Daily Notes: A-ing a Rhetorical Q About Mets, Cards

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of csontents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: St. Louis at New York NL, 16:10 ET (Free Game)
2. One Other Notable Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: St. Louis at New York NL, 16:10 ET
A Question Someone Might Ask
A question someone might ask ahead of this game — for rhetorical purposes, say — is this: “What’s more surprising: that the Cardinals are in second place in their division, or that the Mets are in second place in theirs?”

Regarding the Intent of Such a Question
The intent of such a question likely would be to illustrate how the Cardinals’ record (27-25, 2.5 games behind the Reds) is worse than one would expect (given their run scoring and prevention so far) and how the Mets’ record (29-23, 1.0 games behind the Nationals) is better (according to the same criteria).

An Actual Possible Answer
Using each team’s respective WAR record — that is, a theoretical record based on the wins above replacement each club has amassed at the team level — it’s possible to provide something like an actual answer to that question.

The NL East by WAR Record
Here, for example, is the NL East by WAR record (through play yesterday):

Place Team WAR W WAR L WAR%
1 Nationals 31.4 18.6 0.629
2 Phillies 28.4 24.6 0.536
3 Marlins 27.6 24.4 0.532
4 Mets 26.1 25.9 0.503
5 Braves 25.9 26.1 0.499

The NL Central by WAR Record
And here’s the NL Central by WAR (also through play yesterday):

Place Team WAR W WAR L WAR%
1 Cardinals 32.6 19.4 0.628
2 Reds 25.5 25.5 0.500
3 Brewers 24.6 27.4 0.474
4 Cubs 23.2 27.8 0.455
5 Astros 22.6 29.4 0.435
6 Pirates 21.5 29.5 0.421

Irrefutable Conclusion
The irrefutable conclusion, based on the above, is that the Cardinals, actually, are the more surprising second-place team. While ca. 6.5 WAR wins separate them from the next best NL Central team, only about 1.5 or 2.0 WAR wins separate the Mets from the Phillies.

A More Refutable Conclusion
Decidedly more refutable than the above would be the conclusion that the author has utilized anything resembling “sense” in the composition of this missive.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project, FanGraphs readers prefer New York NL Television (link).

One Other Notable Game
Atlanta at Washington | 16:05 ET
Stephen Strasburg (58.0 IP, 72 xFIP-, 1.7 WAR), whose start was rained out last night, starts for the Nationals. Additionally: provided this game is played, Atlanta’s newly promoted shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons (who takes newly demoted shortstop Tyler Pastornicky’s spot on the 25-man roster) is expected to make his major-league debut.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Either Atlanta or Washington Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.3.

Note: the following Game Scores include the poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment discussed in a recent edition of Daily Notes. Also note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Felix Doubront BOS 7 4 6 6 2 TOR Kyle Drabek 13:07
Brandon McCarthy OAK 4 2 3 6 5 KC Luke Hochevar 14:10
Brandon Beachy ATL 5 7 8 5 10 WAS Stephen Strasburg 16:05
Ricky Nolasco MIA 3 4 7 4 9 PHI Cole Hamels 16:05
Brian Matusz BAL 3 5 5 5 3 TB Jeremy Hellickson 16:10
Aaron Harang LAN 4 5 5 9 6 COL Juan Nicasio 16:10
Hector Noesi SEA 3 5 3 6 4 CHA Gavin Floyd 16:10
Lance Lynn STL 8 10 9 1 10 NYN R.A. Dickey 16:10
Erik Bedard PIT 5 1 4 5 5 MIL Shaun Marcum 19:10
Daniel Hudson AZ 6 4 4 5 4 SD Edinson Volquez 19:15
Matt Garza CHN 7 4 6 5 6 SF Matt Cain 19:15
Mat Latos CIN 5 3 5 6 5 HOU Wandy Rodriguez 19:15
P.J. Walters MIN 4 2 5 4 7 CLE Josh Tomlin 19:15
Hiroki Kuroda NYA 2 5 5 5 6 DET Rick Porcello 19:15
Yu Darvish TEX 6 10 5 3 4 LAA C.J. Wilson 22:05

To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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I’m a little surprised that the Nats are going to trot out Strassburg after the rain out. I figured that with him being on an innings limit that they’d try to get him as far into the season as possible before having to shut him down. It’s not like you can’t trust Gonzalez to pitch well, hell, the whole rotation has been excellent this season.

my jays are red
my jays are red

though implied, rizzo has not officially announced that strasburg would be shut down


He is smart not to announce it. If he were today that he is on a limit of maybe 170 IP then what do they do if he hits that on September 1st while they are still in the race? That’s not a omfortable position to be in and maintaining flexibility is always a good thing.