Game 1 Lineups and Outlook
At 4:05 Eastern time your Tampa Bay Rays will host the Toronto Blue Jays in the first of many games this year. These two will get very well acquainted as their 19 matchups this year will in all likelihood decide the division. Here is today’s lineups and outlook:
We can estimate each batter’s wOBA versus the starting pitcher using the Matchup Tool created by myself and Ian Malinowski. We’ve been over this before, but a quick recap:
- Regress career platoon splits for batters and pitchers using this method
- Apply the split to overall wOBA estimate to get expectations vs. average pitcher/hitter
- Use Log5 method to estimate expected wOBA in specific hitter/pitcher matchups
- Adjust for park, time through the order, pinch-hit appearance
- Use overall wOBA to estimate runs scored for both teams
- Plug expected runs into pythag to get win expectancy
- Compare to Vegas odds to see if an arbitrage opportunity exists
The Rays are expected to outscore the Jays at 4.5 to 4.1, except for that whole, y’know, binary nature thing of runs. These are smoothed estimates with a very high level of variability in actual outcomes. Use at your own risk. The odds are actually pretty close here so this does not look like a game where the Rays or Jays have much of an edge. As such, I would stay away.
The Rays will need to be very careful with Joey Bats and E5 (duh), but don’t let Michael Saunders creep up on you from that lower-in-the-order slot. This is an incredible lineup that only looks somewhat dampened because of how very good Chris Archer is against righties.