Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.
Most Highly Rated Game
Kansas City at Chicago NL | 14:20 ET
Ventura (54.1 IP, 94 xFIP-) vs. Wada (10.0 IP, 64 xFIP-)
This past Wednesday in the electronic pages, contributor Jeff Zimmerman examined the relationship between pitcher velocity and a number of batted-ball types. One revelation from that post: that, as velocity declines, a pitcher is likely to concede more home runs per batted ball. Or, rendered into the form of the graph, this:
The discovery is both (a) not shocking but also (b) of some assistance to understanding the relationship between the gap (whether positive or negative) which certain pitchers exhibit between their expected FIP (xFIP) and ERA numbers. While xFIP relies on the supposition that home-run allowance will regress to a league-average rate, what Zimmerman’s work suggests is that pitchers who feature higher than average fastball velocities are likely to outperform their xFIPs; those who feature lower than average velocities, to underperform them. Of some relevance, is this, to Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada, who (a) is a candidate to produce impressive fielding-independent numbers, but also (b) sits at only about 89 mph.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Chicago NL Television.