Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.
Announcement: NERD Scores Now Available
The purpose of this announcement is to inform the reader that NERD scores are now available and will be a fixture in the Daily Notes for the remainder of the season.
“What is a NERD score, even?” a reasonable person might ask. It’s this, in fact: an attempt to summarize, in one number (on a scale of 0-10), the watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. It’s also this: a response to a challenge issued by Rob Neyer to the author in May of 2010.
Below is a discussion of pitcher and team NERD, specifically — along with leaderboards for each and relevant current formulae.
NERD for Pitchers: Leaderboards and Formula
Leaders and Laggards
In America, it is possible to see the top-10 pitchers according to NERD so far in 2013 (minimum 20 IP). Right here, for example:
It is also possible to see the bottom 10, as in here:
The formula for pitcher NERD — and that formula’s assorted variables — have been derived using the hardest science available.
The present formula for pitcher NERD is unchanged since last season. Below are the components included in its calculation:
• Swinging-Strike Rate (SwStrk)
• Strike Rate (Strk)
• Velocity (Velo)
• ERA-xFIP (Luck)
• Knuckleball Rate (KN)
And here’s the formula itself:
(zxFIP * 2) + (zSwStrk / 2) + (zStrk / 2) + zVelo + zAge + Luck + (KN * 5) + Constant
• Any variable preceded by a z represents the z-score — or standard deviations from the mean — of the relevant metric. The population used for determining the mean in this case includes all starters who’ve thrown 20 innings.
• Players are never assessed negative, but only positive, scores for Velo, Age, and Luck. Any number that would be below zero is simply rendered as zero. Note that Velo and Age are capped at 2.0; Luck, at 1.0. For science reasons.
• The constant at the moment is about 4.0.
NERD for Teams: Leaderboard and Formula
Here’s the complete leaderboard for team NERD. A discussion of the components of, and formula for, team NERD follow below:
The formula for team NERD — and that formula’s assorted variables — are all below.
The present formula for pitcher NERD has been altered, but only very slightly, since last season. Below are the components included in its calculation:
• Park-Adjusted Batting Runs Above Average (BAT)
• Park-Adjusted Home Run Rate (HR%)
• Baserunning Runs (BsR)
• Bullpen xFIP (BULL)
• Team UZR (UZR)
• Payroll, Where Below Average Is Better (PAY)
• Batter Age, Where Younger Is Better (AGE)
• Expected Wins, Per WAR, Minus Actual Wins (LUCK)
And here’s the formula for team NERD:
zBAT + zHR% + zBsR + (zBULL / 2) + (zUZR / 2) + zPAY + zAGE + (LUCK / 2) + Constant
• As with pitcher NERD, any variable preceded by a z represents the z-score of the relevant metric — in this case, relative to averages for the whole league.
• Teams are never assessed negative, but only positive, scores for Pay, Age, and Luck. Any number that would be below zero is simply rendered as zero. Note that Luck is capped at 2.0.
• Last year, park-adjusted home runs per fly ball (HR/FB) was used as the proxy for team power. This year, it’s park-adjusted home-run rate (HR%). Because Dan Turkenkopf’s HR/FB park factors are three years old at this point, is one reason. And also for the sake of simplicity, is mostly why.
• Last year, Speed Score (Spd) was used as the proxy for team speed/baserunning ability. In the meantime, however, we’ve added stolen-base runs to our previously available baserunning metric (UBR) here at the site. As a result, baserunning runs (BsR) ought to work as a meaningful proxy for speed and baserunning. Also, Spd seemed to favor the Colorado Rockies unduly in 2012, and it was upsetting for both the author and every reader.
• The constant for team NERD is currently at about 4.25.
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 5.6.
Note: the following table is entirely sortable.
|Lucas Harrell||HOU||2||6||5||6||6||NYA||Andy Pettitte||19:05|
|Mike Pelfrey*||MIN||2||3||5||4||10||DET||Max Scherzer||19:08|
|Matt Harvey||NYN||10||9||8||0||9||MIA||Jose Fernandez||19:10|
|Stephen Strasburg||WAS||8||5||7||10||5||ATL||Julio Teheran||19:10|
|Clayton Richard*||SD||2||3||5||2||10||CHN||Jeff Samardzija||20:05|
|Ubaldo Jimenez*||CLE||4||8||6||7||7||KC||Wade Davis*||20:10|
|Wandy Rodriguez||PIT||5||7||5||5||3||MIL||Yovani Gallardo||20:10|
|Mat Latos||CIN||9||6||8||3||10||STL||Adam Wainwright||20:15|
|Matt Cain||SF||6||5||5||5||5||AZ||Ian Kennedy||21:40|
|Tommy Hanson*||LAA||2||3||6||7||10||OAK||Dan Straily*||22:05|
|Zach Britton*||BAL||2||8||3||4||1||SEA||Joe Saunders||22:10|
|Tyler Chatwood*||COL||3||7||4||2||5||LAN||Ted Lilly*||22:10|
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.