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World Series Game 1 Projections

October 27, 2010


So here we are, Game 1 of the World Series. It’s the first Fall Classic for the Rangers, and the Giants first return since 2002. Both cities are looking for their first baseball title. The trend continues for the Giants, as it is another fantastic pitching match-up: Tim Lincecum vs. Cliff Lee.

The projections for the World Series are a bit more different, as we have to adjust for league differences, mainly dealing with talent levels, the DH, and some minor issues such as average innings per start (due to not having to PH for pitchers in the AL). Onto the lineups:

Player wOBA rv600 ePA Player wOBA rv600 ePA
Andres Torres .362 18.5 4.8 Elvis Andrus .305 -15.2 4.8
Freddy Sanchez .335 3.3 4.68 Michael Young .348 5.73 4.68
Aubrey Huff .370 20.3 4.54 Josh Hamilton .388 23.07 4.54
Buster Posey .376 26.5 4.46 Vladimir Guerrero .362 13.22 4.46
Pat Burrell .343 4.6 4.34 Nelson Cruz .387 26.51 4.34
Cody Ross .331 0.8 4.23 Ian Kinsler .359 11.98 4.23
Juan Uribe .335 2.3 4.1 Bengie Molina .302 -14.86 4.1
Edgar Renteria .309 -11.8 3.98 Mitch Moreland .358 14.6 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: 4.44

Expected Rangers RPG: 4.51

As mentioned before, two of the best pitchers of the game face off in Lincecum and Lee.

Tim Lincecum 2.91 2.79 3.12 6.7
Cliff Lee 3.03 2.82 2.91 7.3

tRA comes from StatCorner.

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 Rangers at 3.97. However, when converting to the NL we get an adjusted tRA for the Rangers of 3.68.

Starter IP Starter RA Bullpen IP Bullpen RA Total RA
Giants 6.7 2.32 2.6 0.88 3.20
Rangers 7.3 2.36 1.7 0.70 3.06

I exclude defense because of the volatility of it in a 7 game series (and simply one game in this scenario), 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 4.44 3.20 .646 47.22%
Rangers 4.51 3.06 .671 52.78


Again, I’m changing home-field advantage adjustments. I completely undervalued the advantage by using the runs scored and allowed method. The issue isn’t just that the home team pitches and hits better, but rather, they play better altogether; runs, runs allowed and in the clutch and high leverage situations. Teams at home win more 1-run games than they lose. If you simply use the pythagorean formula to calculate expected home W% you get a team that wins around 53% of its home games. When in reality, the home team (this year, in both leagues), has a .5625 W%, or an extra 3.125% advantage at. . I’m simply going to apply these adjustments to the chance of victory and not go into expected final score, as there’s way too much noise there to predict (although I understand that it was just there for fun). As of now, extra work would have to be put into that with my limited information and resources.

Team x-W% xHF-W% % Victory
Giants .646 .677 54.16%
Rangers .671 .640 45.84%


So there you have it, the Giants have a 54.16% of taking game one, despite the Rangers putting out better pitching and better offense (although neither by very much). That’s the benefit of home-field advantage. It’s very possible that this year’s All-Star Game will have an effect on the outcome of the World Series. We shall see, in the meantime, let the torture continue.

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