Daily Notes: Feat. Actionable Counsel from the Readership by Carson Cistulli September 4, 2013 Table of Contents Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes. 1. Actionable Counsel from the Readership 2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game 3. Today’s Complete Schedule Actionable Counsel from the Readership Introduction In yesterday’s edition of these Notes, the author introduced a new calculation for Team and Game NERD scores for September — one designed, that is, to reflect the influence of the playoffs and playoff odds on the watchability of games during that month. While entirely the product of what one would regard as “the college try” — or at least “the prestigious boarding-school try” — the author’s methodology, like the author himself, was poorly conceived. “But, soft!” the author was occasioned to say later in the afternoon, however, while reading the comments to those same Notes. “What light through yonder blog post breaks? It is the east, and concerned reader Scott W is the sun.” Indeed, reader Scott W’s actual resemblance to a G-type main-sequence star remains, as yet, undetermined. His advice on the matter of NERD and playoff adjustments, however, was illuminating. His comment in full: Actually, now that I put some thought into this myself, the formula should incorporate both the odds to win the division and the odds to win the wild card, since each of these are kinda exciting by themselves. That said, the wild card as a consolation prize for losing a close division battle is not incrementally exciting, so we need to make sure that the NERDs are not duplicative in this regard. So I propose the following formula (based on your excellent work). A = the lesser of x) abs(50.0% – PO%) and y) abs(50.0% – DIV%) B = 50.0% – A September Team NERD = B * 20, then rounded to nearest integer value Where: PO% = the % chance of making the playoffs, and DIV% = the % chance of winning the division So if a team has a 40% chance of winning the division and a 40% chance of making the wildcard, then the divisional race is inherently more important since there is an 80% chance of making the playoffs – this gets you to a NERD of 8. Likewise, if a team has a 20% chance of the division and a 40% chance of a wildcard, then you use the fact that the team has a 60% chance of making the playoffs, also getting you to a NERD of 8. “Brilliant!” says one. “Very polite!” replies another. “About to be plagiarized,” says/said a third — in this case, the author himself. Indeed, what one finds below, so far as improved Team NERD scores are concerned, have been facilitated by reader Scott W’s very salient advice — and, it should also be noted, by the author’s own discovery of Excel’s MIN function. The new calculation does appear to more accurately reflect the actual level of excitement attendant to each team’s respective playoff odds — and addresses, in part at least, reader Straw Man’s suggestion that certain teams (the Indians and Yankees) ought to have Team NERD scores higher than 1. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game New York NL at Atlanta | 12:10 ET Dillon Gee (166.1 IP, 108 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR) faces Kameron Loe (17.2 IP, 121 xFIP-, -1.1 WAR). 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. Note: the following table is entirely sortable. Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP Home Time Dillon Gee NYN 5 0 1 0 5 ATL Kameron Loe* 12:10 Liam Hendriks MIN 0 0 1 0 4 HOU Jordan Lyles 14:10 Brian Flynn* MIA 10 0 2 0 8 CHN Jeff Samardzija 14:20 Yu Darvish TEX 10 10 9 10 4 OAK Jarrod Parker 15:35 Mark Buehrle TOR 5 0 2 0 7 AZ Randall Delgado 15:40 Tim Lincecum SF 7 0 1 0 4 SD Eric Stults 18:40 Zach Britton BAL 0 1 2 3 3 CLE Zach McAllister 19:05 Erik Johnson* CHA 8 0 3 3 7 NYA CC Sabathia 19:05 J. Zimmermann WAS 9 1 2 0 3 PHI Roy Halladay 19:05 Rick Porcello DET 8 0 2 1 3 BOS Ryan Dempster 19:10 Shelby Miller STL 9 6 4 1 5 CIN Bronson Arroyo 19:10 Francisco Liriano PIT 9 7 4 0 6 MIL Wily Peralta 20:10 Taijuan Walker SEA 9 0 2 0 7 KC Ervin Santana 20:10 Edinson Volquez LAN 3 0 1 0 3 COL Jorge de la Rosa 20:40 J. Hellickson TB 4 6 3 0 4 LAA Jered Weaver 22:05 To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here. To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here. * = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.