Sabermetrics

Cubs OPD Rankings: One Stat Will Rule Them All

This is a couple of weeks old, but Chris Dial at Baseball Think Factory came out with a huge spreadsheet rating every player in the league on offense and defense with the appropriately named metric OPD (Offense Plus Defense). It does not take into account baserunning though, and be aware that players are compared to those who play the same position.  He briefly explains the methodology in that link and a further description of the defense can be found here. I didn't spend a lot of time assessing the merits of his system, but it seems solid enough. It tells me Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer were the best players in their respective leagues last year and well that certainly passes the smell test, although by no means is it the ONE stat that will settle every argument from now until the end of days.

The full Google spreadsheet can be found at this link and I've listed the Cubs team ratings and individual players below. It would have been nice to put a ranking next to each player so I didn't have to count them out, which I'm not going to do for every player, but I'll let you know that Soto was 17th in the NL and DeRosa 18th. The numbers are runs relative to average, not replacement or wins, and of course, a positive number is above average, negative is below average.The general sabermetrician's rule of thumb is that 10-12 runs is good for a win.

Mmmm...Secret Sauce

One of the many toys at Baseball Prospectus is something they call "Secret Sauce". BP has successfully cracked the code to playoff success and nailed the last 45 World Series winners. What? How have you never heard of this amazing prediction system? Because I made that last part up, but nevertheless a fun tool to look at as we await our playoff opponent.

I looked back through 2000 and BP did predict three World Series winners and six of the 16 participants in the World Series correct. You scoff, but what's your playoff prediction success rate?

The formula is simple enough and rather intuitive to what is commonly believed among baseball folks that power pitching, a good closer and good defense wins in the playoffs. In this case, BP uses FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average), EqK9 (Equivalent Strikeout Rates per 9 innings) and WXRL (Win above Replacement Pitcher for the team's closer) and comes up with a score.

Their predictions and the 2008 rankings after the jump.

Cubs Appear Ripe for "Miracle" Season (in 1984)

No, this isn't a bold Ryan Dempster-like statement about the Cubs 2008 chances. We're going to hop into the DeLorean we have sitting around here at the sprawling TCR headquarters and visit my all-time favorite Cubs team - the 1984 ballcub.


I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who can point to the 1984 Cubs as the reason why they're still Cubs fans today. As a young nine-year old living in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, I had not yet quite sworn my life-debt to either Chicago team. If anything I was leaning towards the White Sox as they had just come off of a successful 1983 season and Dad G. fancied himself more a White Sox fan over the Cubs. Plus me and my brother scored like 8 White Sox helmets on a giveaway day the year before and that was kind of cool.

Then 1984 hit and the Cubs-love swept through Chicago. The mix of the "Daily Double", WGN, Harry Caray and being able to catch the end of most Cubs homes games right when I got home for school was enough to sway me to the Northsiders.

But, this piece isn't about my reasons for being a Cubs fan, rather about one man's bold prediction.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • good news is now 5 K's for Lester through 4 (in a quest for 200 for season). Bad news is he's already at 86 pitches.

    Rob G. 8 min 31 sec ago view
  • be curious how long Maddon sticks with Lester to try and let offense get back into it and get him the win (4-2 as I type, was 4-0)

    Fwiw, he needed 2.1 IP to cross 200 for season so he got that at least. He also needs 9 K's for 200K's on season and he has 4 through 3.

    Rob G. 14 min 20 sec ago view
  • cubs score 2 runs thanks to predictable reds pitching and horrible CIN defense...cubs only down by 1 now. heyward even got a gift 2rbi double out of an easy popout. neat.

    crunch 14 min 38 sec ago view
  • something named Ty Blach has outpitched Clayton Kershaw through 6 innings (1-0 Giants).

    #fuckingbaseball

    Rob G. 16 min 59 sec ago view
  • not that finishing 2nd place will matter much nor did this game, but have to think if Hendricks pitches well tomorrow, he could leapfrog Lester in Cy Young voting. Don't see anyway Scherzer doesn't win it regardless and it doesnt' look like Lester has any incentive clauses that matter. Also might give Cueto some votes.

    Rather remarkable how many teams have really good 1-2 options this year.

    Nats: Scherzer and Roark (and Strasburg was great before injuries)

    Cubs: Lester and Hendricks (and Arrietta is still damn good just not as consistently lately)

    Rob G. 24 min 16 sec ago view
  • pretty much what I'm gathering from this thread is that it doesn't matter who you play in  5-game series, but no one wants to have to deal with Cardinal fans if we end up losing.

    I can respect that.

    Rob G. 28 min 8 sec ago view
  • first game for lester giving up more than 2 runs since july 24th. hell of a run.

    crunch 59 min 49 sec ago view
  • doh, yes...dunno what happened there. jake arrieta is all "bro wut?"

    crunch 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • lester going for #20...cubs haven't had a LH (thanks jpep for the correction) 20 game winner since d.ellsworth in 1963.

    crunch 1 hour 33 min ago view
  • fwiw, all the games are free on mlb.tv

    crunch 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • Short rest for MadBum would be 2 days. WC game is Wed., Games 1 & 2 are Friday/Saturday.

    billybucks 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • A left-handed one...

    JoePepitone 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • J-Hey not finishing with an offensive onslaught.

    If Geoff Blum could be a Playoff hero, there is hope still...

    The E-Man 7 hours 33 min ago view
  • Giants scare me. I think you're wrong about Bumgarner, he would pitch on short rest for Game 2 and then full rest for Game 5. Cueto would go Game 1, then short rest in game 4. Add in some really tough outs in that lineup and I want nothing to do with them. With that rotation they can easily steal a series.

    Cards are a tough matchup. The rivalry evens out their comparable lack of talent. And like someone said, they love HRs, which is how to beat the Cubs. The upside is that I would feel really good about Lester twice against STL.

    John Beasley 8 hours 19 min ago view
  • j.buchanan with a nice start...5ip 2h 1bb 3k, 0r/er

    zobrist with 2HR and a double through 8

    heyward 0-4 :(

    crunch 20 hours 19 min ago view
  • Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales

    Soler likely to return Sunday, Maddon says

    crunch 22 hours 57 min ago view