NERD Game Scores for Thursday, August 14, 2014 by Carson Cistulli August 14, 2014 Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet 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 Pittsburgh at Detroit | 13:08 ET Francisco Liriano (108.1 IP, 93 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR) faces Max Scherzer (161.0 IP, 81 xFIP-, 4.2 WAR). No team faces less certainty with regard to the postseason at the moment than Pittsburgh, which club currently possesses a 48% chance of qualifying for the divisional series according to the methodology used by FanGraphs — a figure, that, which necessarily indicates they have 52% chance of not qualifying for it, as well. The addition of sexy retroactive playoff odds, meanwhile, allows one to note that following their win and also the Royals’ win last night, that the Tigers’ playoff odds shifted from 70.9% yesterday to… well, actually still 70.9% today. Bad example, that. But takes nothing away from the innate sexual appeal of retroactive playoff odds. Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Detroit Radio. Three Brief Notes Debut Alert: Washington’s Michael Taylor Noted imbecile Carson Cistulli neglected to note when it occurred that the Washington Nationals had promoted very promising and young outfielder Michael Taylor to the parent club. Recognized for his power and speed and defensive acumen, the 23-year-old had also recorded some promising plate-discipline figures of late. Other Debut Alert: Texas’s Alex Claudio Hours after appearing in this week’s edition of the Fringe Five, left-handed Texas half-prospect Alexander Claudio was promoted to the Rangers and made his major-league debut, throwing his remarkable changeup while so doing. Regarding Today’s Free Game Today’s free game features Oakland at Kansas City, starts at 2:10pm 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 MLB.com and also the rest of the internet. Note that the calculations both for team and game NERD scores have changed recently to better integrate playoff odds into same. Read more about those changes here, if you’re the sort of person accustomed to making poor life decisions. Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP Home Time Rob. Hernandez LAN 1 4 4 6 3 ATL Aaron Harang 12:10 Francisco Liriano PIT 7 10 8 7 8 DET Max Scherzer 13:08 Jeff Samardzija OAK 7 6 7 9 6 KC James Shields 14:10 Mike Fiers* MIL 7 10 6 3 5 CHN Edwin Jackson 14:20 Chase Anderson AZ 5 3 4 4 2 MIA Brad Penny* 19:10 Scott Feldman HOU 1 4 3 3 4 BOS Allen Webster* 19:10 St. Strasburg WAS 10 5 5 2 3 NYN Dillon Gee 19:10 Jake Odorizzi TB 7 4 4 3 5 TEX Robbie Ross 20:05 Eric Stults SD 4 3 6 9 7 STL John Lackey 20:15 Alfredo Simon CIN 4 3 3 4 2 COL Jorge de la Rosa 20:40 To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here. * = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.