Daily Notes, Beginning with a Line by Bill James

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

1. Featured Game: Washington at Philadelphia, 19:05 ET
2. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: Washington at Philadelphia, 19:05 ET
Regarding a Thing Bill James Said
Bill James said — while promoting his true-crime book last year on Sounds of Young America, I think it was — Bill James said something to the effect that “People are interested in things that other people are interested in.”

An Example of That Phenomenon in Action
An example of that phenomenon is any article you’d read in the Daily News, probably. Like about the murders in the Daily News. Or about how a woman was fired from her job for being too busty in the Daily News.

The Relevance of That Statement to This Game
The relevance of that statement to this game is how, according to NERD (our totally infallible measure of watchability), the Mets-Pirates game — featuring the perpetually amusing R.A. Dickey and suddenly effective James McDonald — receives the same score as this Nats-Phillies game. And yet, one imagines, it would be an exercise in folly to suggest that the Mets and Pirates were deserving of the highly esteemed “Featured Game” distinction.

The Difference Between Those Games
The difference between those games — among other differences, probably — is that the Phillies are averaging an NL-best 45,000 fans per game; the Pirates, an NL-worst 22,000.

The Difference Between Those Games, Part II
Apropos the above, I submit the following statement, which I believe to be uncontroversial: games that are (a) more well attended are also (b) more pleasant to watch on the television.

Starting Pitchers
Jordan Zimmermann (52.1 IP, 90 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR) of Washington faces Roy Halladay (64.1 IP, 89 xFIP-, 1.8 WAR) of Philadelphia.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project, FanGraphs readers prefer Washington and Philadelphia Radio about evenly (link).

Other Notable Games
Detroit at Cleveland | 19:05 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Vaunted Detroit Offense Status Update (as of Monday): 98 wRC+ (13th in majors), 3.1 batter WAR (28th).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cleveland Radio.

New York NL at Pittsburgh | 20:10 ET
As noted above, both R.A. Dickey and James McDonald (50.1 IP, 87 xFIP-, 1.5 WAR) start tonight. Not noted above is how Pittsburgh’s center-field camera this year is excellent — especially for scouting pitchers.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL Television.

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 5.1.

Regard, a magnificent and sortable table:

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Felix Doubront BOS 6 6 4 5 2 BAL Brian Matusz 19:05
Rick Porcello DET 7 3 4 4 0 CLE Ubaldo Jimenez 19:05
Luke Hochevar KC 5 6 5 6 4 NYA Phil Hughes 19:05
R.A. Dickey NYN 10 1 7 1 7 PIT James McDonald 19:05
Jor. Zimmermann WAS 8 5 7 4 7 PHI Roy Halladay 19:05
Brandon Beachy ATL 5 7 5 3 5 CIN Mat Latos 19:10
Juan Nicasio COL 6 7 5 3 3 MIA Ricky Nolasco 19:10
Drew Hutchison TOR 5 6 5 6 5 TB Matt Moore 19:10
Travis Wood* CHN 3 3 4 6 5 HOU J.A. Happ 20:05
P.J. Walters* MIN 5 2 5 4 5 CHA Gavin Floyd 20:10
Matt Cain SF 7 4 6 6 5 MIL Shaun Marcum 20:10
Edinson Volquez SD 5 4 6 10 7 STL Adam Wainwright 20:15
Aaron Harang LAN 4 6 5 4 5 AZ Trevor Cahill 21:40
C.J. Wilson LAA 4 4 3 4 1 OAK Graham Godfrey* 22:05
Matt Harrison TEX 5 10 5 5 3 SEA Hector Noesi 22:10

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.

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

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Also, by my calculations, the Nats-Phillies game has a game NERD of 6.750, while the Mets-Pirates game has a game NERD of 6.625.