NERD Game Scores: Commence NL Wild-Card Thunderdome

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman 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
St. Louis at Colorado| 15:10 ET
Weaver (33.2 IP, 70 xFIP-) vs. Marquez (5.1 IP, 118 xFIP-)
In Marcel Proust biopic Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, a frenzied crowd chants “two men enter, one man leaves” before a gladiatorial duel that pits Mel Gibson against a developmentally disabled giant. Following wins by San Francisco and St. Louis last night — plus a loss by the Mets — the current National League wild-card situation bears some similarity to that post-apocalyptic mise-en-scène. Except, instead of perspiring Australians, the competitors are the three aforementioned clubs. And instead of two of them, there’s three. And also Tina Turner’s not there.

Here are the current standings and probabilities per this site’s methodology:

National League Wild-Card Situation
Team W L W% EXPW EXPL rosW% WC
Mets 80 71 .530 86.3 75.7 .573 68.4%
Giants 80 71 .530 86.1 75.9 .551 64.0%
Cardinals 80 71 .530 86.1 75.9 .553 63.9%

Less urgent but still notable is the pitching matchup here. St. Louis right-hander Luke Weaver has produced the highest strikeout rate (tied with Rich Hill) among all starters to record 20 or more innings over the last month. German Marquez, meanwhile, is scheduled to make his first major-league start. Owner of a plus fastball, he produced decidedly above-average strikeout and walk numbers as just a 21-year-old in the high minors.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: St. Louis Radio.

One Other Brief Note
Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Washington at Miami, starts at 19:10 ET, and can be accessed by means of this hyperlinked text.

Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete and very sortable table for all of today’s games. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from and also the rest of the internet. Note that calculations both for team and game NERD scores feature adjustment for postseason odds that increases as season progresses. Read more about those adjustments here and here.

NERD Scores for September 21, 2016
Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time
Luke Weaver STL 10 8 7 4 9 COL German Marquez* 15:10
Collin McHugh HOU 7 6 5 4 6 OAK Daniel Mengden 15:35
Aaron Sanchez TOR 8 7 6 5 4 SEA Felix Hernandez 15:40
Clay Buchholz BOS 1 6 6 8 5 BAL Ubaldo Jimenez 19:05
Chris Sale CHA 9 4 5 4 5 PHI Jerad Eickhoff 19:05
Ryan Weber* ATL 6 4 5 7 4 NYN Bartolo Colon 19:10
Ian Kennedy KC 4 4 5 4 8 CLE Corey Kluber 19:10
Masahiro Tanaka NYA 7 5 5 4 6 TB Alex Cobb 19:10
Max Scherzer WAS 10 4 5 4 3 MIA Tom Koehler 19:10
Robert Stephenson CIN 3 4 4 4 7 CHN John Lackey 20:05
Jered Weaver LAA 1 4 3 4 2 TEX Derek Holland 20:05
Buck Farmer* DET 6 7 5 4 4 MIN Jose Berrios 20:10
Chad Kuhl PIT 6 4 4 4 2 MIL Jimmy Nelson 20:10
Zack Greinke AZ 5 4 5 4 8 SD Luis Perdomo 21:10
Matt Moore SF 4 8 6 5 6 LAN Kenta Maeda 22:10
SP denotes pitcher NERD score.
TM denotes team score.
GM denotes overall game score.
Highlighted portion denotes game of the day.

* = Fewer than 10 IP, NERD at discretion of clueless author.

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

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6 years ago

Just when I thought I had to defend my hours of watching three teams wage internal and external struggle just to play a one game (with many lead changes and extra innings that make us question our own existence), and then to ultimately beat the Cubs in some excruciating 5 game series….signifying the end to my summer of bliss and the commencing a winter of bourbon and sweatpants, now I’m going to spend serious time reflecting upon this connection between Mad Max and Proust. Thanks. Appreciate it.