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NLCS Game 1 Projections: Giants @ Phillies

October 15, 2010


Player wOBA rv600 ePA   Player wOBA rv600 ePA
Andres Torres .362 18.5 4.8   Shane Victorino .351 11.2 4.8
Freddy Sanchez .335 3.3 4.68   Placido Polanco .335 2.4 4.68
Aubrey Huff .370 20.3 4.54   Chase Utley .385 29.1 4.54
Buster Posey .376 26.5 4.46   Ryan Howard .370 21.1 4.46
Pat Burrell .343 4.6 4.34   Jayson Werth .384 28.5 4.34
Juan Uribe .335 2.3 4.23   Jimmy Rollins .328 -0.6 4.23
Mike Fontenot .334 2.7 4.1   Raul Ibanez .361 17.1 4.1
Cody Ross .331 0.8 3.98   Carlos Ruiz .343 5.6 3.98
Pitcher .216 -59.3 3.86   Pitcher .216 -59.3 3.86

wOBA – Weighted On Base Average

rv600 – Run Value (Above Average) per 600 PA

ePA – Expected PA per lineup slot in the NL

Expected Giants RPG: 4.55

Expected Phillies RPG: 4.79

The Game 1 starters are arguably the two best pitchers in baseball the past few seasons, Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum. We’ll use their true-talent tRA to calculate expected R/9 allowed, and true-talent innings per start.

Tim Lincecum 2.91 2.79 3.12 6.7
Roy Halladay 2.64 3.03 3.21 7.5

tRA comes from StatCorner.

**Note that I didn’t adjust for Halladay’s ERA and FIP based on league, but rather only tRA (since that’s what we’re using here)**

Bullpens are a fickle thing, and trying to eliminate the inferior pitchers from each team, as well as adjusting for injuries and such would simply create more noise (and work!) than necessary. Instead, we’ll just finish off each starter’s expected line with the bullpen performance this season (again using tERA). The Giants sit at 3.46 with the Phillies at 3.93.

  Starter IP Starter RA Bullpen IP Bullpen RA Total RA
Giants 6.7 2.32 2.6 0.88 3.20
Phillies 7.5 2.68 1.5 0.65 3.56

I exclude defense because of the volatility of it in a 7 game series, especially with no huge difference between the two defenses.

Using the Odds Ratio combined with the pythagorean records from these expected numbers, we get these results:

Team eRS eRA x-W% % Victory
Giants 4.55 3.20 .655 52.52%
Phillies 4.79 3.56 .633 47.48%


Yes that’s right; in a Lincecum-Halladay matchup the Giants would actually be the better team using these numbers. But now we need to factor in home-field advantage.

Here’s my method for factoring in home-field, which I implemented during the NLDS: Rather than applying the +5% in expected winning%, I’ll apply the expected runs scored and allowed to the NL runs scored averages in home ballparks, rather than the league average. By using runs scored and allowed rather than wins and losses, we of course get a more precise measurement of home-field advantages. This also gives me a way to predict a more accurate expected final score, which just makes this whole process more attractive. And on to the numbers:

NL Home Runs Per Game: 4.474

NL Road Runs Per Game: 4.175

NL Runs Per Game: 4.325

Here are the expected numbers when adjusting for home-field:

Team eRS eRA x-W% % Victory
Giants 4.48 3.27 .639 49.03%
Phillies 4.87 3.49 .648 50.97%

Expected Final Score: Phillies 4.07, Giants 3.99

Despite the lineup advantage for the Phillies, Lincecum’s 2008 and 2009 seasons were good enough to make him a more effective pitcher (in terms of RA per inning) than Halladay and virtually create a 50/50 outcome in Game 1. One of Halladay’s advantages is his ability to throw more innings during a season, which is less significant in one game. The Giants match up much better with the Phillies than the media and casual fan is giving credit for, and although – as we’ll see in the upcoming projections – the Phillies are the better team, this should be a very, very close series, or at least involve close games.

**Update: I made an error in my Giants RPG calculations, and also substituted Fontenot for Sandoval, which gives the Phillies the edge**

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