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NLCS: Rotation Evaluations

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Yesterday I compared the lineups of the Mets and the Cardinals using a makeshift stat I threw together called VORP100, which is just a player's value over replacement per 100 place appearances. The plate appearance part is to level the playing field between two guys with disparate playing time. Today I'm going to take a look at the scheduled starting pitching matchups using a similarly-jury-rigged metric I call SNLVAR100. It just rolls right off the tongue, don't it?

SNLVAR, or Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Above Replacement, is kind of like VORP for pitchers. They actually do have VORP for pitchers but I don't particularly like the way it works, so SNLVAR, another Baseball Prospectus metric, is what I use. The "100" in this case represents 100 innings pitched, again to adjust for differing workloads.

The starting pitchers for the NLCS are subject to change depending on the weather and possibly some other factors, but here are the matchups as it stands right now.

GAME 1 => Edge: METS

Tom Glavine: 2.51 SNLVAR100
Jeff Weaver: 1.80 SNLVAR100 (with Cardinals)

Weaver is much worse if you count his time with the Angels, but I'm willing to give him a blank slate in the NL. Still, Glavine has been substantially more valuable this year, just as he has for every year in which both have been in the league, I'm assuming. This is by far the best matchup from the Mets' perspective. This is a game the Mets simply have to win.

GAME 2 => Edge: METS

John Maine: 2.67 SNLVAR100
Jeff Suppan: 2.26 SNLVAR100

Jeffy Soup holds his own against John Maine, though the rookie still has an edge. Considering what's in store for the Mets in Game 3 they should look to jump on Suppan early and, with a little luck, can head to St. Louis with a two game lead.

GAME 3 => Edge: CARDINALS

Steve Trachsel: 1.76 SNLVAR100
Chris Carpenter: 3.29 SNLVAR100

Gah. Just a horrible mismatch here, as Carpenter is one of the best pitchers in the league and is on his way to another Cy Young while Trachsel is a wine afficionado.

GAME 4 => Edge: PUSH

Oliver Perez: 1.09 SNLVAR100 (with Mets)
Jason Marquis: 1.08 SNLVAR100

Pretty even match, here. Perez's numbers would be lower if we counted his time in Pittsburgh, but I'm inclined to discard them just as I have Weaver's time in the American League.

FINAL TALLY: METS 2, CARDINALS 1, PUSH 1.

UPDATE: In case Tony La Russa goes with Anthony Reyes in Game 4 instead of Jason Marquis, Reyes has a SNLVAR100 of 2.23, much higher than Marquis or Oliver.