Cubs Reds Matchup

This post is a little late and the Cubs are down 3-1.  Cubs played the Reds a couple of weeks ago.  Here are team statuses for the last time we did this and today.

-3.9 -52.0 315 376 28 45 0.1 -1.2 CIN  6/21/2018
28.1 -48.1 407 440 38 49 -7.5 -1.5 CIN  7/6/2018

BAT up a lot, PITCH up a little, and the Reds went 10-4 gaining +6 wins (WAA).  Their UR tanked however going from around average to a miserable -7.5.  Those runs count too.  Let’s see how the above looks when we drill down into CIN.  First,  what say the markets for today.

Ouija Board

DATE 07_06_2:20_PM CIN CHN

LINEAWAY CIN [ 0.417 ] < 0.400 > +150 $150
STARTAWAY 0.48(0.524) Tyler_Mahle_CIN TIER 3
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.615 ] < 0.623 > -165 $60
STARTHOME 0.97(0.566) Mike_Montgomery_CHN TIER 3
CIN 38 49 CHN 49 35
CIN Lineup 1 ==> CHN Starter 3 / Relief 2 == 0.495 CIN 4.73 runs
CHN Lineup 1 ==> CIN Starter 3 / Relief 1 == 0.505 CHN 4.77 runs

The markets show a break even probability of .400 for CIN down from the start at 0.417, Cubs are at 0.623 up from 0.615.  Risking $100 on the Cubs nets you $60 if they win and $150 if you bet the Reds and they win.

Two Tier 3 average starters pitching today.  Tier Combo simulations show this to be an even steven game.  Based upon deltaWAA=25, the Cubs should have a 0.643 chance today.  Now we have a conundrum.  Which value is correct?  DeltaWAA is based upon a seasonal record and Tier Combo is based upon the value of who is playing today.

Tier Combo gives CIN a 0.495 chance which is greater than 0.400 plus our 0.07 margin making them a betting opportunity today.  Not so fast!  Right now the deltaWAA figure provides upward pressure on the line.  The current theory is to use deltaWAA to wave off a bet, never to make a bet.

The difference between deltaWAA for CHN and their Tier Combo result is around 0.14.  Divide that by two and subtract that from the CIN 0.495 figure in Tier Combo and you get 0.425 which is not enough margin to bet.  Thus, the CIN line is a discard.  The CHN line was totally a discard from the beginning.

That’s a rough algorithm that’s still a work in progress and the probability math is still being worked out as well as simulating entire seasons of handicapping.  Today is interesting because the Reds have a much better team than their win/loss record indicates which is why they swept the Cubs a couple of weeks ago.  Cubs currently down 3-2 but hopefully they pull this off — except for the fact that CIN has the best relief staff in MLB.  You might not know that reading sites like Fangraphs.  Let’s look more into this Reds team.

CIN Tier Data

Type Tier Name_Teamid WAA
Lineups 1 CIN 10.98
SP 5 Luis_Castillo_CIN -3.25
SP 4 Anthony_DeSclafani_CIN -0.80
SP 4 Matt_Harvey_CIN -1.47
SP 3 Tyler_Mahle_CIN 0.48
SP 5 Sal_Romano_CIN -2.98
RP 1 CIN 9.60

As mentioned earlier CIN Relief (RP) is Tier 1 and now they have a Tier 1 lineup which would align with what we saw in their current team status line.  Their starting rotation is kind of terrible which will be their Achilles heel should they think about making a run for the playoffs.  Matt Harvey moved up a tier since we last saw him.  Let’s look at what is currently the best relief staff in MLB.

CIN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+037+ 2.88 Jared_Hughes_CIN PITCH
+127+ 1.57 David_Hernandez_CIN PITCH
+169+ 1.26 Raisel_Iglesias_CIN PITCH
+183+ 1.20 Amir_Garrett_CIN PITCH
+186+ 1.20 Michael_Lorenzen_CIN PITCH
+199+ 1.11 Dylan_Floro_CIN PITCH
XXXXX 0.23 Jackson_Stephens_CIN PITCH
XXXXX 0.15 Kyle_Crockett_CIN PITCH
Total 9.6

And finally here is the third best lineup in MLB today.  Cubs are #1 today BTW.

CIN Lineup

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 07062018
-0.06 Jose_Peraza_CIN SS 362
3.49 Scooter_Gennett_CIN 2B 345
0.73 Joey_Votto_CIN 1B 378
4.14 Eugenio_Suarez_CIN 3B 307
2.02 Adam_Duvall_CIN LF 299
1.51 Scott_Schebler_CIN RF-CF 270
-0.08 Curt_Casali_CIN CR 36
-0.65 Tyler_Mahle_CIN PR 29
-0.10 Billy_Hamilton_CIN CF 295
TOTAL WAA=10.98 PA=2321 WinPct=0.591

Looks like the Cubs lost 3-2.  Mahle is their best starter so maybe the Cubs can run up some runs in the first couple of innings tomorrow and hold out for a win.  deltaWAA between CIN and CHN will drop to 23 now which means the Reds are 11.5 games behind the Cubs and there’s almost 1/2 of a season left.

Update 7/7 12pm :  As always, past results do not affect future results, they only show capability.   The Cubs could easily take  Reds’ relief down a few notches today.  No one can predict the future.   The Cubs were -2 at ASG last season.  The Reds are now -11.  They have an uphill battle and for teams trying to eek into a WC spot the last two weeks of September is when playoff season starts for them.   Hopefully the Cubs convince the Reds to be sellers these next few games.  <end of update>

It will be interesting to see if CIN decides to fold and sell at the trade deadline or make a run for it.  They’ll need to shore up that starting rotation if they choose the latter  because you can’t totally rely on relief in the playoffs.

That’s all for today.  If lines go haywire we’ll do another post about it.  Until then ….

2018 All Star Picks Part 3

In the final part to this series we’ll cover starting and relief pitchers.  If an ASG team is like a normal team then 5 starters and 7 relievers will be picked.  Not sure how this is done.  For our purposes here only the top 4 for each league in each category will be highlighted.


This model has an abundance of starters at the top of the league so far this season.  Seven out of top ten are starters, 15 of the top 25 are starters.  This changes from year to year and many people can come up with many theories as to why but it doesn’t matter.  It is what it is.  Next year it will be different.  Last year when we did this starters occupied 10 of the top 25 and 5 of the top ten.

Below are all starters in the top 25 of MLB, which includes all players, AL and NL, pitchers and hitters.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+001+ 5.98 Luis_Severino_NYA PITCH
+002+ 5.98 Jacob_deGrom_NYN PITCH
+004+ 5.56 Max_Scherzer_WAS PITCH
+005+ 5.17 Justin_Verlander_HOU PITCH
+007+ 4.66 Blake_Snell_TBA PITCH
+009+ 4.43 Trevor_Bauer_CLE PITCH
+010+ 4.43 Jon_Lester_CHN PITCH
+011+ 4.41 Aaron_Nola_PHI PITCH
+014+ 4.26 Mike_Foltynewicz_ATL PITCH
+015+ 4.26 Chris_Sale_BOS PITCH
+016+ 4.12 Corey_Kluber_CLE PITCH
+018+ 3.88 Gerrit_Cole_HOU PITCH
+020+ 3.57 Miles_Mikolas_SLN PITCH
+021+ 3.44 Ross_Stripling_LAN PITCH
+022+ 3.44 Charlie_Morton_HOU PITCH

And there you have it.  Red is AL,  blue is NL and all pitchers in this list are worthy of being picked.  The above is a 7/4 snapshot in time.  Let’s look at relief


Most relievers get short shrift from baseball analysts and stat heads.  Relievers don’t have the playing time of a starter or a regular hitter putting them at a disadvantage ranking them with starters.  Their role is different.  It is the sum of relievers on a relief staff that win baseball games.  That said, the number one most valuable player in the history of MLB playoffs is Mariano Rivera.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
+001+ 9.30 141.0 0.70 0 97 Mariano_Rivera_NYA PITCH  playoffs

He pitched a whopping 141 innings over 97 games which is how he was able to rise so high.  He also won a few rings with the Yankees.  The above is to put individual relievers in context.  They rarely rise to the top but each of the below greatly helps their team eek out  wins in baseball games.  Being in the top 100 in this model means exellent no matter what position.

Here are the top 15 relievers in MLB according to this data model.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+031+ 3.07 Blake_Treinen_OAK PITCH
+033+ 3.04 Josh_Hader_MIL PITCH
+037+ 2.81 Jeremy_Jeffress_MIL PITCH
+041+ 2.71 Jared_Hughes_CIN PITCH
+042+ 2.67 Brad_Keller_KCA PITCH
+044+ 2.60 Collin_McHugh_HOU PITCH
+047+ 2.56 Kirby_Yates_SDN PITCH
+049+ 2.50 T.J._McFarland_ARI PITCH
+050+ 2.50 Kyle_Barraclough_MIA PITCH
+053+ 2.44 Yoshihisa_Hirano_ARI PITCH
+056+ 2.39 Aroldis_Chapman_NYA PITCH
+066+ 2.18 Seth_Lugo_NYN PITCH
+068+ 2.14 Sean_Doolittle_WAS PITCH
+069+ 2.12 Tony_Watson_SFN PITCH
+070+ 2.10 Steve_Cishek_CHN PITCH

Proof that stat heads don’t care for relief that much, the top reliever according to WAR, is Jared Hughes ranked #94 and it goes down from there.  This model has 24 relievers in the top 100 including all 15 above.

Looks like Aroldis Chapman is having a good season again.  Interesting how the Yankees ended up with all the players the Yankees traded to the Cubs and all the players the Cubs gave them.

All those players in the above table are worthy of being picked and possibly more further down this list.

That is all for All Star Picks this year.  Another weekly Cubs status coming in a few days and there has been much movement (the good kind) to show.   Cubs start a series with CIN again, the team with the #1 relief staff in baseball right now.  <anti jinx>We’ll see if CHN can keep the streak going.  </>   A look see into minor leagues AAA, AA, and Aplus coming soon.  Until then ….

2018 All Star Picks Part 2

Finally an off day for the Cubs so let’s do our All Star picks for the more defensive positions;  2B, SS, and Catcher.  Players in these positions usually don’t hit as well as corner infield and outfield but each year is different and there are always exceptions and outliers.   Data for fan voting taken from Sporting News.

Second Base

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+006+ 4.83 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-SS
+028+ 3.17 Scooter_Gennett_CIN 2B
+029+ 3.07 Ozzie_Albies_ATL 2B
+092+ 1.74 Gleyber_Torres_NYA 2B
+104+ 1.68 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B-LF-RF
+125+ 1.51 Alen_Hanson_SFN 2B
+129+ 1.49 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B
+167+ 1.28 Jed_Lowrie_OAK 2B-3B
+196+ 1.13 DJ_LeMahieu_COL 2B
XXXXX 0.99 Robinson_Cano_SEA 2B

This model has Javier Baez as a clear NL pick followed by Scooter Gennett and Ozzie Albies virtually tied for second.  Former Cub prospect traded in 2016 for Aroldis Chapman leading to a Cubs World Series Victory leads in this model for AL.   Altuve is second but the difference isn’t that much where defense could make Altuve the proper pick.   Let’s see what the people have to say.  Survey says!

American League

1. Jose Altuve, Astros: 3,405,815
2. Gleyber Torres, Yankees: 997,724
3. Dee Gordon, Mariners: 528,270
4. Jason Kipnis, Indians: 372,885
5. Jed Lowrie, Athletics: 255,092

AL picks align with this model — except for the #3 and #4 which don’t matter.

National League

1. Ozzie Albies, Braves: 1,857,185
2. Scooter Gennett, Reds: 1,689,393
3. Javier Baez, Cubs: 1,586,888
4. Joe Panik, Giants: 493,573
5. Logan Forsythe, Dodgers: 379,325

Top three above align with this model as well. It’s the order that’s in dispute.  Eyeballing this Baez is so far ahead in WAA there is no way either Albies or Gennet can provide that much extra defensive capability to make that up.  The people have the final say however.

There is a lot of high value talent playing second base this season compared to last year.  The next position, shortstop, also has a lot of high value players this year.


Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+021+ 3.40 Francisco_Lindor_CLE SS
+039+ 2.79 Carlos_Correa_HOU SS
+041+ 2.73 Jean_Segura_SEA SS
+056+ 2.35 Trevor_Story_COL SS
+081+ 1.87 Manny_Machado_BAL SS
+084+ 1.85 Didi_Gregorius_NYA SS
+086+ 1.83 Jurickson_Profar_TEX SS-3B
+101+ 1.70 Xander_Bogaerts_BOS SS
+170+ 1.26 Andrelton_Simmons_ANA SS
XXXXX 0.69 Brandon_Crawford_SFN SS

This model picks Francisco Lindor for AL with Carlos Correa a close second.  Trevor Story tops the list for NL with Brandon Crawford 2nd for NL.  NL is underrepresented in the above list for second basemen.  Players from Colorado always get dinged by Sabermetrics because their home field is considered a hitters park.  All hitters in Colorado get taxed because of this.  While this model agrees that park factors may influence stats, nobody can accurately say how much no matter how much they claim they can.  If you don’t know something you can’t include it so that variable must be discarded.  Including a dubious park factor tax introduces error on something that is irrelevant in the long term anyway.

That said, what say the people?  Survey says!

American League

1. Manny Machado, Orioles: 1,272,233
2. Carlos Correa, Astros: 1,135,152
3. Francisco Lindor, Indians: 898,977
4. Didi Gregorius, Yankees: 824,710
5. Jean Segura, Mariners: 675,140

Manny Machado is a league darling and although this model has him ranked #81, there is no way his defense overcomes a 1.5+ deficit to Lindor.  Correa and Lindor could switch positions based on defense however and they make up #2 and #3 on the people’s list.

National League

1. Brandon Crawford, Giants: 2,303,516
2. Dansby Swanson, Braves: 1,162,263
3. Addison Russell, Cubs: 1,026,014
4. Trevor Story, Rockies: 820,484
5. Chris Taylor, Dodgers: 498,57

As expected Trevor Story takes the Colorado penalty giving Brandon Crawford the nod — which would agree with this model.


Catcher is the most defensive player other than pitcher.  He is involve in every pitch and needs to be able to keep runners from advancing with every pitch.  It is an extremely hard position to play and the most physically demanding of any position in baseball.  I am reticent ranking catchers this way but we must.

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+095+ 1.72 Gary_Sanchez_NYA CR
+097+ 1.72 J.T._Realmuto_MIA CR
+132+ 1.47 Yasmani_Grandal_LAN CR
+157+ 1.34 Elias_Diaz_PIT CR
+165+ 1.30 Nick_Hundley_SFN CR
+200+ 1.11 Francisco_Cervelli_PIT CR
XXXXX 0.97 Robinson_Chirinos_TEX CR
XXXXX 0.92 Kurt_Suzuki_ATL CR
XXXXX 0.92 Max_Stassi_HOU CR
XXXXX 0.92 Austin_Romine_NYA CR

Not a lot of catchers in the top 200 this year.  Let’s hear from the people.  Survey says!

American League

1. Wilson Ramos, Rays: 1,556,195
2. Gary Sanchez, Yankees: 1,116,568
3. Brian McCann, Astros: 961,325
4. Salvador Perez, Royals: 614,492
5. Yan Gomes, Indians: 522,139

Sanchez in second and Ramos from TBA is the fan favorite for AL.

National League

1. Buster Posey, Giants: 1,384,631
2. Willson Contreras, Cubs: 1,240,132
3. Kurt Suzuki, Braves: 1,174,470
4. Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 913,149
5. J.T. Realmuto, Marlins: 818,925

Only Realmuto and Suzuki in the above list.  Contreras is playing well for the Cubs and, as someone who watches a lot of Cubs games, he’s been very good behind the plate In My Humble, Subjective, and Anecdotal Opinion (IMHSAO).

Value stats like WAR fold defense into their calculations.  Since there is a general lack of play by play metrics for defense there is a lot of hand waving and unproven theories.  This is all fine and well and defensive value is certainly an important aspect when a team evaluates a player acquisition.

Runs that should have scored but didn’t, and runs that scored but shouldn’t have is very subjective.  Official scorekeepers have a hard time assigning errors let alone this.  This is why this model stands on its own using what can be counted, actual runs scored and runs scored against.

The biggest errors in WAR on a player to player basis arise from over valuing defense which is how Darwin Barney ended up with a WAR=4.8 ranked #39 for the 2012 MLB season.  Darwin Barney was the impetus behind the creation of this data model.

That is all for now.  Cubs start a two game series with DET tomorrow, all day games.  The final part to this series, starting and relief pitching, will be Wednesday or Thursday.  Until then ….

2018 All Star Picks Part 1

Another year, another All Star break.  Today we’ll start another three part All Star Picks series like what was done last season pitting this data model against fan voting.   Part 1 will cover the more offensive positions like  corners;   1B and 3B, and the grab bag of outfielders.  Part 2 will cover 2B, SS, and Catchers and Part 3 finishes with starting and relief pitching.

After a quick google search the top site for fan voting data is Sporting News  which should be good enough.  AL and NL are picked separately (obviously) yet this model ranks all players, all positions together so we’ll have to manually see who is AL and who is NL.  Let’s get started with the top ten 1B according to this data model.

First Base

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+013+ 4.07 Jesus_Aguilar_MIL 1B
+040+ 2.69 Freddie_Freeman_ATL 1B
+051+ 2.39 Mitch_Moreland_BOS 1B
+061+ 2.18 Matt_Adams_WAS 1B-LF
+064+ 2.06 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+069+ 2.02 Ian_Desmond_COL 1B-LF
+072+ 1.97 Paul_Goldschmidt_ARI 1B
+081+ 1.85 Max_Muncy_LAN 1B-3B
+099+ 1.70 Carlos_Santana_PHI 1B
+103+ 1.68 Cody_Bellinger_LAN 1B-CF
+132+ 1.47 Jose_Martinez_SLN 1B
+139+ 1.41 Yonder_Alonso_CLE 1B

This model is based on offensive runs scored by hitters, defensive runs scored against by pitchers.  These are actual runs that can be counted.  Modeling player defense is outside the scope of this model as it involves imaginary runs; runs that should have scored but didn’t and runs that scored but shouldn’t have.  This is a completely separate topic for another time.  That said, it is appropriate to adjust the above player rankings somewhat based upon great or not so great fielding.  Let’s get to it.

The above table had to be expanded two rows because the American League doesn’t have too many good first basemen this season.  The model just spits out these numbers and they are what they are  Spoiler Alert: AL makes up for this in OF below.

Our model has Aguiler #1 and Freeman #2 for NL 1B, Moreland #1 and Alonso #2 for AL 1B.  Let’s see what the people have to say.  Survey says!

National League

1. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 2,199,904
2. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs: 899,953
3. Brandon Belt, Giants: 571,177
4. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers: 472,164
5. Jose Martinez, Cardinals: 303,551

American League

1. Jose Abreu, White Sox: 1,032,748
2. Yuli Gurriel, Astros: 714,361
3. Mitch Moreland, Red Sox: 644,728
4. Albert Pujols, Angels: 516,550
5. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 415,891

Looks like Aguilar didn’t make the cut for NL but Freeman did.  Rizzo #2 which is surprising with his WAR=0.3.  This model agrees however and has him #2 without Aguiler as well.  Surprised Joey Votto isn’t in top 5 fan voting since his WAR=2.9 (rank #39) is so high.  Either fan voters don’t follow WAR or Cincinnati doesn’t have enough fans to vote or both.  Interesting however.

AL looks out of whack at 1B probably because it is so weak at that position this season.  Albert Pujols?  Miguel Cabrera? Jose Abreu????  At least Mitch Moreland is in the top 5 but probably won’t win balloting.

Third Base

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+015+ 3.78 Nolan_Arenado_COL 3B
+016+ 3.74 Eugenio_Suarez_CIN 3B
+029+ 2.92 Jose_Ramirez_CLE 3B
+048+ 2.42 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B
+084+ 1.83 Travis_Shaw_MIL 3B
+111+ 1.62 Daniel_Descalso_ARI 3B-2B
+158+ 1.28 Christian_Villanueva_SDN 3B
+169+ 1.20 Johan_Camargo_ATL 3B-SS
+181+ 1.13 Kyle_Seager_SEA 3B
+184+ 1.13 Miguel_Andujar_NYA 3B

Looks like AL and NL are both well represented in the top ten 3B list.  Arenado and Ramirez are the top picks but Suarez is so close it could go either way.  Let’s see what the people think.  Survey says!

National League

1. Nolan Arenado, Rockies: 1,706,923
2. Kris Bryant, Cubs: 1,060,467
3. Johan Camargo, Braves: 642,241
4. Eugenio Suarez, Reds: 376,612
5. Justin Turner, Dodgers: 353,693

American League

1. Jose Ramirez, Indians: 1,319,651
2. Miguel Andujar, Yankees: 764,032
3. Alex Bregman, Astros: 718,814
4. Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 422,263
5. Mike Moustakas, Royals: 342,607

Arenado takes top spot in NL voting.  Cubs fans stuffing the ballot box for Kris Bryant.   God Bless them.  This is Chicago after all!  :-)  Johan Camargo beats out Eugenio Suarez who suffers from playing in a small media market.

For AL it’s Ramirez which we agree and they have Bregman at #3 which we almost agree.  Not sure Moustakas got in top 5 but KCA tends to also stuff ASG ballot boxes as we saw last season.


Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+007+ 4.37 Mookie_Betts_BOS RF
+020+ 3.53 Mike_Trout_ANA CF-DH
+022+ 3.32 Andrew_Benintendi_BOS LF-CF
+024+ 3.07 Aaron_Judge_NYA RF
+026+ 2.96 Eddie_Rosario_MIN LF
+041+ 2.69 Rhys_Hoskins_PHI LF
+044+ 2.58 Mitch_Haniger_SEA RF
+045+ 2.58 Nomar_Mazara_TEX RF-DH
+056+ 2.29 George_Springer_HOU RF-CF
+059+ 2.23 Matt_Kemp_LAN LF-RF
+067+ 2.02 Nick_Markakis_ATL RF
+075+ 1.95 A.J._Pollock_ARI CF
+077+ 1.91 Christian_Yelich_MIL LF-RF-CF
+082+ 1.83 Charlie_Blackmon_COL CF
+086+ 1.83 Denard_Span_TOT LF
+094+ 1.74 Joc_Pederson_LAN LF-CF
+096+ 1.72 Michael_Brantley_CLE LF
+098+ 1.70 Bryce_Harper_WAS RF
+103+ 1.68 Cody_Bellinger_LAN 1B-CF
+086+ 1.66 Denard_Span_TBA LF

Outfield is a grab bag of 3 outfielders from either left, right, or center.  Above shows the top three for NL (bold blue) and AL (bold red) with alternates in non bold colors.  AL has the top 6 out of 7 top spots for this  position.  What say the people?  Survey says!

American League

1. Mookie Betts, Red Sox: 2,337,514
2. Mike Trout, Angels: 1,989,649
3. Aaron Judge, Yankees: 1,557,109
4. George Springer, Astros: 829,579
5. Michael Brantley, Indians: 794,074
6. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox: 784,969
7. Marwin Gonzalez, Astros: 531,538
8. Brett Gardner, Yankees: 501,175

National League

1. Nick Markakis, Braves: 1,829,276
2. Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 1,498,827
3. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 1,403,335
4. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies: 983,660
5. Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves: 932,989
6. Ender Inciarte, Braves: 828,451
7. Jason Heyward, Cubs: 750,688
8. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs: 706,374

This model pretty much agrees with fans for AL.  Judge is so close to Benintendi that it could go either way.  This model is also somewhat in agreement with NL.  Rhys Hoskins is notably absent which can happen in fan voting.  Schwarber and Heyward are having decent seasons as outlined here in Cubs Status.

That is all for 1B, 3B and OF.  Part 2 will cover 2B, SS, and Catcher.  Pitchers are not picked by fans so in Part 3 we won’t have any fan voting for comparison.  ASG is on July 17 this year and all players get a vacation — except for those who have to play in this game.  Personally, I never watch the All Star Game since it’s meaningless.  Only interested in how this model stacks up to what the fans think and so far, except for AL 1B, it’s reasonably close.  We’ll see how it stands up to fan voting in Part 2.

That is all for today.  A minor league dump coming mid July because that data is so cumbersome to process.  Until then ….

Cubs Status 6/30/2018

It has been a tumultuous week for the Cubs so let’s look at Cubs Status.  Below are team status lines for today and last week when we did this.

23.1 66.1 351 259 42 31 2.8 0.0 CHN 6/23/2018
39.5 50.7 395 302 45 35 2.8 -0.0 CHN 6/30/2018

BAT up almost as much as PITCH is down and the Cubs went 3-4 losing another game making them +10.  The above numbers are seasonal and don’t necessarily reflect who is on the active roster.  Let’s look how the top Cubs fare against the rest of MLB.  All MLB players from 30 teams, both pitchers and batters get ranked together.  A rank number is only assigned to the top 200 players.

Top Cubs

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+009+ 4.24 Jon_Lester_CHN PITCH
+010+ 4.24 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-SS
+064+ 2.06 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+073+ 1.97 Steve_Cishek_CHN PITCH
+109+ 1.64 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF
+134+ 1.47 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B-LF-RF
+142+ 1.39 Brandon_Morrow_CHN PITCH
+171+ 1.18 Albert_Almora_CHN CF
+175+ 1.16 Kyle_Schwarber_CHN LF
+197+ 1.07 Randy_Rosario_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.03 Pedro_Strop_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.94 Anthony_Bass_CHN PITCH

Baez is on fire again and at his peak this season and his entire career.  Although not listed Addison Russell is now above water and climbing and a big reason for a couple of the last few wins.  Good job never giving up!

Anthony Rizzo still has a WAR=0.3 LOL!  Someone should seriously  look into how that happened.  Heard JD on TV yesterday exclaim how Rizzo is starting to turn it around.  No JD, Anthony Rizzo is a big reason the Cubs are +10 now.  Actually, he’s +2.06 of the +10 making him the third highest ranked Cub at #64 now.  Rizzo has been consistent each and every season.  WAR is simply very very wrong.  If it’s this wrong on Rizzo it is probably very wrong on many players — as we mention here from time to time.  :-)

BTW: WAR gave Albert Pujols a -1.8 making him the 5th worst player in MLB last season.  Does anyone actually think that’s true?  I suspect there are humans manipulating the algorithm that makes WAR and they didn’t like Pujols last season because he wasn’t performing to his $30M contract.  Whatever.  Enough of that  Let’s look at tier data.

CHN Tier Data

Type Tier Name_Teamid WAA
Lineups 1 CHN 9.89
SP 3 Tyler_Chatwood_CHN 0.21
SP 3 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN -0.25
SP 1 Jon_Lester_CHN 4.24
SP 3 Jose_Quintana_CHN -0.44
SP 3 Mike_Montgomery_CHN 0.84
RP 2 CHN 5.29

Starting pitching has been struggling as of late but they’re still pretty average except for Lester who is top of the league.  A lot of teams would love to have the above rotation.  Hendricks is struggling but he can still make a run for the top in the second half of this season.  No need to panic.  Lineup back to Tier 1 and relief up to Tier 2.  Not quite sure if this roster data is completely accurate.  Cubs pitched the new guy Maples and I don’t see Underwood either.  The Cubs are shuffling players so much they probably have a daily bus route to Iowa now.

CHN Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+073+ 1.97 Steve_Cishek_CHN PITCH
+142+ 1.39 Brandon_Morrow_CHN PITCH
+197+ 1.07 Randy_Rosario_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.03 Pedro_Strop_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.94 Anthony_Bass_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 0.63 Justin_Wilson_CHN PITCH
XXXXX -0.36 Luke_Farrell_CHN PITCH
-104- -1.39 Brian_Duensing_CHN PITCH
Total 5.28

Not bad.  Duensing having a bad year but he has upside potential so nothing to worry about.  If he climbs back to average, WAA=0, that means another +1.4 for the Cubs’ real WAA.  Past results don’t affect future results.  All that matters is now.  And finally, let’s look at today’s lineup against the Twins.

CHN Lineup

WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA 06302018
1.18 Albert_Almora_CHN CF 257
1.64 Jason_Heyward_CHN RF 255
4.24 Javier_Baez_CHN 2B-SS 302
2.06 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B 315
-0.84 Willson_Contreras_CHN CR 295
1.47 Ben_Zobrist_CHN 2B-LF-RF 244
0.32 Addison_Russell_CHN SS 272
-0.00 David_Bote_CHN BAT 28
-0.17 Tyler_Chatwood_CHN PR 21
TOTAL WAA=9.89 PA=1989 WinPct=0.595

That is considered a Tier 1 top of the league lineup right now — but right by the Tier 1 and 2 border.

That is all for now.  All Star picks start tomorrow or the next day.  Until then ….