NERD Game Scores for Monday, August 17, 2015 by Carson Cistulli August 17, 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 San Francisco at St. Louis | 20:09 ET Heston (141.0 IP, 98 xFIP-) vs. Wacha (138.1 IP, 94 xFIP-) Of buying a pet, George Carlin said that what one is actually doing is “purchasing a small tragedy” — owing, that is, to the inevitable future death of that same animal. With regard to the San Francisco Giants, one finds a different sort of scenario, composed not of one inevitable — but two equally possible — outcomes. No other team currently possesses odds of reaching the divisional series closer to 50% than San Francisco*. What one finds, then, when observing the Giants is a group of men equally likely to experience the sort of ecstatic pleasure which attends that moment in which all of one’s efforts have been justified — either that, or the hollow misery which accompanies that other type of moment, in which one is compelled to realize that this great investment of time and energy has occurred to no greater end. Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: San Francisco Radio or Television. *By the season-to-date-stats methodology. Other Brief Note Today’s Free Game Today’s free game features Tampa Bay at Houston, starts at 20:10 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 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 Jer’my Hellickson AZ 4 5 7 9 10 PIT Gerrit Cole 19:05 Kyle Gibson MIN 5 3 6 9 7 NYA Bryan Mitchell* 19:05 Sonny Gray OAK 7 3 5 8 3 BAL Chris Tillman 19:05 Danny Salazar CLE 10 4 5 3 6 BOS Matt Barnes* 19:10 Taijuan Walker SEA 10 3 6 5 9 TEX Cole Hamels 20:05 Chris Heston SF 5 10 7 4 9 STL Michael Wacha 20:09 Justin Nicolino MIA 1 3 3 2 4 MIL Matt Garza 20:10 Erasmo Ramirez TB 6 3 5 7 5 HOU Scott Kazmir 20:10 Carlos Rodon CHA 9 2 6 7 6 LAA Andrew Heaney 22:05 Williams Perez ATL 2 2 3 3 6 SD Colin Rea* 22:10 * = Fewer than 10 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.