Friday, April 5, 2013

Series Preview: Giants vs. Cardinals

The Giants were able to take two out of three from the Dodgers to kick off the season. Ruining their opening series and perhaps putting a touch of doubt in the minds of fans after all the money that was spent to build the team.

Now the Giants come home and look to avoid suffering the same fate against the Cardinals.

In what will be a weekend long celebration with a flag raising, an MVP ceremony for Buster Posey and finally the ring ceremony, it might be difficult for the team to focus on the games at hand. I imagine the  Cardinals won't have nearly the trouble, looking to get some revenge for the NLCS.

So let's take a look at the series.

In case you forgot or haven’t seen the explanation, here is a quick description of how the model works:
  • I start by estimating the runs scored and allowed for each team given the starting pitcher, bullpen, defense and each team’s offense.
  • The data used in the projection model is based on the current season’s statistics to date and ZiPS projections, with the weighting shifting more toward the actual stats as the season progresses. To start the season it is based entirely on ZiPS projections put into the lineup analysis tool from Baseball Musings.
  • The estimated run differential is then converted into a projected winning percentage using the pythagorean expectation.
  • Then, it’s converted into an odds of winning the game using the log5 method developed by Bill James

Probables (Via

Friday, April 5, 1:35 PM: Barry Zito vs. Jake Westbrook
Saturday, April 6, 1:05 PM: Ryan Vogelsong vs. Shelby Miller
Sunday, April 7, 1:05 PM: Matt Cain vs. Adam Wainwright


Giants Cardinals
Game 1 57% 43%
Game 2 52% 48%
Game 3 50% 50%
Sweep 15% 10%
2 out 3 40% 35%
1 out 3 35% 40%
0 out 3 10% 15%
Win Series 54% 46%
Lose Series 46% 54%

The Giants are slight favorites in the series according to the model, but I doubt that they will be easy games. The Cardinals are a very good team and I am always nervous when the Giants matchup against them.

I was a little surprised Game 1 gave the Giants the best odds but for the first time in what seems like ages Zito wasn't destroyed by the projection systems. Hopefully he still has some magic left in the tank and has the big curveball working.

It will be nice to have three straight day games as well. I wonder when the last time that happened was?

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