Matchup eqas, based on both the hitters and pitchers splits:

              Wainwright Lynn   Kelly  Miller
Martin          248      256     277     243
Morneau         264      321     286     310
Walker          270      328     291     316
Mercer          220      227     246     216
Alvarez         270      328     291     316
Marte           244      252     273     240
McCutcheon      287      297     322     283
Byrd            263      272     294     259

Net            .2377   .2646   .2644   .2537 (includes a .100 pitcher)

                Burnett Cole Liriano Morton
Carpenter        361    312    167     413
Beltran          344    297    267     394
Holliday         268    303    311     256
Adams            342    295    130     391
Molina           246    278    323     235
Jay              310    268    134     355
Freese           218    247    303     208
Descalso         277    239    111     317

Net              2886  2599   2314    2966

Game 1: The Cardinals, behind Wainwright, are a huge favorite over Burnett and the Pirates in game 1. He’s got a huge lefty split, and the Cards will throw 5 against him (counting Beltran). A .2886-.2377 eqa margin equates to a 72.5% win percentage for the Cards.

Game 2: Lynn vs Cole: This time it is the Cardinal pitcher who has a big platoon split, but the Pirates can only send 3 lefties up to the plate (unless they choose to send Jones up over Marte). It makes for what should be the evenest matchup of the series; the Pirates have a .2646-.2599 eqa advantage, which comes out to a 52.2% chance for the Pirates to win game 2.

Game 3: All those lefties spell trouble for the Cards in game 3, as they have to face Francisco Liriano and his extraordinary lefty-killing splits. Meanwhile, Kelly offers the Cardinals nothing special. Its a .2644-.2314, Pirates, and that makes a 66.1% win chance for the Pirates.

Game 4: But all those Cardinal lefties come back in game 4, because Morton has even worse splits than Burnett. The Cardinals against Charlie stack up as a .2966 eqa, against the .2537 the Pirates manage against Shelby Miller. If it is Miller – Wacha’s numbers would come through as better than Miller’s, so the odds would only go up from the 68.6% in the Cardinal favor.

Game 5 figures to repeat game 1. <Edit: Ah, the Pirates swict to Cole for game 5. That makes it a much tighter .2599-.2377 Cardinal advantage, 61% instead of 73%…without taking into account the rest advantage for the Cardinals.>

Stick those percentages in with a random number generator, and the Cardinals are projected to win the series 67.6958% of the time.

And, with game 1 in the books and a 9-1 win, the Cardinals are up 78% to win the series.

 

Same setup as with the Reds/Pirates yesterday.

Danny Salazar goes 225 v left, 253 v right, and is RH.

Molina (R) 214 v RH, Salazar 253, net .208
Loney (L) 285 v 225 = 247
Zobrist (B) 295 v 225 = 255
Escobar (R) 252 v 253 = 245
Longoria (R) 281 v 253 = 273
DeJesus (L) 282 v 225 = 244
Jennings (R) 255 v 253 = 248
Myers (R) 291 v 253 = 283
Young (R) 259 v 253 = 252

Team total, .2505. Myers and Longoria are the strengths, Molina the notable weak link.

For the Indians, against Alex Cobb. Cobb is also right-handed, with a 245/226 left/right split.

Gomes (R) 272 v 226 = 236
Santana (B) 293 v 245 = 276
Kipnis (L) 291 v 245 = 274
Cabrera (B) 261 v 245 = 246
Aviles (R) 247 v 226 = 215
Brantley (L) 272 v 245 = 256
Bourn (L) 250 v 245 = 236
Swisher (B) 249 v 245 = 235
Giambi (L) 243 v 245 = 229

Team total, .2459.

[Late edit: so it seems it will Chisenhall at third instead of Aviles; he gets 252 v 245 = 237, Likewise, Raburn will play RF, pushing Swisher to 1B, Santana to DH, and iambi to the bench. So, effectively, Raburn (282 v 226 = 245) instead of Giambi. That changes the team total to .2490, which gives the Rays a .508 chance - prior to home field advantage.]

That difference spells a narrow Rays advantage, about a .523 win percentage.

Which I used as my title. However…

I haven’t accounted for home field, which should amount to about +.020 for Cleveland and -.020 for the Rays, which puts us at .503-.497 for the Rays. Nor have I accounted for (or, frankly, have any idea how to quantify) fatigue, as the Rays have been bouncing around the eastern half of North America while the Indians stayed home.

 

A very quick look at the Reds/Pirates game tonight.

Reds starter Johnny Cueto, this season, had a .207 eqa against left-handed hitters and a .234 eqa against righties. He is himself a RH.

Russell Martin, the Pirates catcher, is right-handed, and hit for a .275 eqa against right-handed pitchers.

Now, if a hitter with a .275 eqa goes against a pitcher who allows a .234 eqa, the expected eqa of the result should be roughly (275*234 / 260), or .248. This value is consistent with converting each of the eqas into winning percentages, letting them go head to head with the log5 method, and converting back into an eqa.

Repeating for the whole Pirate roster

C   Martin (R)      .275v234  =  .248

1b Morneau (L)     .297v207 = .236

2B Walker (S)      .296v207 = .236

SS Mercer (R)       .247×234 = .222

3B Alvarez(L)      .299v.207 = .238

LF Marte (R)        .278v234 = .250

CF McCutcheon (R)  .322v234 = .290

RF Byrd (R)         .291v234 = .262

The average value, for the whole Pirate team, is .249; eqas don’t sum linearly, they sum by the 2.5 power. That’s not a big deal here (a straight mean is .248), but will be for the opposite calculation.

Doing the same thing for the Reds against Francisco Liriano is trickier, because his EQA against lefties is so low as to be below zero. The eqa is low enough that a lineup of average hitters would be better off without that hitter in it, even if they got fewer chances as a result. Using an alternate form of the eqr equation, one that can’t go sub-zero, yields an eqa of .132. Against righties , he’s got a decidedly pedestrian .265 eqa allowed.

C Hanigan (R)    225v265 = 229

1b Votto (L)     303v132 = 154

2b Phillips (R)    271v265 = 276

SS Cozart (R)     245v265 = 250

3B Frazier (R)     278v265 = 283

LF Ludwick (R)   278v265 = 283

CF Choo (L)       243v132 = 123

RF Bruce (L)       262v132 = 133

The average value here works out to a .230 eqa when using the 2.5 power rule, quite a bit higher than the .216 you’d get from a straight average.

The win chance of a .249 eqa team (the Pirates) against a .230 team (the Reds) is .598.

Extending this into bullpens would probably only help the Pirates more. They had a composite .240 eqa from their bullpen in 2013, compared to the Reds .245; their likely top 4 dominate the Reds top 4, in a game theory sense:

Melancon 190 v Chapman 207
Watson 207 v Hoover 231
Wilson 217 v LeCure 232
Grilli 225 v Simon 225

 

One of the things I do every day is the download from MLB for new players, both new to the majors and to the minors.

This guy showed up as new this morning:

639238,2013,”Arredondo, Edgar”,”Arredondo”,”Edgar”,”",”Edgar”,”",569,”TIG”,11,”OOC”,”1″,”47″,”",”R”,”R”,75,192,1997/04/16,”Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico”,”",”-”,”-”,”",”-”,”-”,”-”

Without going through all the codes, this Edgar Arredondo has joined the Tigres of the Mexican League, who used to be in Mexico City years ago but have re-established themselves in Cancun (state of Quintana Roo) on the Yucatan coast. The big deal is the birthdate: 4/16/1997. If that’s accurate, it makes him easily the first 1997 player in my database.

And he was the Tigre’s starting pitcher of the night, going two scoreless innings (one hit, one walk). And I do find articles from last year with him pitching in the 15-under world championships, so yes, I’d say this guy’s legit.

 

In case you couldn’t tell, I have been back home for several days (perfect recovery no, but the trajectory is upwards) and the updates have been going out.

And I think I may have, finally, tracked down all the stupid errors in my software that came from Houston being in the American League now. We’ll see if all the pages load tomorrow like they are supposed to.

 

Until I return home from surgery. Maybe tomorrow, more likely saturday.

 

I participated in another “expert” draft on Tuesday night, courtesy of an invitation from Grey Albright at Razzball. It was a 12-team mixed league straight draft, and it was a strange experience – without a doubt the shallowest draft I’ve played in several years.

About the only plan I had going in was to avoid the players I had taken in LABR’s mixed league – spread my risks around, if you will. I wound up breaking that rule, not once, but four times, with players who had been sitting at the top of my boards for a long time by the time I took them.

The most interesting part of the draft for me, though -  and not in a good way – was the physical toll it had on me. It was only about three hours, and I did the whole thing from the comfort of my office chair, but by the last few rounds I was sweating like I was in the Amazon, my stomach was a solid constricted knot, and my head was crossed between a solid compressional pain and a loopy lightheadedness that had me barely able to sit up. It gives me a lot of worry about how I’ll handle upcoming drafts, in person, away from my house, for six+ hours at a time.

I had the six spot in this draft,  a touch better than the 13 I drew in LABR – right in the middle of the pack, with a steady interval between picks. Braun, Cabrera, Trout, McCutcheon, and Cano went before me. I settled for Matt Kemp readily enough.  Those who know me know I tend to value pitchers more than most, so it should not come as a surprise that I took Justin Verlander in the second round (Kershaw had gone a couple of picks earlier, and I probably would have taken him if I could.)

The third round had me salivating for Adam Jones, who was taken right before my turn. Damn. (That was my only real non-self-inflicted Damn of the night, though, so that’s good). I reloaded with Jay Bruce instead, and when the fourth round got back to me I decided to take an infielder with Starlin Castro. The fifth round sent me back to pitchers, and I chose Craig Kimbrel – first closer taken, and with serious misgivings about how he’s looked this spring. Freddie Freeman is one of my favorite breakout guys for the season, and his spring numbers – .346 translated EQA in Florida games – hasn’t done anything to dissuade me. I got him in the sixth. I took Kris Medlen in the 8th – he wasn’t actually next on my list, but only because of my doubts about his endurance, giving me three Braves in a row.

My 8th round went to Carlos Gomez, and I’m not sure why – I seem to have had a sudden panic attack about stolen bases and just flipped his name out there. Number 9 for me was Sergio Romo, who I clearly like a lot better than any other site I’ve seen. Tenth I took the “catcher” who is least likely to catch any games at all this season, Victor Martinez. I’m honestly not sure what to expect from him, but I do love the lineup slot he’s got. Eleven saw me go back to the mound for C.J. Wilson; here’s looking at the minor surgery clearing up the problem that dragged him down the last couple of months of 2012.

Halfway through, and I make my first repeat in Danny Espinosa. I really should have taken Howie Kendrick here – they were essentially equal players on my draft sheet, and I like what Kendrick (.409) has done this spring a lot more than Espinosa (.232).  I think the physical issues were starting to come on and affect me. Went to Doug Fister for my 13th pick, Pedro Alvarez at 14 (there was a run going on 3b going on, and I was getting panicky about being stuck with an even deeper option). Decided to take on some age and get Torii Hunter in the 15th. For 16 I hit my repeat board again, with another player I love as a 2013 breakout – Brandon Belt.

At 17 I went for Jason Vargas, who had actually been atop my board for a couple of rounds – I do love the outfield he’ll be pitching in front of. Alexei Ramirez at 18 wrapped up my infield. At this point I went looking for a pitcher who’s forecast was tolerable – not necessarily the best that’s left, but someone who had value within the format – but was having a strong spring. And I came up Jeff Niemann. I decided to take Joaquin Benoit next – I’ve got Rondon in another league, so I should have a closer in at least one of them. I did sort of the same thing for hitters, bringing up Aaron Hicks and his likely seizure of Minnesota’s center field. Hmm. Probably not my best choice of words. That left one more spot on my roster, and I filled it with a repeat (ugh) of Drew Stubbs (ugh ugh).

I was able to wash that sour taste out of my mouth by taking the hottest of hot bats, Jackie Bradley, with my first reserve pick. I liked him a lot coming into the season – the straight output forecast gave him a .274 eqa and 3.0 WARP, which was the 3rd-best total amongst Boston outfielders (Victorino and Ellsbury were higher). I certainly don’t like him less with his spring. Found my way to taking Hyunjin Ryu, another repeat, next, but I love what I get from the Korean numbers. And with the last pick, I went with a guy whose spring numbers are even better than Jackie Bradley’s, and in an organization where there is a lot less talent blocking his path to the majors – Christian Yelich of the Marlins.

And so to bed.

 

As so often happens, the rollout didn’t go quite as expected.

Spring data didn’t actually start loading until Monday, but should be on all player cards now. (Just the 2013 spring data).

The pitchers forecast pages were supposed to become analogous to the hitter pages – primarily through the addition of their top 20 comps. But it looks like that change didn’t make it all the way through the list – it seems to cut off somewhere between CC Sabathia and Jeff Samardzija. And there seem to be some odd problems – Trevor Bauer’s comp list has reasonable personnel but strange numbers, which I think might relate to having less than three years of work; I think innings are getting divided by 3, but runs are only getting divided by 2.

But in Miguel Gonzalez’s case, I find it very hard to believe that comp list belongs with that starting line – as though two jobs were running at once, and the other guys comp list made it in. Let me dig into those issues.

Update – Bauer problem solved, and yes, the less than three years bit had a lot to do with it.

 

 

 

Just as I’m getting ready to throw in the towel, I finally track down the bugs in the pitching projections that have been driving me up a wall for more than a month. And damned if it isn’t always the stupidest, piddlingest crap that is the hardest to find – I’d managed to switch the indices between the input league and the output league.

The way the program is supposed to work, the real stats are compared to the real league, and then adjusted to the new league. Somehow, don’t know when or how, the part that was supposed to move the stats from translation space back to the expected 2013 reality was going off on a weird angle.

And yes, that was holding me up from writing. I couldn’t face up to an audience without having a proper product (even if the product, with all its faults, was going out already.)

So start by checking out the Projected Standings tab. That’s the culmination of this winter’s work, as it stands now…early in the spring, with a lot of decisions yet to be settled. I would have liked to have had this done two months (and two of my own drafts) ago, but life doesn’t always move at our preferred pace.

AL East Won Lost Runs Runs A
TOR 87 75 778 716
NYY 86 76 735 689
TBY 85 77 662 624
BOS 84 78 789 754
BAL 76 86 687 732

Just to be clear about what goes in to the projections: all of the performance rates are based on the computer output. No manual intervention allowed. The computer also sets the upper limit for playing time. For a clear starter, I’ll stay within that limit, with a few exceptions (Stephen Strasburg, for instance, I bounced a good 30 IP above the computer, which is still a conservative 180 innings).  Deciding on who’s the starter – and how long they’ll hold it, and who the likely replacements are – that’s all me.

And when I put all of those things together, I get an absolute free for all in the AL East, with four out of five dentiststeams falling within an 84-87 win range. Looking at the Playoff Chances tab, which runs with these projections a million times, they are all in the 37-50% range for making the playoffs. The Orioles are well back, around 10% – as much as I don’t want it to be so, their performance last year was built on so much good luck that a repeat seems impossible.

Going back to the ‘Projected Standings’, if you click on the TOR tab you’ll get my full projection for the team. The team stats are sortable; just click the header line. Each player should be a link; click there and you should get a full page for the player, with stats  for his full career, right through whatever he’s done in spring training so far this year. (I think – I’ve been able to run the ST stats manually, but they haven’t gone through an automated computer run yet). Everything is still subject to change, and I welcome your suggestions on what to add. And write on – topic selection has always been a weakness for me.

And so, to bed.

 

No sooner do I say I am back, then I come down with an inflammation of my stomach that’s wiped me out for a week.

I estimate that my gas generation this past week has vaulted me into a top 10 source for climate change.

 
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