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
Toronto at Baltimore | 19:05 ET
Estrada (137.1 IP, 107 xFIP-) vs. Miley (134.0 IP, 101 xFIP-)
Toronto and Baltimore currently feature the second- and fifth-greatest point adjustments to their respective NERD scores by way of the methodology explained tortuously further down in this post. What that means, practically speaking: their games are of greater consequence than other teams’ — this game, in particular, because each clubs’ divisional odds are directly influenced by the performance of the other club. There’s considerable urgency here, is the point, like an episode of a BBC detective series in which there’s considerable urgency.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Baltimore Television.
Two Other Brief Notes
Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Seattle at Texas, starts at 20:05 ET, and can be accessed by means of this hyperlinked text.
A Tortuous Explanation of NERD’s Ongoing Playoff Adjustment
As the season wears on, the algorithm for game NERD scores weights team scores progressively more heavily and pitcher scores less heavily — to account for the greater influence of a team’s posteason chances on the watchability of their games. Also as the season progresses, the algorithm for those team NERD scores weights various performance factors (weighted batting, adjusted home-run rate) less heavily and playoff odds more heavily.
The idea of the postseason adjustment is to assess higher NERD scores to clubs which feature less certainty regarding the postseason. To accomplish this, the author begins with the divisional odds and wild-card odds and finds the absolute value of each number minus 0.5 (or, 50%). I then add the results together divide by two. Then I subtract the result of that figure from 0.5 and multiply the resulting number by 20. Finally, I normalize all the scores to create a league average of 5.0.
Here’s all of that using the Toronto Blue Jays as an example. The Blue Jays have divisional and wild-card odds of 56.3% and 31.8%, respectively, using the site’s “coin flip” methodology (which seems to best represent how the human mind conceives of postseason odds).
- [ |0.563 – 0.5| + |0.318 – 0.5| ] / 2 = 0.123
- (0.5 – 0.123) * 20 = 7.6
That 7.6 number is the postseason adjustment just before it’s normalized to create a league average of 5.0. The raw league average right now is 2.05. So, to find the Jays’ score we subtract that figure from 5.0 and add the difference to the Jays’ raw score.
- 7.6 + (5.0 – 2.05) = 10.5
That 10.5 represents Toronto’s current playoff adjustment — which is quite high! The more the season progresses, the more that figure will represent a team’s NERD score.
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 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.
|Marco Estrada||TOR||5||10||8||8||7||BAL||Wade Miley||19:05|
|Tanner Roark||WAS||4||5||3||3||1||PHI||Jake Thompson||19:05|
|James Shields||CHA||2||3||4||6||5||DET||Matt Boyd||19:10|
|Jose Fernandez||MIA||10||5||6||4||5||NYN||Rafael Montero*||19:10|
|Hector Santiago||MIN||2||4||5||6||6||CLE||Trevor Bauer||19:10|
|Matt Andriese||TB||6||4||7||10||6||BOS||Rick Porcello||19:10|
|Carlos Martinez||STL||8||8||6||3||6||MIL||Zach Davies||19:20|
|Steven Brault||PIT||2||6||5||4||6||CHN||Jake Arrieta||20:05|
|Hisashi Iwakuma||SEA||3||5||5||4||7||TEX||Yu Darvish||20:05|
|Sean Manaea||OAK||8||3||6||5||9||HOU||Joe Musgrove||20:10|
|Michael Pineda||NYA||10||4||5||4||6||KC||Dillon Gee||20:15|
|Kenta Maeda||LAN||6||8||6||3||9||COL||Jon Gray||20:40|
|Dan Straily||CIN||4||3||4||3||6||LAA||Matt Shoemaker||22:05|
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.