NERD Game Scores for Thursday, August 27, 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
Chicago NL at San Francisco | 15:45 ET
Haren (148.1 IP, 119 xFIP-) vs. Bumgarner (169.2 IP, 78 xFIP-)
Within the haphazardly derived algorithm used to calculated NERD team scores, the expression intended to represent the “urgency” or perhaps “leverage” of a club’s season — the expression relies on that same club’s divisional-series playoff odds. The closer those odds are to 50% — thereby suggesting greater uncertainty regarding the outcome of their season — the higher the NERD score for the relevant team.

As multiple concerned readers have noted, however, the method isn’t perfect. The Chicago Cubs, for example, possess almost precisely a 50% chance of qualifying for the divisional series at the moment. What they also possess, though, is basically zero probability of winning their division. The Cubs have, essentially, clinched a wild-card spot at this point — and, as such, it’s probably fair to say that their odds of reaching the divisional series (again, at 50%) aren’t reflective of great urgency. Unfortunately, to improve the algorithm at this point would require a close working relationship with tedium, a state which — not unlike polio or carpeting — ought to be eradicated posthaste.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Almost All of Them.

Another Brief Note
Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Los Angeles NL at Cincinnati, starts at 12:35 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
Zack Greinke LAN 7 9 6 3 5 CIN Ant. DeSclafani 12:35
M. Shoemaker LAA 5 6 5 3 4 DET Randy Wolf* 13:08
Marco Estrada TOR 2 7 5 6 2 TEX Yovani Gallardo 14:05
Chris Tillman BAL 3 5 5 3 8 KC Yordano Ventura 14:10
Dan Haren CHN 3 10 8 8 9 SF Ma.n Bumgarner 15:45
Jon Niese NYN 5 5 4 2 2 PHI Aaron Harang 19:05
And. Cashner SD 7 3 6 5 10 WAS Joe Ross 19:05
Tommy Milone MIN 3 5 5 4 8 TB Drew Smyly 19:10
Gerrit Cole PIT 10 10 7 4 3 MIA Justin Nicolino 19:10
Roenis Elias SEA 5 3 4 3 8 CHA Carlos Rodon 20:10
Carlos Martinez STL 10 5 6 4 7 AZ Rubby de la Rosa 21:40

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

We hoped you liked reading NERD Game Scores for Thursday, August 27, 2015 by Carson Cistulli!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs

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

newest oldest most voted

A thought on the Cubs/Foreigner/Larry David issue:

Subtract both the odds of a team winning the division and the odds of a team winning the wild card spot and average the two results. In Excel terms: =(ABS(DIV-.5)+ABS(WC-.5))/2.

This eliminates the “Cubs problem” because it is not affected by the inherent uncertainty of the wild card game, which is independent of the uncertainty of the playoff chase.

The method also favors teams like the Blue Jays and Cardinals, who, despite having a substantial chance of making the division series, still have a fair amount of uncertainty as to the method of reaching said destination.



MAX(ABS(DIV-0.5), ABS(WC-0.5))


I think you mean MIN(ABS(DIV-.5), ABS(WC-.5)), because MIN would select the outcome closest to .5. I thought about this method, too, but it doesn’t give any additional benefit to teams that have uncertainty in both the division and wild card races (so, for example, it’d favor the Twins over the Pirates). But some people might find that more interesting.


Yea, thanks for the correction.

The averaging definitely works too and I think its a matter of preference.

The biggest difference would be in the Angels who have 5% chance of winning the division and 28% chance of the WC. So I think including their low chance of winning the AL West sells short how interesting their games are. Just my opinion.