in 1984, top 80 ranks would be comparable to top 100 in a 30 team league of 25 players.  The cutoff for rank eligibility is 160 in 1984.

There are 11 relievers above ranked in the top 80 which holds steady all season.  By the end of 2019 this model ranked 11 relievers in the top 100 so very similar.  In 2019 only one reliever cracked the WAR top 100, Liam Hendricks of Oakland with a WAR=3.5 ranked #95.

Cubs wrap up their west coast trip tomorrow by taking 3 out of 4 from the hapless Giants and then it’s All Star vacation until July 12 when the west coast teams come to Wrigley Field starting with the Dodgers.  Until then ….

Cubs Giants Matchup 7/5/1984

Cubs start a 3 game series with the Giants today.  Let’s see what these two teams have been up to.

Team Status

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
CHN 45 35 54.0 -16.7 3.2
SFN 32 47 2.0 -33.7 -14.8

Giants have the second worst record in NL right now mostly due to pitching and unearned runs given up by fielding.

Tier Combos

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
CHN 10 X 0.641 X 3.85 1.26 0.23
SFN -15 X 0.359 X -0.47 1.13 -0.49

Tier Combo simulation gives Cubs a 64% advantage today.  Their lineup is once again close to maxed out Tier 4.  Starters for both teams around equal.  Cubs relief (R column) is above water today close to almost completely average.  WAA column is simply team wins minus team losses.

Starters

Rank WAA IP Name TeamId Rest Tier
+122+ 1.36 53.0 Scott_Sanderson CHN 37 1.26
XXXXX 1.22 110.3 Bill_Laskey SFN 5 1.13

Sanderson starts today and he’s ranked with 37 days rest which means he was on DL for awhile.  His return will help Cubs pitching a lot.  Laskey is about equal with Sanderson in value but falls just below the 1.25 WAA cutoff for rank eligibility.  Let’s see what happens.

Line Scores

TeamID Linescore R TB H E
CHN 002205000 9 23 11 0
SFN 000002010 3 13 9 1

Cubs tag Laskey with 4 earned runs in 5 innings pitched and that’s all that was needed for the win today.  Sanderson let’s up 2 in 5 1/3 innings before relief takes over to finish off the Giants.

The baseball-handbook.com web site when it becomes active will allow for a simple click through to this complete box score.

CHN Lineup 198407050

Rank WAA Name TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 1.09 Bob_Dernier CHN CF 314
+020+ 3.21 Ryne_Sandberg CHN 2B 365
+053+ 2.39 Gary_Matthews CHN LF 312
XXXXX 0.5 Keith_Moreland CHN RF 218
+024+ 3.04 Jody_Davis CHN CR 297
XXXXX -0.1 Thad_Bosley CHN RF 9
+063+ 2.06 Ron_Cey CHN 3B 280
XXXXX -0.23 Dave_Owen CHN 3B 43
XXXXX -0.13 Scott_Sanderson CHN PR 20
TOTAL 11.83

Leon Durham still missing yet the Cubs have an almost maxed out Tier 4 lineup today without him.  When Durham returns they’ll be even better.  Sandberg and Davis floating in the top 25 right now.

SFN Lineup 198407050

Rank WAA Name TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 0.97 Dan_Gladden SFN CF 41
XXXXX -0.73 Johnnie_LeMaster SFN SS 294
XXXXX -0.71 Al_Oliver SFN 1B 293
+081+ 1.81 Jeff_Leonard SFN LF 302
XXXXX 0.13 Dusty_Baker SFN RF 111
XXXXX -0.08 Joel_Youngblood SFN RF 321
+135+ 1.26 Bob_Brenly SFN CR 252
XXXXX -0.55 Brad_Wellman SFN 2B 113
XXXXX -0.69 Bill_Laskey SFN PR 40
TOTAL 1.41

Hello future Cubs manager Dusty Baker and future Cubs announcer Bob Brenly.

This is a -0.47 Tier lineup even though it has positive total WAA.  As a season progresses league average lineups increase as teams retain their good players and replace their negative value players.

CHN START Roster 19840705

Rank WAA Name TeamID IP Rest
+122+ 1.36 Scott_Sanderson START 53.0 0
-070- -1.75 Rick_Sutcliffe START 123.0 1
+104+ 1.55 Steve_Trout START 95.0 2
-008- -2.83 Rick_Reuschel START 71.0 3
-006- -3.07 Dennis_Eckersley START 113.0 4
TOTAL -4.74

Cubs starting rotation just got a lot better with the return of Sanderson and since we’re from the future we know Sutcliffe and Eckersley are much better than their current stats show.   Reuschel will hover around average for the rest of this season finishing ranked #55 in the bottom 100.

Those not from the future wouldn’t know this.

SFN START Roster 19840705

Rank WAA Name TeamID IP Rest
XXXXX 1.22 Bill_Laskey START 110.0 0
-071- -1.74 Mark_Davis START 96.0 1
XXXXX -0.67 Jeff_Robinson START 96.0 1
-004- -3.49 Mike_Krukow START 86.0 2
XXXXX 0.78 Atlee_Hammaker START 11.0 4
TOTAL -3.90

This rotation concurs with their poor PITCH in team status.

Now for the first time this season we’ll cover relief as I finally got that code working.

CHN RELIEF Roster 19840705

Rank WAA Name TeamID Pos Rest
XXXXX 0.90 Rich_Bordi RELIEF 50.0 0
XXXXX -0.61 Lee_Smith RELIEF 49.0 1
+095+ 1.68 Tim_Stoddard RELIEF 51.0 2
XXXXX -0.38 George_Frazier RELIEF 62.0 3
XXXXX 0.55 Warren_Brusstar RELIEF 36.0 4
-092- -1.38 Dickie_Noles RELIEF 54.0 6
TOTAL 0.76

The Rest column shows how many days off each pitcher had which is also shown for starters.  There is an algorithm that estimates relief rosters and right now Cubs seem to be carrying only 6 relievers.

Current average relief staff is at +0.38 WAA so the Cubs are slightly above that.  In the next 35 years relief squad value will increase and most teams will carry 8 relievers who all work every other day.  More on this later.

SFN RELIEF Roster 19840705

Rank WAA Name TeamID IP Rest
XXXXX 0.69 Gary_Lavelle RELIEF 52.0 0
XXXXX 0.06 Frank_Williams RELIEF 57.0 0
XXXXX -0.19 Randy_Lerch RELIEF 45.0 0
XXXXX -0.13 Greg_Minton RELIEF 62.0 1
XXXXX -0.80 Jeff_Cornell RELIEF 24.0 1
TOTAL -0.37

And the Giants have a slightly below average relief squad, all 5 of whom have been busy the last two days.  The above looks abnormal so will  double check this for bugs and update if necessary.

That’s all for now.  All Star game approaching on July 10th and the final part of our 1984 All Star picks covering starters and relievers coming next.  Until then ….

July 4, 1984

Today is Happy July 4, 1984 and since there are no baseball games on the radio I thought it would be interesting to handicap the final game of a 3 game series against San Diego. Rick Sutcliffe is on the mound for the Cubs.

Tier Combos

  WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
CHN 9 X 0.428 X 2.10 -2.46 -0.56  
SDN 14 X 0.572 X 0.18 0.11 -0.37  

Cubs fielding a Tier 2.1 lineup which is around half their usual value.  Cubs starter value is over one standard deviation below league average.

Tier Combo simulation gives Padres a 57% advantage in this game.  We don’t have Vegas lines to calculate Expected Value (EV) of a 100 unit bet.

Starters

Rank WAA IP Name TeamId Rest Tier
-019- -2.50 115.3 Rick_Sutcliffe CHN 5 -2.46
XXXXX 0.13 109.0 Eric_Show SDN 5 0.11

And Cubs under water starter is Rick Sutcliffe.  Since we’re from the future we know right now Sutcliffe is the best pitcher in baseball.  On July 4, 1984, the above is all anyone knows about these two starters.  

By the end of 1984 Eric Show finishes ranked at #158.  Next year (1985) he pitches even better for the Padres ranked #45 of all players in MLB.

Let’s see what happens.

Line Scores

TeamID Linescore R TB H E
CHN 010010000 2 12 9 2
SDN 000010000 1 10 7 1

Sutcliffe pitches 8 1/3 letting up no earned runs.  Cubs 2 errors led to a run which will hurt their UR in team status tomorrow.  This is a Clayton Kershaw like pitching performance even though he won’t be born for several years.

Cubs take 2 of 3 from Padres and it’s off to San Francisco tomorrow which we’ll cover with a matchup analysis.  Until then ….