NERD Game Scores for September 12, 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
Baltimore at Boston | 19:10 ET
Miley (146.0 IP, 100 xFIP-) vs. Price (197.2 IP, 80 xFIP-)
What one finds here is very nearly the closest thing to an ideal scenario at this point in the season: a pair of clubs separated by merely two games at the top of their division and two starters with their own relative merits. David Price has produced some of the best fielding-independent numbers in the majors. As for Wade Miley, whatever his shortcomings wherein “run prevention” is concerned, he at least works quickly. Regard: his 17.8-second pace between pitches is the quickest such figure among all qualifiers. (While Price’s 25.3 mark is the slowest.)

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Baltimore Television.

Two Other Brief Notes
Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Tampa Bay at Toronto, starts at 19:07 ET, and can be accessed by means of this hyperlinked text.

On NERD’s Playoff Adjustment, the Cubs, and the Rangers
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 Chicago Cubs as an example. The Cubs have divisional and wild-card odds of 100.0% and 0.0%, respectively, using the site’s “coin flip” methodology (which seems to best represent how the human mind conceives of postseason odds).

  • [ |1.000 – 0.5| + |0.000 – 0.5| ] / 2 = 0.500
  • (0.5 – 0.500) * 20 = 0.0

That 0.0 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 1.60. So, to find the Cubs’ score we subtract that figure from 5.0 and add the difference to the Cubs’ raw score.


  • 0.0 + (5.0 – 1.60) = 3.4

That 3.4 represents Chicago’s current playoff adjustment — a figure to which the team’s NERD score will gravitate continuously as the season continues. It’s also the lowest possible score a club can receive at the moment, one shared mostly by very poor clubs that have been effectively (or literally) eliminated from postseason contention. Because, like those clubs, the Cubs aren’t playing games of any great consequence at the moment. Playing in a division where it appears as though 86 wins would be sufficient to claim that division, the Cubs have already recorded 91 wins. Which, that means they could lose every game for the rest of the season and almost certainly still win the Central. A similar principle applies to the Texas Rangers, as well: they’ve already won 85 games, while second-place Houston is projected for just 85 wins.

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 September 12, 2016
Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time
Jose De Leon* LAN 10 7 7 6 7 NYA Bryan Mitchell* 19:05
Rafael Montero* NYN 5 7 5 4 1 WAS Mat Latos 19:05
Gerrit Cole PIT 7 4 4 3 5 PHI Jeremy Hellickson 19:05
Jake Odorizzi TB 4 4 6 9 5 TOR Francisco Liriano 19:07
Wade Miley BAL 7 9 9 10 8 BOS David Price 19:10
Andrew Cashner MIA 4 4 4 3 8 ATL Mike Foltynewicz 19:10
Wily Peralta MIL 5 4 4 3 5 CIN Keyvius Sampson* 19:10
Ervin Santana MIN 5 4 5 6 7 DET Daniel Norris 19:10
Ross Detwiler OAK 4 3 4 4 5 KC Dillon Gee 19:15
Carlos Carrasco CLE 8 4 4 3 3 CHA Miguel Gonzalez 20:10
Martin Perez TEX 4 4 4 5 2 HOU Doug Fister 20:10
Kyle Hendricks CHN 8 4 6 8 7 STL Mike Leake 20:15
Tyler Anderson COL 7 4 4 4 3 AZ Shelby Miller 21:40
Ariel Miranda SEA 3 4 4 3 5 LAA Ricky Nolasco 22:05
Paul Clemens SD 0 4 5 8 5 SF Jeff Samardzija 22:15
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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Will H.
Will H.

Ouch on Mat Latos.


He’s still 1 better than Paul Clemens! 🙂