NERD Game Scores for Friday, September 18, 2015 by Carson Cistulli September 18, 2015 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 New York AL at New York NL | 19:10 ET Tanaka (143.0 IP, 81 xFIP-) vs. Matz (24.0 IP, 103 xFIP-) None of today’s games — nor likely the larger series of which their part — feature the sort of consequences offered by either the recent Houston-Texas series nor the New York-Toronto one just before that. What this encounter does represent, however, is an opportunity to observe both a Yankees club not statistically eliminated from winning the division and also young Mets left-hander Steven Matz. The latter is scheduled to record just his fifth major-league start tonight. Over the first four starts, he’s produced an average fastball of 94.5 mph — the highest such mark (tied with Chris Sale) among all left-handed starters this entire season. In few instances does a young pitcher suffer from being mentioned in the same sentence as Chris Sale. Unless, that is, it were an instance like “Chris Sale informed Steven Matz that the latter would be the subject of an audit by the IRS.” Why Chris Sale would be serving as an intermediary for a government agency, this is unclear. That it would be unpleasant for Matz, this is obvious. Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL Television. Two Brief Notes AL West Division-Winner Odds: Before and After Yesterday’s edition of this same dispatch contained a table illustrating the baleful effects of the Houston-Texas series on that former club — and the beneficial effects of the series on the latter one. What follows is an updated version of that table, accounting for the Rangers’ Thursday night victory, as well. AL West Division Odds, 2015 Club Before Series Now Difference Texas 22.0% 69.5% +47.5% Houston 73.7% 26.5% -47.2% Today’s Free Game Today’s free game features Kansas City at Detroit, starts at 19:08 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 adjustments here and here. Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP Home Time Lance Lynn STL 4 5 4 5 2 CHN Dan Haren 14:20 Jose Fernandez MIA 10 4 6 5 10 WAS Max Scherzer 19:05 Rick Porcello BOS 6 4 6 7 9 TOR Marcus Stroman* 19:07 Johnny Cueto KC 7 4 4 4 4 DET Justin Verlander 19:08 Tyler Wilson BAL 2 5 5 4 9 TB Drew Smyly 19:10 Chris Sale CHA 10 4 5 5 5 CLE Cody Anderson 19:10 Masa. Tanaka NYA 8 7 6 4 7 NYN Steven Matz 19:10 Adam Morgan PHI 2 4 3 4 2 ATL Williams Perez 19:35 James Paxton SEA 5 4 5 8 2 TEX Yovani Gallardo 20:05 Bran. Finnegan* CIN 9 4 5 4 6 MIL Zach Davies 20:10 Andrew Heaney LAA 5 6 5 6 3 MIN Mike Pelfrey 20:10 Felix Doubront OAK 5 4 6 10 4 HOU Mike Fiers 20:10 Ian Kennedy SD 6 4 4 4 5 COL Chad Bettis 20:40 Jeff Locke PIT 6 5 5 4 7 LAN Zack Greinke 22:10 Ru. de la Rosa AZ 7 5 6 4 10 SF Ma.n Bumgarner 22:15 * = Fewer than 10 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.