Tag Archives: alcs

ALCS Game 6

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

NYA HOU 10_19_8:08_PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are Starting rotations for both teams.

NYA Starters

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

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

HOU Starters

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

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

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

NYA Lineup Today

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

HOU Lineup Today

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

That’s all for now.  Until then ….

ALCS Game 4

ALCS Game 4 tonight between Houston and Yankees.  Houston is up 2-1 and won back home field advantage.  One more HOU win in NYC and NYA will be in trouble.

HOU NYA 10_17_8:08_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
HOU 52 0.455 0.563 X 4.00 3.77 3.28
NYA 44 0.565 0.437 X 4.00 -0.39 3.18

This is a very interesting game table.  Vegas and ELO have Yankees favored 57%.   TC Sim has Houston favored 56% making Houston a betting opportunity had this been a regular season game.  It’s not.

External factors such as home field advantage and desperation that are significant in playoffs need to be considered.  This is a must win for Yankees much more than it is for Astros and Yankees have some of the most enthusiastic fans in MLB.  Home field does move the needle in playoffs.  This will be studied to determine how much in off season.  Desperation is even harder to model mathematically so we have to sort of wing it.

The numbers above need to be placed into context.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Zack_Greinke_TOT 7.35 0.658 208.7 3.77
Masahiro_Tanaka_NYA 0.25 0.506 182.0 -0.39

On paper Greinke is ranked #9 according to this data model, #28 according to WAR.  Both WAR and this data model have Tanaka unranked.  On paper Greinke is a far superior pitcher.  Here are both of their post season records.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
-081- -1.47 75.7 4.40 13 3 Zack_Greinke_TOT PITCH
+027+ 2.69 50.0 1.26 8 1 Masahiro_Tanaka_NYA PITCH

Greinke ranked in bottom 200 at #81, Tanaka top 50 at #27.  Ranks are out of all post season players since 1903 when the first World Series was played.  In ALCS game 1 Greinke gave up 3 runs in 6 IP which is around average for regular season but terrible for post season and matches his 4.40 ERA above.

In ALCS game 1 Tanaka went 6 innings giving up 0 runs in an away park.  Post season is strange.  Many players who play well in regular season choke and vice versa.  Not all starters have extensive post season experience like these two pitchers.

If the values of these two starters are reversed as shown in post season records TC Sim shows Yankees 53% favorites.  Desperation and home field advantage should push that very close to what Vegas estimated.  It has also been observed that home field may suppress away hitting which is a major HOU advantage.  How much is unknown.

It is unclear however whether or not Vegas bettors know about the above post season records.  Most players don’t have playoff experience or very little where an  evaluation can’t be made.  Although possible, right now we don’t lookup post season records for relievers or lineups.  Something to look into for next season though and maybe we’ll make some new tables for this World Series.

Lineups Today

I’m not waiting for lineups tonight which should be very similar to lineups yesterday.  Both Yankees and Astros field around a +30 WAA lineup which are both maxed Tier 4.00.  Tiers are calculated against all 30 MLB regular season lineups however.  Washington who will play in the 2019 World Series fields around a +20 WAA lineup, a little less then Tier 3.00.

We have lineup data for post seasons dating back to 1903.  Only World Series were played from 1903 to 1968.  League championships like this started in 1969 , then Divisional series started then the wild card game.  There are a lot of playoff games now which is why modern players will eventually rise to the top of post season ranking.

We can however separate out the different type of series so let’s look at the top 20 lineups in league championship series from 1969 to 2018.

Year LeagueID TeamID WAA PA
1976 lc CIN 43.15 5030
1982 lc MIL 40.63 5365
2003 lc BOS 39.75 5499
2015 lc TOR 35.22 5101
2009 lc NYA 34.25 5377
2011 lc TEX 34.13 4799
1975 lc CIN 33.24 4830
1971 lc PIT 31.61 4140
1972 lc CIN 31.40 4391
1998 lc NYA 30.26 4349
1969 lc MIN 29.92 4662
2018 lc BOS 29.48 4791
2004 lc BOS 28.79 5083
2013 lc BOS 28.48 4457
1996 lc BAL 28.43 5593

There have been 196 teams who played in league championships from 1969 to 2018.  These are the top 20 lineups out of those 196 teams.  Both Astros and Yankees are fielding top top league championship lineups based upon historical standards.

This list will go back to 1903 when we do this for World Series.  Not much more to say about this game.  Both these teams play tomorrow when we’ll do this again.  Until then ….

ALCS Game 3

ALCS Game 3 today.  Let’s look at the Handicapping for this game.

HOU NYA 10_15_4:08_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
HOU 52 0.600 0.563 X 4.00 4.00 3.28
NYA 44 0.417 0.437 X 4.00 -0.05 3.18

Main difference in this game is HOU with a maxed out 4.00 Starter and Yankkes have an average starter.  Yankees also have home field advantage which is more of a factor in post season.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Gerrit_Cole_HOU 9.64 0.704 212.3 4.00
Luis_Severino_NYA 0.84 0.815 12.0 -0.05

Neither starter has much post season experience to mention.

HOU Lineup Today

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

Martin Maldonado was on the Cubs for a couple weeks this year.

NYA Lineup Today

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

Both these lineups are simply incredible.  One of these lineups won’t be in the World Series this year.

NLCS Game 4 next..

ALCS Game 2

ALCS Game 2 tonight at 7pc CST.  Let’s look at these two teams in detail and we’ll cover the NLCS teams in detail tomorrow.

NYA HOU 10_13_8:08_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
NYA 44 0.397 0.443 X 4.00 0.87 3.18
HOU 52 0.623 0.557 X 4.00 4.00 3.28

Vegas has Houston favored far higher than TC Sim.  ELO has HOU favored 57% so almost exactly what this model came up with.  The L , S , and R columns show why.

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

Verlander much better pitcher in regular season.  Here’s his post season stats.

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

Ranked #33 best in post season history which means very consistent.  This may be why Vegas has HOU so high today.

NYA Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+059+ 4.03 Adam_Ottavino_NYA 66.3
+073+ 3.72 Zack_Britton_NYA 61.3
+107+ 3.07 Aroldis_Chapman_NYA 57.0
XXXXX 1.20 Tommy_Kahnle_NYA 61.3
XXXXX 0.76 Luis_Cessa_NYA 81.0
XXXXX 0.55 Chad_Green_NYA 69.0
XXXXX -0.02 Jonathan_Loaisiga_NYA 31.7
XXXXX -0.55 Tyler_Lyons_NYA 12.7
XXXXX -1.11 CC_Sabathia_NYA 107.3
XXXXX -1.51 J.A._Happ_NYA 161.3
Total 10.14 TIER=3.18

That’s 10 relievers.  Only top 8 are counted for simulation purposes.

HOU Relief

Rank WAA Name_TeamID IP
+056+ 4.14 Will_Harris_HOU 60.0
+121+ 2.75 Roberto_Osuna_HOU 65.0
+123+ 2.69 Ryan_Pressly_HOU 54.3
XXXXX 1.55 Joe_Smith_HOU 25.0
XXXXX 1.05 Hector_Rondon_HOU 60.7
XXXXX 0.69 Brad_Peacock_HOU 91.7
XXXXX 0.48 Jose_Urquidy_HOU 41.0
XXXXX 0 Bryan_Abreu 0
XXXXX -0.36 Josh_James_HOU 61.3
Total 12.99 TIER=3.28

Houston stocked up on relievers as well.  In a 7 game series having many relievers is probably necessary and in the Managing Baseball 101 set of rules for playoffs.

Don’t want to wait for current lineups to become available so here’s yesterday’s lineups which may be identical to what comes out later today.

NYA Lineup Yesterday

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+035+ 5.29 DJ_LeMahieu_NYA 2B-3B-1B 655
+172+ 2.14 Aaron_Judge_NYA RF-DH 447
+062+ 3.97 Gleyber_Torres_NYA SS-2B 604
+043+ 4.96 Edwin_Encarnacion_NYA 1B-DH 486
XXXXX 0.36 Giancarlo_Stanton_NYA LF 72
+126+ 2.65 Brett_Gardner_NYA CF-LF 550
+104+ 3.11 Gary_Sanchez_NYA CR-DH 446
+099+ 3.17 Gio_Urshela_NYA 3B 476
+142+ 2.48 Didi_Gregorius_NYA SS 344
Total 28.13 TIER=4.00

Every player but one ranked in top 200 which is incredible.  Yankees had similar playoff lineups last season.  Oh, and that Gleyber Torres.  I hear he’s only 22.

Update top of 4th:  Yankees up 2-1.  Just noticed the but in every player but is none other than former MVP  Giancarlo Stanton.  The plate appearance column is provided to show time.  With only 72 PAs Stanton hasn’t played much this season.  At 447 PAs Judge must have been out as well.   This is quite an amazing hitting squad NYA put together.  And did we mention Gleybar Torres is only 22 years old?

HOU Lineup Yesterday

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
+023+ 6.17 George_Springer_HOU CF-RF-DH 556
+124+ 2.67 Michael_Brantley_HOU LF-DH 637
+089+ 3.34 Jose_Altuve_HOU 2B 548
+011+ 7.22 Alex_Bregman_HOU 3B-SS 690
+042+ 5.00 Yordan_Alvarez_HOU DH-LF 369
+052+ 4.45 Yuli_Gurriel_HOU 1B-3B 612
+137+ 2.54 Carlos_Correa_HOU SS 321
XXXXX 0.92 Kyle_Tucker_HOU LF-RF 72
XXXXX 1.09 Robinson_Chirinos_HOU CR 437
Total 33.40 TIER=4.00

This is also a rock ’em sock ’em lineup.  Both lineups maxed out at Tier 4.00 which will probably continue throughout ALCS and WS for one of these teams.

That is all for now.  NLCS tomorrow.  Until then ….

ALCS Game 7

Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in. Tonight is game 7 ALCS and I didn’t want to comment on this anymore but there might be an interesting clue here about the betting markets;. Here is tonight’s game according to the market.

DATE 10_21 8:00_PM NYA HOU
LINEAWAY NYA [ 0.463 ] < 0.461 >
STARTAWAY 2.21(0.567) CC_Sabathia_NYA
LINEHOME HOU [ 0.558 ] < 0.559 >
STARTHOME 2.46(0.575) Charlie_Morton_HOU

The above is tonight’s game.  Two possibly Tier 2 or Tier 3 starting pitchers.  Both HOU and NYA have Tier 1 lineups so this is a 50/50 game with NYA having a relief advantage.    These same two starters pitched against each other 5 days ago in New York.  Here is what the markets said about that game on 10/16.

DATE 10_16 8:05_PM HOU NYA
LINEAWAY HOU [ 0.465 ] < 0.450 >
STARTAWAY 2.46(0.575) Charlie_Morton_HOU
LINEHOME NYA [ 0.556 ] < 0.569 >
STARTHOME 2.21(0.567) CC_Sabathia_NYA

Our analysis then is about the same  except HOU is now favored and by almost the same amount.  There is a concept of home field advantage and home field irrational exuberance.  It’s difficult to discern the two and for now a one game series like this, who knows.  Something to look into in the off season.

And finally, below is the playoff horse race table of the 10 MLB teams in the playoffs this year.  After tonight it will be … and then there are two.

TeamID Hitters Pitchers Starters Relief Total W-L
WAS 22.21 32.34 21.09 11.25 54.55 32
NYA 23.76 27.71 11.05 16.66 51.47 20
CLE 19.30 28.61 17.35 11.26 47.91 42
HOU 25.58 20.83 17.85 2.98 46.41 40
LAN 10.42 31.72 19.90 11.82 42.14 46
ARI 15.99 24.49 15.98 8.51 40.48 24
CHN 18.85 19.74 7.41 12.33 38.59 22
COL 19.80 7.53 -0.11 7.64 27.33 12
BOS 7.56 19.71 8.69 11.02 27.27 24
MIN 9.41 -4.08 -6.51 2.43 5.33 8