Tag Archives: nlcs

NLCS Game 4

NLCS Game 4 tonight.  Let’s look at Handicapping for this game.

SLN WAS 10_15_8:05_PM

WAA Vegas TC Sim EV L S R
SLN 20 0.400 0.432 X 0.17 2.22 2.12
WAS 24 0.615 0.568 X 3.36 2.95 0.30

TC Sim has this game less favored for WAS than Vegas.  At 0-3 it’s pretty much over for the Cardinals.  Winning the next 4 games is around a 4% chance given they’re usually an underdog based on roster value and in Vegas.  The easiest path for a team in this situation is get it over with quickly and go home.  Situations like this are difficult if not impossible to model mathematically.  ELO has WAS at 63%.

Starters WAA WinPct IP Tier
Dakota_Hudson_SLN 4.70 0.621 174.7 2.22
Patrick_Corbin_WAS 5.96 0.633 202.0 2.95

These two starters are fairly equal in capability.

Update 10/16:  Since we’re from the future we know Patrick Corbin gives up 4 runs over 5 innings pitched in this game.  He gave up 6 runs in relief earlier which means the start of his post season career isn’t going well.  If Corbin is a dud in the playoff that will hurt Washington’s chances in World Series because they’ll need 4 starters.

Here are published lineups for tonight.

SLN Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 0.88 Tommy_Edman_SLN 3B-2B-RF 349
XXXXX -0.59 Jose_Martinez_SLN RF 373
+129+ 2.58 Paul_Goldschmidt_SLN 1B 682
+084+ 3.42 Marcell_Ozuna_SLN LF 549
XXXXX -1.07 Yadier_Molina_SLN CR 452
XXXXX 1.07 Paul_DeJong_SLN SS 664
XXXXX -0.82 Harrison_Bader_SLN CF 406
-174- -1.72 Kolten_Wong_SLN 2B 549
XXXXX 0.00 Dakota_Hudson_SLN none 0
Total 3.75 TIER=0.15

WAS Lineup Today

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos PA
XXXXX 1.47 Trea_Turner_WAS SS 569
XXXXX -0.86 Adam_Eaton_WAS RF 656
+005+ 8.95 Anthony_Rendon_WAS 3B 646
+020+ 6.19 Juan_Soto_WAS LF 659
+085+ 3.42 Howie_Kendrick_WAS 1B-2B-3B 370
XXXXX 0.06 Ryan_Zimmerman_WAS 1B 190
XXXXX 0.02 Victor_Robles_WAS CF-RF 617
XXXXX -0.88 Yan_Gomes_WAS CR 358
XXXXX 0.00 Patrick_Corbin_WAS none 0
Total 18.37 TIER=2.74

This is a very good lineup but will be over 1 tier below either what Yankees or Astros can produce.

NLCS is over if WAS wins tonight.  Historical post season coming soon.  Until then ….

NLCS Game 5

Looks like the Cubs kept from being swept.  They need 3 more wins in a row.  If every game is even steven, 50/50, their chances of advancing to the World Series is:

P(Cubs win NLCS)  = 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 = 1/8

Not every game will be a 50/50 matchup.  Here are lines for tonight’s game.

DATE 10_19 8:00_PM LAN CHN
LINEAWAY LAN [ 0.600 ] < 0.608 >
STARTAWAY 8.27(0.713) Clayton_Kershaw_LAN
LINEHOME CHN [ 0.417 ] < 0.408 >
STARTHOME 0.88(0.521) Jose_Quintana_TOT
------------------------------------
LAN 104 58 CHN 92 70
DELTAWAA 24 WINPCT 0.631 LAN

If this were a regular season game LAN would have a 63.1% chance just from the win/loss records between the two teams.  We would deviate from there.  According to our studies, the regular season deltaWAA table does not apply to the playoff season.

If playoff Clayton Kershaw comes out to pitch tonight like he did in NLCS  Game 6 last year this becomes a 50/50 game or the Cubs could even be favored.   Right now we can’t make any assumptions other than using regular season numbers.  CC Sabathia, a playoff problem pitcher, has pitched well for NYA in the playoffs so far this year as well as Masahiro Tanaka who had a bad regular season.  Lester is pitching far better than his regular season numbers.  Lester has a very positive history in the playoff season.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
+023+ 2.79 133.3 2.63 19 5 Jon_Lester_TOT PITCH

The above doesn’t include his data for the playoffs this year.  In December when we get the 2017 playoff data Lester should rise a few notches from rank #23 of all players in the playoffs since 1903.  Past results don’t affect future results.  Past results can  only show capability.

With the disparity between these two starters, the Ouija Board looks right where our simulation would end up had we finished the code.  This will be an off season work in progress and maybe we’ll show some study results every now and then.  If the Cubs win tonight we’ll be back doing this Saturday, and if not, Oh well.  Until then….

NLCS Game 1

Cubs play the Dodgers in LA tonight.  Just when we thought we were done  looking at Larry King’s mug last year in the NLCS, we may suffer that fate once again.  The Cubs have a worse team than last year, the Dodgers have a better team, and the Cubs  barely won NLCS last year.   Fortunately for the Cubs,  MLB forces them to play the games and not determine who wins based upon a computer simulation.

Here are the value numbers for all 4 teams left in the playoffs.

TeamID Hitters Pitchers Starters Relief Total W-L
NYA 23.76 27.71 11.05 16.66 51.47 20
HOU 25.58 20.83 17.85 2.98 46.41 40
LAN 12.18 33.80 19.90 13.90 45.98 46
CHN 18.85 20.93 7.41 13.52 39.78 22

This is the same table we compiled for our playoff horse race series which show the total WAA for each category.  Relief and Starters add to make Pitchers.  Pitchers and Hitters add to make Total.  The W-L column represents real wins and losses for the regular season which doesn’t matter anymore.

LAN will field a Tier 2 lineup throughout the playoffs.  The Cubs also have a Tier 2 lineup.  According to the above the Cubs’ have slightly better hitting even though both teams are in the same set we use for lineup-starter combo pairs.  The Cubs have the least overall value of the 4 teams left but they accrued most all of that value since All Star break.  The Dodgers flat lined the last bunch of weeks in the season.   That doesn’t matter in our analysis.  It’s just something to consider if you’re applying ifs ands or buts to your handicapping — which we don’t.

Anyway, here’s what the betting markets (aka Ouija Board) has to say about tonight’s probabilities.

DATE 10_14 8:05_PM CHN LAN
LINEAWAY CHN [ 0.385 ] < 0.351 >
STARTAWAY 0.88(0.521) Jose_Quintana_TOT
LINEHOME LAN [ 0.643 ] < 0.672 >
STARTHOME 8.27(0.713) Clayton_Kershaw_LAN
------------------------------------
CHN 92 70 LAN 104 58
DELTAWAA 24 WINPCT 0.631 LAN

LAN is favored by over 2-1 tonight which is a huge premium Dodger bettors must pay. The Cubs have lots of problems.  Out of service pitchers, had to fly from Washington to LA with a flight diversion.

The Cubs also have big problems with starting pitching these first two games.  Quintana pitched 2 outs in game 5 two days ago.  Hendricks is out.  Lester is out.  Wade Davis is probably out.  Arrieta out.  That leaves John Lackey who has this playoff record.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
XXXXX 0.84 140.3 3.27 23 6 John_Lackey_TOT PITCH  playoffs

Over 140 innings pitched and he’s unranked but above average.  If he could pitch above average tonight or tomorrow that should be perfectly acceptable.  Lackey hasn’t had a good season this year so who knows.  The upside is he pitches OK, the downside is he loses game 1 or 2 completely.  This situation is better than losing game 5 in the NLDS.  It’s unclear how long Quintana can pitch tonight.  This is his moment to shine however so maybe he’ll surprise us.

Quintana is considered Tier 3 and Kershaw Tier 1.  We have these two lineup-starter combo pairs.

  1. 2-1  Tier 2 CHN lineup vs. Tier 1 LAN starter —> 4.3 runs for CHN
  2. 2-3  Tier 2 LAN lineup vs. Tier 3 CHN starter —> 4.9 runs for LAN

The above can be simulated to generate a Win% but we haven’t finished that yet.  The above two pairs do not warrant a 0.671 probability according to the LAN line in the Ouija Board.   LAN has far better relief than the Cubs so that would boost them as well.  In order to bet the LAN line you would need an expected probability greater than 75% chance of winning tonight for the bet to not be considered gambling.  There are a lot of external factors crippling the Cubs in this game but we can’t measure those.

There is an external factor in this game that affects LAN however.  There are two Clayton Kershaws;  regular season HOF Clayton Kershaw, and his doppelganger, playoff Clayton Kershaw.  Below is playoff Clayton Kershaw’s record in the playoff season.

Rank WAA IP ERA Gs Gr Name_TeamID Pos
-030- -1.91 89.0 4.45 14 4 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH  playoffs

Ouch!  89 innings pitched and he’s ranked #30 in the bottom 200 of the playoff season which covers every player since 1903.   Kershaw pitched lights out game 1 last NLCS but faltered in game 6 allowing the Cubs to advance to the World Series.  We will forever be grateful to playoff Clayton Kershaw.

For the record, below is regular season future unanimous ballot HOF Clayton Kershaw.

Year WAA Name_TeamID Pos Rank
2008 0.1 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH XXXXX
2009 5.8 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH +027+
2010 5.6 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH +029+
2011 9.3 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH +002+
2012 7.8 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH +005+
2013 11.3 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH +001+
2014 9.0 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH +001+
2015 10.0 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH +003+
2016 8.6 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH +003+
2017 8.3 Clayton_Kershaw_LAN PITCH +006+
Total 75.8

Tonight we’ll see.   CHN almost could be a betting opportunity but we haven’t factored in LAN’s relief advantage which is even bigger based upon the Cubs having many relievers out of service from game 5 NLDS.   Quintana is starting on short rest.   We recommend the CHN line of 0.351 to be a discard as well.

NLCS and Nate Silver

On Friday, October 21, 2016 at 1:23:11 AM UTC-5, Frank Sereno wrote:

> Nate Silver’s Fivethirtyeight.com has installed the Cubs as
> favorites to win the World Series after last night’s win at 51%
> while the Indians are at 39 and the Dodgers at 10.

That’s interesting.  The Vegas lines on this would be far more accurate than Nate Silver.  I don’t have them however.

Although Nate Silver’s  election analysis is the best in industry because polling data can predict the future, he struggles with sports and much of it is simply made up.  It would be interesting to see all his math on this.  Some of the writers who work for him have published complete nonsense with their sports analysis but I digress…

The next two games for the Cubs should be around 50/50.  Kershaw should be favored in Game 6 like he was in game 2 but Arrieta should be equally favored the next game.  To keep the math simple let’s just say even steven both games.

The Dodgers have a 25% chance of going to the World Series, Cubs 3/4 or 75%.

If Nate is giving the Cubs 50% to win the WS that means his handicap for them is  66.6% favorites for the series against Cleveland.  This is quite high.  He thinks Dodgers would be almost even with Cleveland.

For LAN:  0.25 * 0.40 =~ 10%
For CHN:  0.75 * 0.67 =~ 50%

P(CLE) = P(Opponent = LAN)*( 1 – P(LAN)) + P(Opponent = CHN) * (1 – P(CHN))

where P(TeamID) is probability that team wins the series after winning the NLCS.

We know P(LAN) = 0.40 , P(CHN) = 0.67
P(Opponent = LAN) = 0.25
P(Opponent = CHN) = 0.75

Plugging all those numbers in I get Cleveland should be 40%.

> I have to work Saturday so at least I won’t have to hear Joe Buck
> verbally fellate Clayton Kershaw.

It will be funny to listen if Clayton has a bad game which is very much in the realm of possibility.  I will miss Larry King however.Watching Larry squirm and check his watch was priceless.  I hope I never have to see his face on TV  again.

Michael Wacha

Michael Wacha, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals was named MVP of NLCS.  Normally I’d post his career stats here but he’s a rookie so there’s just 2013.  Here’s his 2013:

Rank WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
123 1.7 64.7 2.78 15 4 1 Michael_Wacha_SLN PITCH

Notice how few games and innings pitched. He spent most the year in the minors here.

Rank WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
3 3.7 85.0 2.65 15 5 3 Michael_Wacha_Memphis_Redbirds_SLN_pcl PITCH

PCL is Pacific Coast League which is AAA.  He was ranked 3rd in the pcl league amongst pitchers  in 2013.  I do not have complete integrity checks on minor league stats so these numbers are preliminary.  Where do the Cardinals find these people?