Category Archives: Team Status

White Sox Final Team Status for 2019

This model focuses upon Cubs throughout the year but scripts that make Cubs reports work for any team.  White Sox are supposed to be an up and coming team and have been sellers at trade deadline for many years to rebuild their farm system.  The year 2019 was not very kind to them again.  Let’s look at White Sox final team status for 2019.

2019 CHA MONTHLY

Tm WAA BAT PITCH UR
20190501 -2 3.2 -13.8 -1.7
20190601 -2 -22.3 -20.9 -2.1
20190701 -3 -52.3 -19.9 3.4
20190801 -14 -91.3 -28.2 -2.2
20190901 -16 -94.3 -35.9 -8.5
20190929 -17 -74.2 -46.4 -3.4

The above is a snapshot taken of records at the beginning of each month like what was done for the Cubs.  White Sox were 39-42 on July 1, 2019 which represents 3 months of play or 1/2 season.  Their BAT derived from runs scored was horrible and PITCH derived from runs scored against was bad.

PE estimate based upon run differential on 7/1 gave them a record of 33-48.  The second half of 2019 both BAT and PITCH tanked further as well as their real win loss record of 72-89 , WAA = -17 ( WAA is odd because CHA only played 161 games ).  Unlike the Cubs, the White Sox were 4th in top 5 MLB teams winning more games than their PE estimate.

Tm WAA PEWAA DIFF
MIL 16 0 16
SFN -8 -22 14
ATL 32 22 10
CHA -17 -26 9
TEX -6 -14 8

Why teams over or under perform PE estimate is a mystery and different for every team.  Winning only 72 games is terrible and PE suggests they win only 68.   Bottom line: Both real and estimate suggests the White Sox were a bad team and bad teams typically are not loaded with superstars.

Top White Sox 2019

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+044+ 4.91 Lucas_Giolito_CHA PITCH
+063+ 3.91 Aaron_Bummer_CHA PITCH
+086+ 3.40 Jose_Abreu_CHA 1B-DH
+131+ 2.56 Alex_Colome_CHA PITCH
+140+ 2.50 Evan_Marshall_CHA PITCH
+171+ 2.14 Yoan_Moncada_CHA 3B
+174+ 2.12 Eloy_Jimenez_CHA LF
XXXXX 1.55 Jimmy_Cordero_CHA PITCH
XXXXX 0.61 Tim_Anderson_CHA SS

Above are the top White Sox players for 2019 according to this data model.  7 players in top 200 which isn’t bad for a very sub average team based upon real wins and losses.  Three guys in  top 100.  Lucas Giolito had a rough and tumble year but still landed in the top #50 which is a good sign for him and may be a good sign for things to come with White Sox starting rotation.

Lucas_Giolito_CHA PITCH

DateID Rank WAA
20190501 XXXXX -0.21
20190601 +032+ 2.37
20190701 +009+ 4.66
20190801 +035+ 3.86
20190901 +029+ 5.12
2019 +044+ 4.91

He was ranked #9 on 7/1/2019, the halfway point of the season, and pitched around average for the second half.  Monthly team status shows White Sox tanked during second half of the season.

The 4 other pitchers above  are relievers who don’t get much credit with WAR and Draft Kings but do get credit with this data model.  In modern baseball relief pitches around 1/3 of each game.  A run given up in the 7th is exactly equivalent to a run given up in the 9th.  The guy pitching the 9th often gets a save which may help his Draft Kings team.  The guy pitching the 7th gets no accolades.  Middle relievers are typically overlooked — especially by WAR.

With the above relievers White Sox could put together a decent relief squad next season.

Although Tim Anderson won the batting title he’s unranked but above average in this data model.  White Sox ended the season with -74 runs below average with respect to runs scored which is one of the worst in MLB.  That Anderson is above water on this team is a testament to his hitting.  Most Sox hitters are under water.  They have to be.  Someone has to be responsible.

Could it be that with such a high batting average Tim Anderson was saddled with a bad team that couldn’t drive him in and didn’t give him RISP opportunities?  is it really his fault?   If you assume that Anderson got ripped off for being on a bad team then you must assume the burden for that poor team run production is on the rest of the team.  Who could that be?

Jose Abreu drove in 123 runs scoring 85 times.  Anderson drove in 56, less than half of Abreu’s haul and scoring around the same.   WAR ranks Abreu  #166 , Anderson  #66.  The potential runs Anderson should have gotten based on his league leading batting average is far greater than the actual runs Abreu scored helping White Sox win real games, according to WAR and stats like wRC+.

This data model calculates runs above average in RISP situations which can only be done once event data is release by retrosheet.org; which it has now.  Seasonal RISP is usually related to seasonal WAA.  Tim Anderson is very slightly below average in RISP situations compared to the rest of MLB which concurs with his slightly above average seasonal WAA.   A post showing top and bottom of RISP for the 2019 season coming shortly and it sometimes produces interesting results.

White Sox fielded a Tier 1.5 relief squad each day at the beginning of August  which tanked to 0 by the end of the season.  They made a lot of acquisitions this winter which we’ll get into more during Spring training.  Let’s look at the recent additions to their starting rotation.

Dallas_Keuchel

Year Rank WAA TeamID Pos
2012 -085- -2.39 HOU PITCH
2013 -020- -4.47 HOU PITCH
2014 +048+ 3.97 HOU PITCH
2015 +007+ 8.06 HOU PITCH
2016 -167- -1.72 HOU PITCH
2017 +032+ 4.87 HOU PITCH
2018 +181+ 1.87 HOU PITCH
2019 +187+ 1.93 ATL PITCH
Total 12.12 217

Player acquisition is gambling and there are very few pitchers who are consistently good year to year.  Both Keuchel and Gonzalez below had their bad years but also very good years.  If these two play like their good seasons and Giolito plays like last season and … White Sox might have a decent starting rotation next season to go along with what looks like a decent set of hitters too.

Gio_Gonzalez

Year Rank WAA TeamID Pos
2008 -083- -2.62 OAK PITCH
2009 -037- -3.32 OAK PITCH
2010 +057+ 4.14 OAK PITCH
2011 +060+ 3.93 OAK PITCH
2012 +027+ 4.93 WAS PITCH
2013 +122+ 2.44 WAS PITCH
2014 XXXXX 0.44 WAS PITCH
2015 XXXXX 0.82 WAS PITCH
2016 -162- -1.78 WAS PITCH
2017 +014+ 6.47 WAS PITCH
2018 XXXXX -1.41 WAS PITCH
2018 XXXXX 1.18 MIL PITCH
2019 +185+ 1.93 MIL PITCH
Total 17.15 417

We’ll cover minor leagues next for both Cubs and Sox.  In Spring training we’ll look at all the new guys on each team in more detail.  Until then ….

UPDATE:  The Cubs broke out in 2015 after a tremendous run of terrible teams.  There may be similarities between the 2014 Cubs team that preceded 2015 and the 2019 White Sox.

2014 CHN MONTHLY

Tm WAA BAT PITCH UR
20140501 -8 -17.0 8.0 1.0
20140601 -14 -25.3 11.0 -2.2
20140701 -10 -36.8 30.4 -2.9
20140801 -16 -25.6 -3.7 -8.9
20140901 -14 -30.3 -8.8 -9.9
2019 -16 -39.8 -34.4 -15.9

At the end of 2014  the Cubs had an almost identical final record to White Sox in 2019.  Unlike the 2019 White Sox, Cubs took a sudden trip to the cellar that year. Let’s look at top Cubs players that season to see how that compares with 2019 White Sox.

Top Cubs 2014

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+041+ 4.33 Jake_Arrieta_CHN PITCH
+050+ 3.93 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+131+ 2.33 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
+134+ 2.31 Neil_Ramirez_CHN PITCH
+054+ 2.21 Jeff_Samardzija_CHN PITCH
+147+ 2.14 Pedro_Strop_CHN PITCH
+162+ 1.91 Hector_Rondon_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.85 Jason_Hammel_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.11 Jorge_Soler_CHN RF

Players in bold break top 200 next season.  One of them wins a Cy Young award.  Cubs acquire Lester, bring up Bryant late April, Kyle Schwarber mid June and the rest of the team didn’t suck allowing Cubs to win NLDS.  The next season they played even better.

No one can predict the future however.

END OF UPDATE

Cubs Final Team Status for 2019

This will be the Cubs final team status for 2019.  Below shows a month by month breakdown of team status during the 6 month 2019 season.

2019 CHN MONTHLY

Date WAA BAT PITCH UR
20190501 4 19.7 21.2 -3.7
20190601 6 20.2 29.1 -3.1
20190701 5 26.7 26.1 -2.6
20190801 6 8.7 52.8 2.8
20190901 10 1.7 65.1 5.5
20190929 6 32.7 67.6 -2.4

These new team status records reduce W and L columns to a single real team WAA which is simply Wins – Losses.  This makes it easier to visualize a team’s trend throughout a season.  BAT, PITCH, and UR columns are the same as they always have been.  BAT is derived from runs scored, PITCH derived from runs scored against, and UR derived from unearned runs.  All three show runs above average.  A negative value would be runs below average.

The only stat that matters in baseball is real team WAA.  The Cubs went +4 in April which is very good.  If a team goes +4 every month for 6 months they would be at +24 WAA or a record of 93-69 at the end of a season.

The Cubs gain another +2 in May, then flat line until August where they have another +4 month.  In September they lose it all back to end the season at +6 (84-78), where they were at the end of May.  This is interesting since they gained +30 in September while going almost -8 in UR for the same month.  UR drop could have had a big impact in their late September collapse but not sure.  UR is still an open issue for integration into Tier Combo simulation which is fodder for simulation posts later this off season.

Pythagorean Expectation is a formula that estimates wins from run differential.  In 2019 the Cubs scored 814 runs giving up 717, almost a 100 run difference.  If we plug those numbers into the PE formula we get:

PE = (Rs)^2 / (Rs^2 + Ra^2) = (814)^2 / ( 814^2 + 717^2 ) = 0.563

PE returns a Win%.  Over 162 games PE estimates Cubs would win 91 games (91-71) which is a WAA = 20.   The MLB commish only cares about real team WAA when determining who goes to the playoffs.

If we run these numbers for all 30 MLB teams we’ll see the Cubs are #1 in under performing this estimate.  Below are the top 5 PE under performers for 2019.

Tm WAA PEWAA DIFF
CHN 6 20 -14
CIN -12 -2 -10
BAL -54 -46 -8
BOS 6 14 -8
KCA -44 -36 -8

If the Cubs hadn’t collapsed at the end of September they probably wouldn’t make this list.  But they did.  Under performing PE means a team won many blow out games and lost many very close games.  Why that happened is fodder for arguments at the pub.  It could be bad luck, bad managerial decisions, the reliever(s) you like to complain about,  players choking under pressure, etc.  Nobody can know for sure and the situation for each team will be different.  There is no way to model the why for this difference mathematically.

The sum of player WAA  calculated for their playing time on a team will add to that team’s total  PEWAA number above exactly.  Players who play for multiple teams will have separate WAAs for each team with their total being the sum of WAA for each team they play for.

This year Cubs, based upon all CHN WAAs,  were over valued compared to their real win/loss record.  The error in PE estimation is exactly the error in this data model’s valuation.  No estimation is without error which is why it’s called an estimation.  Note:  The linked post to our PE error estimation is from 2014.  This math may be reworked during off season.

So PE estimated the Cubs winning 91 games.  Let’s see how they would have fared with the rest of the league had they actually won that many.

MLB 2019

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
HOU 107 55 139.9 127.8 14.4
LAN 106 56 107.9 177.8 -12.6
NYA 103 59 157.9 31.8 11.4
MIN 101 61 156.9 45.8 -14.6
OAK 97 65 56.9 76.8 25.4
ATL 97 65 73.9 45.8 -8.6
TBA 96 66 -16.1 120.8 1.4
WAS 93 69 82.9 43.8 18.4
CLE 93 69 -15.6 116.9 3.4
SLN 91 71 -26.6 109.9 6.4

At 91 wins, Cubs would have still been bottom of the pack with the Cardinals.  Even had they not collapsed in September they probably wouldn’t have gotten far in the playoffs.  Washington won the World Series based upon the value of their current roster which was much higher than their seasonal real win loss record according to our Playoff Horse Race chart at the beginning of playoff season.

Teams can increase valuation over seasonal numbers through acquisitions and moving bad/negative valued  players off roster.   Now that we know Cubs’ players will be over valued compared to their real win/loss record, let’s look at the top Cubs for 2019.

Top Cubs 2019

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+053+ 4.35 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
+072+ 3.72 Javier_Baez_CHN SS
+092+ 3.30 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+109+ 2.96 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B-RF-LF
XXXXX 2.46 Nicholas_Castellanos_CHN RF-LF
+146+ 2.44 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF
+147+ 2.44 Brandon_Kintzler_CHN PITCH
+154+ 2.33 Steve_Cishek_CHN PITCH
+158+ 2.31 Cole_Hamels_CHN PITCH
+169+ 2.23 Yu_Darvish_CHN PITCH
+177+ 2.10 Willson_Contreras_CHN CR
XXXXX 1.72 Ian_Happ_CHN LF-2B-CF
XXXXX 1.62 Rowan_Wick_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.47 Alec_Mills_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.39 Kyle_Ryan_CHN PITCH

Hendricks tops the list once again.  Baez was #1 Cub last season.  No Cubs in the top 50 but lots ranked in the top 200.   An average team should field around 6 players ranked in the top 200 with 30 MLB franchises and around 3 in the top 100.  Cubs have 3 in top 100 and around 10 in top 100 which is above average.  Based on an 84-78 record the Cubs were slightly above average and based upon PEWAA from which player WAAs are derived, they are more above average.

The above shows a team with no real superstars but lots of above average players.  This is not the kind of team that gets far into playoff season and would be big underdogs to top teams like HOU, NYA, LAN, and even WAS, the 2019 World Series champion.

Castellanos put up +2.46 in 2 months just playing for the Cubs.  If he put up these numbers for 6 months he would have almost made top ten MLB players according to this data model.  This model does not give mulligans however.  He had very negative WAA at Detroit which dropped him out of ranking in top 200.  Detroit ended the season with a record of 47-114 which translates into a WAA of -67.  Players on DET  share this negative value because losing that many games is a team effort, which Castellanos was part of for the first 4 months of the 2019 season.

Castellanos put up good game stats like OBP and Slugging Pct but he hit very poorly in RISP situations for DET which cost him value with this data model and literally lost games for the Tigers.  It turned out to be a good acquisition for the Cubs in 2019 but can he put up those numbers for 6 months next season or the season after that?  That’s fodder for our three year free agent ranking discussion.

Wick, Mills, and Ryan are new guys who will show up in the minor league report coming soon.  There are many holes to fill next season and the Cubs are running out of money so they’ll need new guys from their minor league system to come up and perform like they did in 2015.  More on this later during minor league look see.  Until then ….

Cubs Status 9/20/2019

This will be the final Cubs Status for 2019 with only 10 days left in the regular season.   Let’s look at this Cubs team right now as it fights for a spot in the playoff season.

CHN Team Status

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
CHN 77 66 8.3 71.0 4.4 20190910
CHN 82 71 39.7 74.3 1.6 20190920

In the last 10 days Cubs went from +11 to +11 moving exactly sideways.  Sideways is fine for June and July but not in September for teams hoping to make the playoffs let alone go far in the playoffs.

Cubs run differential suggest a WAA of around +24 so they are way under that.  This means Cubs are piling on runs in winning situations and losing close games; like yesterday’s 5-4 loss to SLN.  Pythagorean Expectation is an estimate based on historical averages.  The Commissioner of MLB only cares about W-L, real team WAA.

CHN 5 years

Date WAA BAT PITCH UR
20150920 25 4.2 61.3 -9.5
20160920 41 66.4 156.3 6.0
20170920 17 54.4 46.2 -4.4
20180920 26 31.6 68.8 9.1
20190920 11 39.7 74.3 1.6

It looks like Cubs Team 2017 has surpassed Team 2019.  Team 2017 would be 1 game behind the Team 2019 Cardinals.  With only 9 games left in the season Team 2019 has no way of reaching +22 where Team 2017 finished making this season the worst showing for CHN in the last 5 years.  Taking in account the last 70 years however this is a top top tier season.

CHN Tiers

Type Name_TeamID Tier #
Lineups 1.57
SP Yu_Darvish_CHN 0.69
SP Cole_Hamels_CHN 0.64
SP Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 2.41
SP Jon_Lester_CHN -0.61
SP Jose_Quintana_CHN -0.26
RP 2.44

These are tier assignments for various categories.  Cubs fielded a very good lineup yesterday.

CHN Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+050+ 4.54 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 171.0
+180+ 1.93 Yu_Darvish_CHN 170.3
+183+ 1.87 Cole_Hamels_CHN 137.7
XXXXX 0.50 Jose_Quintana_CHN 162.7
XXXXX -0.02 Jon_Lester_CHN 165.7
Total 8.82 0.549

This is a decent starting rotation.  At rank #50 Kyle Hendricks is Cubs most valuable player this season.

CHN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+145+ 2.29 Kyle_Ryan_CHN 57.7
+158+ 2.14 Brandon_Kintzler_CHN 54.3
+166+ 2.08 Steve_Cishek_CHN 61.7
XXXXX 1.47 Rowan_Wick_CHN 32.0
XXXXX 1.30 Tyler_Chatwood_CHN 76.3
XXXXX 1.13 David_Phelps_CHN 30.7
XXXXX 0.67 Alec_Mills_CHN 26.3
XXXXX 0.32 Danny_Hultzen_CHN 3.0
XXXXX 0.21 Duane_Underwood_CHN 8.0
XXXXX 0 James_Norwood 0
XXXXX -0.44 Dillon_Maples_CHN 9.7
XXXXX -0.59 Pedro_Strop_CHN 38.3
XXXXX -0.63 Brad_Wieck_CHN 31.7
XXXXX -0.65 Craig_Kimbrel_CHN 19.7
-134- -2.04 Derek_Holland_CHN 81.3
Total 7.26 TIER=2.44

Kyle Ryan is now around tied with Cishek and Kintzler who all put up decent numbers in relief.  We covered Kyle Ryan in the AAA minor league report last season.  Chatwood also put up a decent season.  Maybe he can excel in long relief like Mike Montgomery.

CHN Hitters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+063+ 3.76 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+066+ 3.72 Javier_Baez_CHN SS
+098+ 3.13 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B-RF-LF
+121+ 2.73 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF
+141+ 2.35 Willson_Contreras_CHN CR
XXXXX 0.86 Nico_Hoerner_CHN SS
XXXXX 0.82 Nicholas_Castellanos_CHN RF-DH
XXXXX 0.48 Ian_Happ_CHN LF-2B-CF
XXXXX 0.27 David_Bote_CHN 3B-2B
XXXXX 0.02 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B-RF
XXXXX -0.15 Victor_Caratini_CHN CR-1B
XXXXX -0.25 Robel_Garcia_CHN 2B
XXXXX -0.29 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF-CF
XXXXX -1.07 Tony_Kemp_CHN 2B-LF-CF
XXXXX -1.11 Addison_Russell_CHN 2B-SS
XXXXX -1.34 Daniel_Descalso_CHN 2B
XXXXX -1.36 Jonathan_Lucroy_CHN CR
-199- -1.55 Albert_Almora_CHN CF
Total 11.02 0.532

The usual suspects top the list here.  Nobody in top 25 or top 10 however.  In the last 10 days Bryant went from unranked to blowing through ranks 100-200 ending just barely in top 100.  Not a bad year.

Castellanos at +0.82 started with the Cubs at -2.27 meaning he gained +3 in less than two months; a tremendous rate.  Unfortunately this model does not give out mulligans.   If you kill it on the back 9 you still have to count the front 9.   Without Castellanos Cubs would be at a real team WAA of +8 , 5 1/2 games behind SLN and 2 1/2 games behind MIL.

That is all for now.  This is playoff season for the Cubs from now until the end of regular season which is why Baez and Rizzo are back.  Horse race and handicapping for historical playoff seasons coming next.  Until then ….

Cubs Status 9/10/2019

We’re 1/3 through the last 1/6 of the 2019 season which means we’re 16/18 or 7/8 done.  Cubs still hanging on to the last Wild Card spot but are they done?  Let’s do another Cubs Status and see.

CHN Team Status

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
CHN 69 61 3.7 55.3 4.0 20190827
CHN 77 66 8.3 71.0 4.4 20190910

In the last two weeks they went from +8 to +11 gaining 3 games which is pretty good.  PITCH doing very well while BAT, based on seasonal runs scored, is hovering around league average.  Seasonal numbers are one set, who currently represents each team as of now is another set.  Let’s drill down into this current team.

CHN 5 Year Split

Date WAA BAT PITCH UR
20150910 22 -5.9 55.2 -4.3
20160910 39 60.1 152.6 5.7
20170910 11 37.3 37.9 -6.7
20180910 23 42.0 56.9 6.1
20190910 11 8.3 71.0 4.4

This table shows Cubs on this day this year and the last four.  Team 2019 still tied with Team 2017 as of 9/10.  Since we’re from the future we know that team 2017 ends the season +22 so they really pick up steam starting now.  That momentum helped that team beat the best team in MLB at the time according to this data model.

CHN Tiers

Type Name_TeamID Tier #
Lineup -0.57
SP Yu_Darvish_CHN 0.54
SP Cole_Hamels_CHN 0.71
SP Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 2.31
SP Jon_Lester_CHN -0.44
SP Jose_Quintana_CHN 0.83
Relief 2.16

This table shows tier numbers used in simulation for Lineup, Starter and Relief.  Lineup based on yesterday is under water even though they scored a lot of runs.

CHN Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+042+ 4.54 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 159.7
+175+ 1.97 Jose_Quintana_CHN 157.3
+190+ 1.81 Cole_Hamels_CHN 130.0
XXXXX 1.55 Yu_Darvish_CHN 157.3
XXXXX 0.13 Jon_Lester_CHN 155.7
Total 10.00 0.559

Hendricks putting up another solid year.  He should look good in the 2017, 2018, 2019 three year split we’ll do at the end of this season.  The rest of the rotation is OK.  Lester is usually gold in playoff season — if the Cubs can get there.  Not sure who Maddon pitches in the Wild Card game which most likely will be in Washington this year.

CHN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+113+ 2.58 Brandon_Kintzler_CHN 54.0
+155+ 2.08 Steve_Cishek_CHN 59.3
+176+ 1.95 Kyle_Ryan_CHN 54.0
XXXXX 1.07 Rowan_Wick_CHN 26.0
XXXXX 0.88 David_Phelps_CHN 28.0
XXXXX 0.84 Tyler_Chatwood_CHN 69.3
XXXXX 0.40 Duane_Underwood_CHN 5.7
XXXXX 0.38 Alec_Mills_CHN 21.3
XXXXX 0.10 Danny_Hultzen_CHN 1.0
XXXXX -0.69 Pedro_Strop_CHN 35.0
XXXXX -0.80 Adbert_Alzolay_CHN 12.3
XXXXX -1.01 Brad_Wieck_CHN 28.0
-120- -2.10 Derek_Holland_CHN 80.3
Total 5.68 Tier=2.16

Expanded rosters bring in a lot of relievers.  Tiering is done on top 8 but not sure if that’s accurate.  Tiering Relief in general is a work in progress and in particular expanded rosters pose issues.  More on this in off season simulation talk.

Cubs have 3 ranked relievers and mostly above average others.  Strop having an off year.  At Tier 2.16 they’re a little above one standard deviation above league average based on current rosters.

Sometimes anecdotal incidents like blown games which this squad had done frequently this season can distort ones’ view of the big picture.  Cubs had a lot of relievers on IL  this season.

CHN Hitters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+105+ 2.75 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+147+ 2.18 Willson_Contreras_CHN CR
+169+ 2.02 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF
XXXXX 1.68 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B-RF-LF
XXXXX NA Nico_Hoerner_CHN BAT
XXXXX 0.25 Ian_Happ_CHN LF-2B-CF
XXXXX 0.15 David_Bote_CHN 3B-2B
XXXXX -0.08 Nicholas_Castellanos_CHN RF-DH
XXXXX -0.17 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B-RF
XXXXX -0.21 Victor_Caratini_CHN CR-1B
XXXXX -0.21 Robel_Garcia_CHN 2B
XXXXX -1.28 Tony_Kemp_CHN 2B-LF-CF
XXXXX -1.34 Daniel_Descalso_CHN 2B
-187- -1.43 Jonathan_Lucroy_CHN CR
XXXXX -1.45 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF-CF
-166- -1.64 Albert_Almora_CHN CF
Total 1.72 0.506

Hitting has been average according to BAT in team status but teams usually need to win more than 90 games to make the playoffs.  Winning 90 games is a real team WAA of +18.   Playing average doesn’t cut it.

Baez is out for the season, Rizzo dropped out of top 100 which is low for him, and Bryant is now unranked, out of top 200 according to this data model.  Since we’re still on Nick Castellanos watch …

Nicholas Castellanos CHN RF-DH

Date Rank WAA
0805 -133- -2.27
0809 XXXXX -1.39
0813 XXXXX -1.53
0817 XXXXX -1.68
0821 XXXXX -1.55
0825 XXXXX -0.99
0829 XXXXX -1.18
0902 XXXXX -0.69
0906 XXXXX -0.40
0910 XXXXX -0.08

Castellanos gained around +2.2 since joining Cubs a little over a month ago.  This added  value has carried the negative value incurred by the rest of Cubs bats keeping  run production above water compare to the rest of the league.  Without Castellanos’ contribution, the Cubs would be around +9 instead of +11.  That’s how this model works.

NL 09-10-2019

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
LAN 93 52 99.3 149.0 -15.6
ATL 90 55 82.3 32.1 -12.6
SLN 81 62 -32.7 103.1 9.4
WAS 79 63 61.3 37.2 15.4
CHN 77 66 8.3 71.0 4.4
MIL 75 68 -16.7 -14.9 7.4
ARI 75 69 40.3 22.0 16.4
PHI 74 69 1.8 -14.8 5.4
NYN 73 70 -0.2 12.1 8.4

This is the NL Wild Card race right now.  If Team 2019 finishes like Team 2017 Cubs could even overtake SLN for NL Central.  If if and ands were pork and beans a lot more people would eat them.

That is all for now.  New playoff horse race in a couple of days as well as historical playoff handicapping.  Since we’re from the future we’ll know the results.  Until then ….

Cubs Status 8/17/2019

After several heart breaking losses it appears the Cubs are tanking.  Since we haven’t done this in 10 days let’s step back from the ledge and look at Cubs status moving forward because the past is water under the bridge.

CHN Team Status

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
CHN 61 52 11.8 55.8 3.4 20190807
CHN 64 58 8.8 52.9 2.5 20190817

Cubs went 3-6 losing 3 games in the last 10 days which is very bad for a team hoping to make the playoffs let alone one that wants to win it all.  Surprisingly both BAT and PITCH remained relatively stable.  Ian Happ’s funny error is probably the reason for the slight drop in UR which is still decent.  Could be worse.

NL Central 20190817

Tm W L BAT PITCH UR
SLN 64 56 -58.2 77.9 8.5
CHN 64 58 8.8 52.9 2.5
MIL 63 59 -13.2 -12.9 6.5
CIN 57 64 -40.7 44.8 16.5
PIT 51 70 -18.2 -49.0 -19.5

Cubs in second behind St. Louis who have very weak hitting based upon runs scored.  Their pitching is compensating however and the MLB Commish only cares about the W/L columns — not run differential.

CHN  5 year split

Date WAA BAT PITCH UR
20150817 18 -25.7 58.4 -0.3
20160817 33 63.8 128.6 10.0
20170817 6 18.8 39.3 -8.7
20180817 21 38.4 44.8 7.1
20190817 6 8.8 52.9 2.5

This table shows comparison of today’s status with that of the last 4 years.  Team 2019 is now tied with Team 2017 although the trends are reversed.  This means if you’re in “the trend is your friend don’t buck the trend” camp Team 2019 is in trouble.  Team 2017 was trending up right now.   If you’re in the Fangraphs favorite; “regress to the mean” camp then there is hope for Team 2019 and throw cold water on Team 2017.   Since we’re from the future Team 2017 follows trend is your friend through the end of that season.  CUbs fans are hoping for regress to the mean for the next 6 weeks.

CHN Tiers

Type Name_TeamID Tier #
Lineups 0.43
SP Yu_Darvish_CHN 0.21
SP Cole_Hamels_CHN 1.04
SP Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 2.23
SP Jon_Lester_CHN -0.34
SP Jose_Quintana_CHN 0.44
Relief 0.09

This table shows tier numbers for lineups, starters, and relief.  Hendricks and Hamels down from past reports, Quintana and Darvish up, even steven.  Lester pitches today so maybe he can start something.

Lineup is down from earlier in the year.  At 0.09 Relief is actually even steven but that’s because Cubs got Kintzler back and got rid of some negative value.  Ironically Team 2017 relief carried Cubs first half and tanked the second.  Team 2019 Cubs relief has been pretty mediocre all season.

CHN Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+048+ 3.78 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 136.3
+127+ 2.21 Cole_Hamels_CHN 109.7
XXXXX 1.41 Jose_Quintana_CHN 135.7
XXXXX 1.11 Yu_Darvish_CHN 139.0
XXXXX 0.38 Jon_Lester_CHN 128.0
Total 8.89 0.562

Hendricks has been a rock solid pitcher every year for the Cubs since 2016.  Lester has potential to finish strong like he did last season.

CHN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+124+ 2.23 Brandon_Kintzler_CHN 46.7
XXXXX 1.32 Kyle_Ryan_CHN 46.0
XXXXX 0.84 Tyler_Chatwood_CHN 57.3
XXXXX 0.71 Rowan_Wick_CHN 16.7
XXXXX 0.65 David_Phelps_CHN 22.3
XXXXX 0.15 Duane_Underwood_CHN 3.3
XXXXX -0.63 Pedro_Strop_CHN 29.7
-110- -2.04 Derek_Holland_CHN 75.7
Total 3.23 0.549

This is a completely mediocre relief staff — still — even after blowing several games in the 9th inning.

CHN Hitters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+042+ 3.93 Javier_Baez_CHN SS
+125+ 2.21 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+143+ 2.04 Kris_Bryant_CHN 3B-RF-LF
XXXXX 0.80 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF
XXXXX 0.80 Ian_Happ_CHN LF
XXXXX 0.08 David_Bote_CHN 3B-2B
XXXXX -0.27 Victor_Caratini_CHN CR
XXXXX -0.73 Tony_Kemp_CHN 2B-LF-CF
XXXXX -0.78 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF-CF
XXXXX -0.82 Addison_Russell_CHN 2B-SS
XXXXX -0.86 Jonathan_Lucroy_CHN CR
XXXXX -1.68 Nicholas_Castellanos_CHN RF-DH
Total 4.72 0.521

Baez having another stellar year but not as good as last season and not MVP worthy yet.  He’s almost exactly where Christian Yelich was on this day last season.

Christian_Yelich_MIL LF-RF-CF

YEAR Rank WAA
20181001 +005+ 8.40
20180927 +009+ 7.48
20180923 +012+ 6.59
20180919 +011+ 6.24
20180915 +013+ 5.86
20180911 +018+ 5.59
20180907 +016+ 5.69
20180903 +014+ 5.73
20180830 +016+ 5.12
20180826 +030+ 4.12
20180822 +030+ 3.97
20180818 +035+ 3.72

You have to read this from bottom up right now.  Ranks in this model are among both pitchers and batters so being Ranked #5 at the end of 2018 still made him the top ranked NL hitter.  The above shows it was quite a run Yelich had making it very possible for Baez.    Cubs need some players streaking like this now if they want any shot of contending in the playoffs.

Since Castellanos came to CHN with such negative value we’ll be on Castellanos watch for awhile to further demonstrate what these numbers mean and how this model works.  Negative value reflects the past and Castellanos put up negative value for DET and part of the reason why they have a real team WAA of -45.  Whether Castellanos was partly at fault for that or a mere victim of circumstance is unknown to all.  He had a good season last year, decent game stats this year, and is very young.

Player acquisition is a skill few people can do successfully which is why it’s so hard for some teams to break free from the cellar year after year (hello CHA!) even employing highly paid General Managers and staff.  I am not qualified to do that job.  This model merely shows an accurate representation of the past.  If a GM is evaluating an acquisition thinking a player’s past was good or great when that player actually ( Joe Maddon’s word ) sucked, then they are basing their decision on a shaky foundation.

WAA for players in this model can go up as fast as it can go down.  Here’s a progression of Castellanos since the Cubs acquired him.

Nicholas_Castellanos_CHN RF-DH

YEAR Rank WAA
0801 -068- -2.12
0805 -133- -2.27
0809 XXXXX -1.39
0813 XXXXX -1.53
0817 XXXXX -1.68

He gained let’s say 0.5 WAA in around 2 weeks which is very good.  If you extrapolate that over a 6 month season ( which you shouldn’t ) that’s 12 weeks time 0.5 equals +6 WAA for a season.  This would rank him in the top 25 MLB players by end of season — if he could play like this for 6 months straight — which only 25 out of >1000 MLB players can each season.

Baseball has ebbs and flows that affect players as well as entire teams.  The Catellanos gamble is paying dividends right now.

That is all.  Blast from the past playoff horse races coming next.  Until then.