NERD Game Scores for Monday, August 24, 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
Cleveland at Chicago NL | 14:05 ET
Kluber (186.2 IP, 74 xFIP-) vs. Lester (148.1 IP, 81 xFIP-)
With hardly any pomp and even less circumstance, what the author has done for this edition of the daily NERD game scores is — instead of the season-to-date-stats playoff odds — is to use the coin-flip playoffs odds as the playoff-type input for the team NERD scores below. The logic behind the move: the coin-flip mode probably reflects more accurately how the human brain perceives the drama of the playoff race. The actual difference produced by the change: hardly any. In either case, the Cubs are among those clubs which feature divisional-series odds closest to 50% — which is to say, furthest from certainty. As of Sunday night, the probability of the Cubs reaching the divisional series, according to the season-to-date-stats model, was 44.8%; by the coin-flip model, 51.3%.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Chicago NL Television.

Two Brief Notes
Kris Medlen to Return
Kansas City right-hander and recipient of two Tommy John procedures, right-hander Kris Medlen, is expected to record his first major-league start tonight since September 27, 2013 (after making a handful of relief appearances for the Royals). For reference, here are three notable events which have occurred since his last start:

  • Strom Thurmond born.
  • Toilet paper invented.
  • Strom Thurmond dead.

Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Detroit at Cincinnati, 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 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.

NERD Image 4

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Corey Kluber CLE 10 4 8 10 7 CHN Jon Lester 14:05
Scott Feldman HOU 3 7 7 9 8 NYA Nathan Eovaldi 19:05
Jacob deGrom NYN 10 5 4 2 1 PHI Adam Morgan 19:05
J. de la Rosa COL 4 3 3 2 5 ATL Julio Teheran 19:10
Buck Farmer DET 5 3 3 3 2 CIN Keyvius Sampson 19:10
J.A. Happ PIT 4 9 5 3 3 MIA Tom Koehler 19:10
Ubaldo Jimenez BAL 6 5 6 3 10 KC Kris Medlen* 20:10
Joe Kelly BOS 6 3 4 3 7 CHA Jeff Samardzija 20:10
Felix Doubront OAK 3 3 4 3 8 SEA Hisashi Iwakuma 22:10
Lance Lynn STL 5 5 5 5 5 AZ Robbie Ray 22:10

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

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

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Nit picker
Nit picker

Regarding the Cubs’ odds of reaching the divisional series, while there is uncertainty there, I don’t think it is the kind that necessarily promotes intrigue. I say that because there is actually a fair amount of certainty in their likely fate at the end of the regular season (82% chance of winning the wild card). The uncertainty lies mostly within their fate in the Wild Card game that would follow in that likely scenario.

Instead of how close their odds are to 50% then, maybe it would be better to base a team’s Nerd Score on the potential volatility of a their playoff odds in a given game (ie – how much they could go up or down on a given day)? I suggest this, knowing that the author is probably not capable of incorporating such a change.


“there is actually a fair amount of certainty in [the Cubs’] likely fate at the end of the regular season”

This is true, but not for the reasons provided. As any fan of the team in question can tell you, their fate has always been certain and will always be so. And that fate is doom. Doom!