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
Los Angeles NL at Houston | 14:10 ET
Kershaw (169.0 IP, 56 xFIP-) vs. McCullers (76.2 IP, 89 xFIP-)
As contributor Neil Weinberg noted on Friday in these pages, left-hander Clayton Kershaw has an opportunity to produce baseball’s lowest expected fielding-independent pitching (xFIP) mark this season since 2002 — which is to say, also the earliest year for which the necessary inputs for that metric are available. While immaterial in itself, to set such a record would signify something more material — namely that, with regard to those variables over which a pitcher exacts the most control (and which are easiest measure), Kershaw has exacted terrifying and exceptional control. He is, one might say, a sort of despot, exerting a cruel power not over a tired and oppressed people but rather just the baseball strike zone.
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Houston Television.
Two Brief Notes
Matt Boyd to Start Today
A fixture atop the Fringe Five leaderboard this season, Detroit left-hander Matt Boyd is scheduled to record his sixth major-league start this afternoon.
Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Milwaukee at Washington, starts at 13:35 ET, and can be accessed by means of this hyperlinked text.
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.
|Trevor Bauer||CLE||6||4||6||9||6||NYA||CC Sabathia||13:05|
|Cole Hamels||TEX||9||5||5||3||4||DET||Matt Boyd||13:08|
|Chase Anderson||AZ||4||5||5||3||7||CIN||Raisel Iglesias||13:10|
|Aaron Nola||PHI||6||2||4||4||7||MIA||Adam Conley||13:10|
|Edinson Volquez||KC||4||3||4||3||7||BOS||Ed. Rodriguez||13:35|
|Matt Garza||MIL||4||3||5||6||6||WAS||Jo. Zimmermann||13:35|
|Mike Pelfrey||MIN||2||3||5||6||8||BAL||Kevin Gausman||13:35|
|Clayton Kershaw||LAN||10||10||9||7||8||HOU||Lance McCullers||14:10|
|Matthew Wisler||ATL||4||2||6||10||7||CHN||Jason Hammel||14:20|
|R.A. Dickey||TOR||8||7||7||6||7||LAA||Garrett Richards||15:35|
|Jake Odorizzi||TB||6||4||4||3||5||OAK||Kendall Graveman||16:05|
|John Danks||CHA||3||3||4||3||10||SEA||Taijuan Walker||16:10|
|Logan Verrett*||NYN||6||5||5||3||5||COL||David Hale||16:10|
|Michael Wacha||STL||9||5||6||3||7||SD||Colin Rea||16:10|
|Ryan Vogelsong||SF||1||10||8||9||8||PIT||Francisco Liriano||20:08|
* = 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.