Cubs Rockies Matchup

Cubs start a series with the Rockies tonight and it’s raining right now.  Let’s look at this Rockies team.

COL Team Status

COL 16 19 6.3 -20.8 6.9 20190507
COL 31 27 40.0 -35.0 9.2 20190604

Coloroado went 15-8 these last four weeks gaining 7 games so they’re playing well right now.   Their PITCH tanked but BAT soared.  UR also improved and is one of the best in MLB right now.

COL CHN 06_04_8:05_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
COL 4 0.345 0.441 X 0.96 -1.68 0.11
CHN 6 0.677 0.559 X 1.24 2.27 0.36

Vegas has the Cubs heavily favored tonight.  TC Sim has the Cubs favored but not as much.  The simulations are up for an iteration so no recommendation can be made and EV is blanked.  Lineups are from each team’s last game played and according to L, S, and R the Cubs are ahead in each category.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Jeff_Hoffman_COL -0.99 0.204 15.0 -1.68
Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 2.25 0.644 70.0 2.27

Hendricks has been climbing in the ranks and now has a >2 tier number which means he’s more than one standard deviation above his peers currently on a roster.  Hoffman is on the other side of the bell curve with a tier number -1.69.

COL Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+077+ 1.76 German_Marquez_COL 85.3
XXXXX 0.44 Jon_Gray_COL 72.3
XXXXX -0.99 Jeff_Hoffman_COL 15.0
XXXXX -1.22 Antonio_Senzatela_COL 54.0
Total -0.01 0.500

These are the starters listed on their roster.  Looking at IP which represents time played it appears there is churn in Colorado’s starting rotation.  Hoffman who pitches tonight has only seen 15 innings.

COL Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+089+ 1.64 Scott_Oberg_COL 26.3
XXXXX 0.63 Bryan_Shaw_COL 35.0
XXXXX 0.59 Jake_McGee_COL 5.7
XXXXX 0.32 Jairo_Diaz_COL 7.3
XXXXX 0.06 Carlos_Estevez_COL 27.3
XXXXX -0.04 Chad_Bettis_COL 34.7
XXXXX -0.34 Mike_Dunn_COL 17.3
XXXXX -0.82 Chris_Rusin_COL 0.3
-030- -2.12 Seung-hwan_Oh_COL 18.3
Total -0.08 0.498

Lots of relievers all adding to a cumulative WAA= ~0 which is completely average.  The average MLB relief staff according to current rosters is WAA=1.87.  COL is listed in the R column of their game record above with a tier number of 0.11 which is slightly above current league average.

Right now computing tiers for relief cuts off at 8 relievers max.  Since COL have 9 listed on their roster Seung-hwan Oh didn’t count which raises their relief cumulative by his negative value of -2.12.   Relief valuation is an issue that will be explored in the next iteration.   The cut off for relief will be raised to either 5 or 6 because sometimes high negative pitchers get thrown into relief even though they’ll be used as mop up and not critical game situations.

As we saw recently with SLN, high negative value pitchers can drag down a very good relief staff into mediocre territory which is an incorrect valuation.  This will be explained more at the release of the next simulation update.

It should be noted that with a relief and set of starters almost completely average differs from what one would expect from PITCH in their team status derived form runs scored against.  This is to be expected — especially for playoff caliber teams like COL because they will make changes to stay competitive. A pitching staff like this probably won’t get COL far into the playoffs so if they’re buying at the trade deadline expect them to pick up pitchers of either type because they need both.

COL Lineup 06022019

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 0.32 Raimel_Tapia_COL LF 180
XXXXX 0.19 David_Dahl_COL LF-CF-RF 193
+005+ 3.80 Nolan_Arenado_COL 3B 252
XXXXX 0.92 Daniel_Murphy_COL 1B 125
XXXXX 0.92 Ryan_McMahon_COL 2B-1B 151
XXXXX 0.17 Brendan_Rodgers_COL BAT 40
XXXXX -0.13 Chris_Iannetta_COL CR 74
XXXXX -0.76 Garrett_Hampson_COL 2B 99
XXXXX -0.44 Antonio_Senzatela_COL BAT 18
Total 4.99 0.585

COL Lineups range from +9 to +5 so the above is one of their weakest.   Nolan Arenado having yet another stellar year at the plate.  This model has him ranked #5 and WAR has him at #8 so both systems in agreement.

That’s all for now.  Until then ….

Cubs Angels Matchup

It’s another work day for Cubs players and today they start a series against the Anaheim Angels and Mike Trout. Let’s look at this Angels team.

Edit: Looks like this is a one game make up game and not a three game series.

ANA Team Status

ANA 13 17 6.0 -15.0 4.9 20190501
ANA 29 30 21.4 -28.7 11.9 20190603

ANA went 16 – 13 since May 1 gaining 3 games and they’re now almost even steven for the year.  BAT and Unearned Runs above average (UR)  improved while PITCH tanked.  Having guys like Mike Trout on your team can improve defense fundamentals for every fielder and the above UR is second in MLB behind CIN right now.

Unfortunately for ANA, HOU is running away with the AL West so they’ll be stuck once again fighting it out for a Wild Card spot.  Even steven for the year means they’re in that race.

ANA CHN 06_03_4:05_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
ANA -1 0.388 0.459 X 1.94 0.53 0.52
CHN 5 0.627 0.541 X 1.52 0.84 0.42

Lineup (L) is based on each team’s last lineup since current ones aren’t published yet.  Lineups are from today.

Expected Values are not provided as another iteration of the simulations is forthcoming.  The Lineup (L) , Starter (S) , and Relief (R) columns show how much above or below  league averages each team is based on current roster value.  Both teams are above average in each category today.  The deltaWAA between these two teams is 5 – (-1)  = 6.  Vegas has the Cubs heavily favored today…

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Cam_Bedrosian_ANA 0.82 0.640 26.3 0.53
Jon_Lester_CHN 1.07 0.591 52.7 0.84

…possibly because Jon Lester is pitching.  Cam Bedrosian has a fairly high WinPct but has only pitched half the innings as Jon Lester.  Tiering is done on raw WAA.  Rates like WinPct are provided to show context.

Edit 6/4/2019: Apparently the Angels employed a trick TBA started last season by using a reliever to pitch the first inning.  Trevor Cahill, former Cub, listed below as the 11th worst player in MLB this season so far, was the actual starter and the Cubs clobbered him.

Vegas lists starters for games which bettors use to make a determination.  If a starter is a reliever this screws up the entire process.  Having Cahill start moves the needle way into Cubs favor.  This data model does not have the logic to predict that because most times  players listed as relief pitch a normal start.  End of Edit

ANA Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
XXXXX 1.16 Felix_Pena_ANA 50.0
XXXXX 1.01 Griffin_Canning_ANA 32.3
XXXXX 0.08 Andrew_Heaney_ANA 11.0
XXXXX -0.13 Tyler_Skaggs_ANA 54.0
-011- -3.13 Trevor_Cahill_ANA 53.3
Total -1.01 0.477

Hello Trevor Cahill and Felix Pena!  Cahill not having a good year so far as a starter.  Bedrosian is listed as a reliever on their roster.

ANA Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+042+ 2.16 Ty_Buttrey_ANA 29.3
XXXXX 0.82 Cam_Bedrosian_ANA 26.3
XXXXX 0.59 Luis_Garcia_ANA 20.0
XXXXX 0.19 Hansel_Robles_ANA 26.3
XXXXX 0.02 Noe_Ramirez_ANA 26.7
XXXXX -0.15 Cody_Allen_ANA 19.0
XXXXX -0.29 Justin_Anderson_ANA 19.7
XXXXX -0.71 Jake_Jewell_ANA 7.3
Total 2.63 0.568

Eight relievers and Bedrosian can’t come in to relieve because he’s starting.  Still, this relief staff is much better than their PITCH number in team status based off of seasonal run scored against would suggest.

ANA Lineup 06-03-2019

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 0.23 David_Fletcher_ANA 3B-2B-LF-SS 219
+038+ 2.18 Mike_Trout_ANA CF 246
XXXXX 0.82 Albert_Pujols_ANA 1B-DH 204
+073+ 1.81 Tommy_La_Stella_ANA 2B-3B 206
XXXXX 0.61 Cesar_Puello_ANA BAT 22
XXXXX 0.42 Jonathan_Lucroy_ANA CR 182
+104+ 1.51 Kole_Calhoun_ANA RF 231
XXXXX -0.17 Taylor_Ward_ANA BAT 7
XXXXX 0.00 Cam_Bedrosian_ANA none 0
Total 7.41 0.608

This is an above average lineup according to league averages based upon roster value.  Tommy La_Stella having a career season so far and Mike Trout chugging to the top of the league once again.  Let’s look at May trajectories of these two players according to this data model.

Tommy_La_Stella_ANA 2B

2019 Rank WAA
0501 +051+ 1.26
0505 XXXXX 1.24
0509 XXXXX 1.20
0513 +053+ 1.60
0517 +040+ 1.85
0521 +059+ 1.68
0525 +050+ 1.89
0529 +061+ 1.85
0603 +073+ 1.81

La_Stella started the month WAA = +1.26 and ended it at +1.81 gaining around 0.55 which is a pretty good rate for a six month season.  In April he gained +1.26 however.  There still is four months left to this season.   Players must keep up with other players or lose rank.

Mike_Trout_ANA CF

2019 Rank WAA
0501 XXXXX 0.76
0505 XXXXX 0.99
0509 XXXXX 0.71
0513 +075+ 1.39
0517 +101+ 1.26
0521 +093+ 1.39
0525 +114+ 1.36
0529 +111+ 1.39
0603 +038+ 2.18

The above shows Mike Trout being the cream rising to the top.  WAR had Mike Trout in their top 5 from the beginning of April. Trout  had a significant increase during the month of May.

This model does not give favorites bonus points for being who they are.   Team status above shows a significant increase in BAT which is based upon runs scored.  The above table shows Mike Trout was a big contributor to that increase.   He certainly can rise to the very  top of this model as he has done in past years.  Ranked #38 is very very good.  If he rises to #2 in this model like he has been with WAR all season the Angels as a team will rise as well.  In order for a player to be awarded wins/WAA their team has to win.  We’ll see.

That is all for now.  Playoff horse race next and a simulation reboot to improve the quality of  tier distributions used in simulation.  Until then ….

Cubs Cardinals Matchup

Cubs start a weekend series with the Cardinals tonight.  Let’s take a look how the Cardinals have been playing these last two months.

SLN Team Status

SLN 23 21 19.8 -4.5 -0.1 20190517
SLN 27 28 7.0 2.8 1.6 20190531

Over the last two weeks the Cardinals went 4-7 losing 3 games making them almost even steven in the win/loss column.   Their PITCH improved while their BAT tanked causing the -3 team WAA during this period.  Let’s look at today’s game records.

CHN SLN 05_31_8:15_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
CHN 8 0.467 0.542 116 2.63 -2.11 0.77
SLN -1 0.554 0.458 82 0.72 -0.90 0.47

The game starts tonight at 7:15pm CST so  lineups are from the last game they played.  Cubs fielded one of their best lineups against HOU two days ago so CHN lineup will probably be less tonight .  TC Sim requires another iteration so no recommends can be made on close calls like this.  The Cubs look undervalued according to Vegas.   Lines tend to shift towards the home team and the Cardinals have a loyal fan base so there could be some irrational exuberance in the betting market for this game.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Yu_Darvish_CHN -1.28 0.395 55.0 -2.11
Miles_Mikolas_SLN -0.34 0.476 62.3 -0.90

Darvish having another bad year and Mikolas not putting up the numbers he did last season.  Cardinals have a Starter advantage.  Starters are compared to lineups however, not other starters.

SLN Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
XXXXX 1.03 Jack_Flaherty_SLN 59.7
XXXXX 0.78 Dakota_Hudson_SLN 59.3
XXXXX -0.23 Genesis_Cabrera_SLN 3.7
XXXXX -0.38 Miles_Mikolas_SLN 62.3
XXXXX -0.59 Adam_Wainwright_SLN 58.3
Total 0.61 0.511

Pretty mediocre starting rotation so far which you would expect from their average PITCH number in team status above.

SLN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+036+ 2.29 John_Gant_SLN 29.7
+048+ 2.04 John_Brebbia_SLN 29.3
XXXXX 0.32 Giovanny_Gallegos_SLN 23.0
XXXXX 0.21 Jordan_Hicks_SLN 18.0
XXXXX 0.15 Andrew_Miller_SLN 19.3
XXXXX -0.02 Tyler_Webb_SLN 17.7
XXXXX -0.10 Carlos_Martinez_SLN 5.0
-022- -2.33 Michael_Wacha_SLN 47.7
Total 2.56 0.561

Relief a little above average but they have two top top relievers in Gant and Brebbia, both ranked in the top 50 of this data model.  WAR rarely has relievers in their top 100 and right now they rank Gant #112 and Brebbia #170.   This is because WAR does not value middle relief very highly.  Mathematically a run given up in the 7th inning counts equally with a run given up in the 9th inning.  This model does not discriminate between middle relief and closers.  The above shows these two relievers have been key in SLN staying even steven so far.

This model counts all relievers as a group and averages them.  It looks like Michael Wacha is having a bad year and now they assigned him to relief.  His negative value drives down SLN Relief numbers which might be unfair but you can’t pick and choose what players to not count because every team has pitchers like that on their relief staff and tier numbers are based upon averages of all 30 teams.  Exceptions cannot be made here unless they’re made for every relief staff for every game since 1970.

That said, those two top relievers could shut down the Cubs later in the game more than their relief staff tier number suggests.  We can eyeball this and spitball suggestions but a data model needs hard rules.

SLN Lineup 5/30/2019

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX -0.34 Kolten_Wong_SLN 2B 202
XXXXX 1.01 Paul_DeJong_SLN SS 235
XXXXX 0.42 Paul_Goldschmidt_SLN 1B 238
+007+ 3.53 Marcell_Ozuna_SLN LF 223
XXXXX 0.13 Jose_Martinez_SLN RF 167
XXXXX 0.27 Matt_Wieters_SLN CR 30
XXXXX -0.40 Jedd_Gyorko_SLN BAT 50
XXXXX -0.08 Harrison_Bader_SLN CF 122
XXXXX -0.46 Dakota_Hudson_SLN PR 18
Total 4.08 0.561

The above was their lineup yesterday which is a little above average which is what their BAT in team status indicates as well.  PITCH and BAT in team status are based off of seasonal run differential numbers. As a season progresses the value of pitching and hitting can diverge, sometimes dramatically, from what PITCH and BAT indicate.  Since we’re only 1/3 into the current season and major trading hasn’t begun team status and roster value will track closely with each other.

That is all for now.  New playoff horse race coming next as well as a simulation update.  Until then ….

Cubs Status 5/30/2019

It has been 10 days since last team status and today is a day off.  A new series starts tomorrow so let’s look at the Cubs as of the end of May, 2 months or 1/3 into the 2019 season.  Still 4 more months to go.

CHN Team Status

CHN 25 15 20.5 39.5 -4.5 20190516
CHN 31 23 28.7 26.6 -4.4 20190530

Cubs went 6-8 these last two weeks losing 2 games and it looks like they didn’t get a day off either.  BAT improved, PITCH tanked and UR stayed the same which means they fielded  league average these last two weeks.

CHN Tiers

Lineups 2.59
SP Yu_Darvish_CHN -2.15
SP Cole_Hamels_CHN 0.28
SP Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 2.35
SP Jon_Lester_CHN 0.86
SP Jose_Quintana_CHN 0.83
RP 0.58

The above table shows current tier numbers for the three main categories used in simulation.  A +1 tier number is 1/2 standard deviations above current league average for that category.  Hendricks is top tier as well as their last posted lineup.  Relief which is usually good is still hovering around average.  The above is based on the current roster this model gets which can lag a day or two.

CHN Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+040+ 2.14 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN 70.0
XXXXX 1.01 Jon_Lester_CHN 52.7
XXXXX 0.99 Jose_Quintana_CHN 62.7
XXXXX 0.57 Cole_Hamels_CHN 62.7
-108- -1.28 Yu_Darvish_CHN 55.0
Total 3.43 0.551

Hendricks is pitching very well this season even with a few down games.  Lester has been in a slump this May and even though he is technically above average, he’s now unranked.  Let’s look at Lester’s May trajectory.

Jon_Lester_CHN PITCH

0501 XXXXX 1.01
0505 +022+ 1.81
0509 +009+ 2.37
0513 +005+ 2.92
0517 +008+ 2.94
0521 +025+ 2.27
0525 +054+ 1.83
0530 XXXXX 1.01

The above shows he started the month of May at WAA=1.01 and ended the month of May at WAA=1.01.  This means Lester pitched completely average even though he rose to rank #5 in MLB on 5/13.  It’s a long season however.

CHN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
XXXXX 1.11 Tyler_Chatwood_CHN 29.3
XXXXX 0.92 Brandon_Kintzler_CHN 25.3
XXXXX 0.78 Steve_Cishek_CHN 24.0
XXXXX 0.48 Dillon_Maples_CHN 4.7
XXXXX 0.44 Brad_Brach_CHN 22.7
XXXXX -0.04 Kyle_Ryan_CHN 18.0
XXXXX -0.06 Mike_Montgomery_CHN 13.7
XXXXX -0.80 Carl_Edwards_CHN 10.7
Total 2.83 0.586

The Win% above is deceiving which is why it’s only presented to provide context.  A WAA=2.83  is around 1/4 standard deviation above league average for relief staff.  In past years Cubs fielded top of the league relief staffs.  Still early in the season though.

<anti jinx on> Who would have thought 2 months into the season Tyler Chatwood would be the Cubs highest ranking reliever? </anti jinx>  Season far from over!

CHN Hitters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+028+ 2.52 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 228
+030+ 2.44 Kris_Bryant_CHN 231
+082+ 1.64 Javier_Baez_CHN 234
+130+ 1.26 Willson_Contreras_CHN 194
XXXXX 0.55 David_Bote_CHN 155
XXXXX 0.25 Albert_Almora_CHN 176
XXXXX -0.04 Addison_Russell_CHN 57
XXXXX -0.06 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN 205
XXXXX -0.10 Victor_Caratini_CHN 38
XXXXX NA Jim_Adduci_CHN 4
XXXXX -0.38 Daniel_Descalso_CHN 146
XXXXX -0.44 Jason_Heyward_CHN 208
Total 7.54 0.573

The model uses game lineups for tiering against league averages.  The above shows an above average set of hitters which is reflected in BAT in team status.  Rizzo surpassed Bryant and Baez.  Let’s look at his trajectory for May.

Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B

0501 XXXXX 0.82
0505 XXXXX 1.18
0509 +058+ 1.41
0513 +069+ 1.43
0517 +079+ 1.43
0521 +090+ 1.45
0525 +018+ 2.60
0530 +028+ 2.52

Rizzo usually maintains a level ranked between 25 and 50 each season.  In order to maintain rank in this model he needs to keep up with the rest of the league around his rank.

That is all for the Cubs for awhile.  Next up Cubs Cardinals matchup and then we’ll do another playoff horse race snapshot and see strengths and weaknesses of the top 15 MLB teams so far.   Until then ….

Cubs Astros Matchup

Today Cubs play the Astros at 1:10 or about in 20 minutes.  Here are the matchup numbers as of the start of this series.

HOU Team Status

HOU 26 15 39.0 25.5 6.8 20190513
HOU 35 19 36.6 46.4 7.7 20190527

Houston went 9-4 these last two weeks so they’re on a roll gaining 5 games.  This is largely due to pitching according to PITCH which is based off of Runs scored against them.  Let’s see how that breaks down below.

CHN HOU 05_27_2:10_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
CHN 9 0.380 0.505 133 1.66 1.38 -0.04
HOU 16 0.634 0.495 78 0.07 -0.05 1.99

Game table shows a big difference between Vegas and Tier Combo simulation.  This is due to Gerrit Cole pitching pretty average this season so far as shown below and HOU fielding a very different lineup than normal.  TC Sim requires another iteration and because there are so many new guys  playing for HOU today and that the guys they replace are still sitting in the dugout this game should be a discard.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Cole_Hamels_CHN 1.36 0.605 58.7 1.38
Gerrit_Cole_HOU 0.25 0.517 65.7 -0.05

Above are the two starters pitching today.  Vegas is banking on Gerrit Cole’s stellar career numbers which this model does not do — yet.  Let’s look at these two pitchers differently with a new prototype table showing progression through the season by date.


2019 Rank WAA
0501 +048+ 1.26
0505 +053+ 1.30
0509 XXXXX 1.20
0513 +056+ 1.53
0517 +066+ 1.53
0521 +074+ 1.55
0525 +120+ 1.32
0527 +114+ 1.36

March and April results not shown.  The above show Cole Hamels dropping in rank from the beginning of May because he pitched almost exactly league average gaining only 0.1.  That’s better than losing a bunch of WAA however.


2019 Rank WAA
0501 XXXXX 0.36
0505 XXXXX 0.46
0509 XXXXX 0.21
0513 XXXXX 0.50
0517 XXXXX 0.53
0521 XXXXX 0.97
0525 XXXXX 0.21
0527 XXXXX 0.25

Gerrit Cole also has been hovering around average not only in May but all season.  Average is below average for a pitcher like Gerrit Cole.  Vegas is banking on last year’s Gerrit Cole to pitch today.

HOU Starters

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+006+ 3.49 Justin_Verlander_HOU 79.3
+111+ 1.39 Wade_Miley_HOU 62.3
+115+ 1.36 Brad_Peacock_HOU 53.7
XXXXX 0.25 Gerrit_Cole_HOU 65.7
XXXXX -0.21 Corbin_Martin_HOU 12.7
Total 6.28 0.603

Above are the set of starters on HOU roster.

HOU Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+035+ 2.12 Ryan_Pressly_HOU 23.3
+100+ 1.49 Roberto_Osuna_HOU 23.3
+118+ 1.34 Will_Harris_HOU 17.7
XXXXX 0.67 Hector_Rondon_HOU 17.3
XXXXX 0.29 Framber_Valdez_HOU 22.0
XXXXX -0.02 Brady_Rodgers_HOU 2.0
XXXXX -0.19 Josh_James_HOU 27.7
XXXXX -0.36 Chris_Devenski_HOU 19.7
Total 5.34 0.657

Relief very good and they’re almost one complete standard deviation above current league average.

HOU Lineup 5/27/2019

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX -0.61 Josh_Reddick_HOU RF-LF 189
+099+ 1.49 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B 228
+135+ 1.26 Michael_Brantley_HOU LF-DH 220
XXXXX -0.42 Yuli_Gurriel_HOU 1B 203
XXXXX 0.80 Robinson_Chirinos_HOU CR 153
XXXXX 0 Jack_Mayfield_HOU none 0
XXXXX -1.18 Tyler_White_HOU DH-1B 113
XXXXX 0 Derek_Fisher_HOU BAT 4
XXXXX 0.76 Jake_Marisnick_HOU CF 107
Total 2.00 0.532

Above is today’s lineup for HOU and you can see from the PA column who the two new guys playing are.  PA represents time in this data model for batters,  outs for pitchers.

That’s all there is.  Game starts in 9 minutes.  Until then ….