Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Home Opener Win and Win Probability Graph

The O's win their home opener and I decided to do some Win Probability analysis. Win Probability looks at the odds of each team winning the game as the game moves along and the events that change the advantage from one team to another. For a more detailed description of WPA, see this article. Here's the graph:

As you can see, after an early Detroit run, the O's offense put their foot on the Tiger's necks in the 3rd inning and never let them back into the game. The big WPA hero for the O's was (of course) Daniel Cabrera (.174) who shut down the Tigers for 7.2 innings. At the plate, there were several players who knocked in a run but Melvin Mora (.116) came through at the clutchest times. He was followed by Kevin Millar (.104) and Brian Roberts (.102). Nick Markakis did not help the cause at the plate (-.088) as he went 0-4 and left 3 baserunners on. The graph above shows the biggest single event movers for the O's.

The goats for Detroit were Chad Durbin (-.291) who single-handedly gave the game away. Carlos Guillen also came up small for the Tigers (-.119).

Leaving Win Probability behind, how impressive was Cabrera yesterday? He strikes out 5 and walks none. Cabrera has only had one other game in his career where he walked none and it also came against Detroit in way back in June 2005. the guy really looks like he's turned a corner.

I love the way Melvin Mora is hitting the ball. It looks like he is going to have a pretty good year and Baltimore needs his production to compete. And Kevin Millar hits another homer. He is looking like he will be a useful player this year, despite the fact he probably shouldn't be starting.

Maybe most importantly, Cabrera's performance allowed the bullpen to get a nice rest. Only Chad Bradford had to be tapped on Monday. John Parrish had appeared in 4 of 5 games before yesterday.

Tonight, Jaret Wright will try to bounce back from a miserable performance in Minnesota against Nate Robertson. Robertson is a very hittable lefty and lives on his ability to pitch out of jams. If the hitters are patient, the O's can put up a big number on this guy. Gametime temperature: 21 degrees!

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