NERD Game Scores for Saturday, July 02, 2016

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
Kansas City at Philadelphia | 17:50 ET
Duffy (66.2 IP, 84 xFIP-) vs. Nola (91.0 IP, 73 xFIP-)
Rather than discussing the virtues of a Royals-Phillies game, the purpose of this brief passage is rather to address how and why and how a game featuring Jake Arrieta and Bartolo Colon isn’t more well acquitted by the haphazardly calculated NERD scores fashioned by the author. In the case of Colon, the explanation is simple: for better or worse, there’s no bonus in NERD allotted to players merely for the resemblance they bear to a modern Falstaff. Were such a thing to exist, the Mets right-hander would rocket to the top of the charts.

As for Arrieta, the reason for his (relatively) low mark probably appears more opaque. But regard: this is a new development. The Cubs right-hander rated as a 10 all the way through his last start of 2015. The Arrieta pitching this year is different than that Arrieta, however. He’s throwing less hard and throwing fewer strikes and is taking more time in between pitches.


Jake Arrieta, 2015 vs. 2016
Year Strike% FA Velo Pace
2015 65.0% 94.6 22.7
2016 63.3% 94.1 23.9

He’s still suppressing batted-ball production — which is what allows him to produce better run-prevention numbers than his fielding-independent marks might otherwise suggest. It’s possible — and becoming more probable all the time — that Arrieta possesses the requisite skills to beat his FIP. Accounting for that in a metric this frivolous, however, is both absurd and difficult. Absurd is acceptable; difficult, less so.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Philadelphia Radio.

Two Other Brief Notes
Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Texas at Minnesota, starts at 14:10 ET, and can be accessed by means of this hyperlinked text.

Broadcaster Rankings
Recently, the present author facilitated a crowdsourcing effort to reproduce the broadcaster rankings which appeared on this site roughly four years ago. The results from that effort are published here in one easily digestible post.

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 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.

NERD Scores for July 02, 2016
Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time
TBA CLE 5 7 5 5 4 TOR Marco Estrada 13:07
Chi Chi Gonzalez* TEX 4 5 6 5 8 MIN Tyler Duffey 14:10
Jimmy Nelson MIL 1 4 4 6 5 STL Adam Wainwright 14:15
Chris Sale CHA 8 4 5 6 3 HOU Doug Fister 16:10
Justin Verlander DET 5 5 5 6 3 TB Blake Snell 16:10
Jose Fernandez MIA 10 5 5 2 4 ATL Lucas Harrell* 16:10
Danny Duffy KC 9 4 6 2 10 PHI Aaron Nola 17:50
Jake Arrieta CHN 7 6 6 5 5 NYN Bartolo Colon 19:15
Dan Straily CIN 3 3 5 7 7 WAS Joe Ross 19:15
Hector Santiago LAA 3 3 3 7 1 BOS Clay Buchholz 19:15
Chad Kuhl* PIT 6 4 5 4 6 OAK Rich Hill 22:05
Tyler Wilson BAL 2 7 6 5 10 SEA James Paxton 22:10
Chad Bettis COL 6 4 5 6 5 LAN Scott Kazmir 22:10
Ivan Nova NYA 5 4 5 5 6 SD Drew Pomeranz 22:10
Jeff Samardzija SF 6 6 5 6 4 AZ Patrick Corbin 22:10
SP denotes pitcher NERD score.
TM denotes team score.
GM denotes overall game score.
Highlighted portion denotes game of the day.

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

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

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Not an expert
7 years ago

I’m going to be watching the Clevelanders go for 15 games

7 years ago
Reply to  Not an expert

I agree – team score should be higher (I think 9 on this run). Why does TBA pitcher get a default 5 (Adam Wainwright at a 5). Good stuff though.

Jetsy Extrano
7 years ago
Reply to  Not an expert

A streak bonus might make sense