NERD Game Scores for Thursday, September 11, 2014

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.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Oakland at Chicago AL | 14:10 ET
Scott Kazmir (165.2 IP, 73 xFIP-, 4.9 WAR) faces Chris Sale (155.0 IP, 73 xFIP-, 4.9 WAR). A month ago, it seemed nearly a foregone conclusion that the A’s would finish the season having not only won the AL West, but also having recorded the league’s highest win total by an impressive margin. Regard, by way of illustration, the following table, which features the top-five clubs by expected wins as of August 10th:

# Team W L W% EXPW EXPL rosW%
1 Athletics 72 45 .615 97.3 64.7 .563
2 Angels 68 49 .581 92.9 69.1 .554
3 Dodgers 67 52 .563 90.7 71.3 .550
4 Tigers 63 52 .548 90.1 71.9 .577
5 Orioles 67 50 .573 90.0 72.0 .510

Now regard, as evidence of Oakland’s difficulties over the past month, this second table — which features the top-five clubs by expected wins as of this morning:

# Team W L W% EXPW EXPL rosW%
1 Angels 90 55 .621 99.0 63.0 .531
2 Orioles 86 59 .593 94.5 67.5 .498
3 Nationals 82 62 .569 92.8 69.2 .598
4 Dodgers 83 63 .568 92.3 69.7 .581
5 Athletics 81 64 .559 90.9 71.1 .580

One notes that, over that same month-long interval during which Anaheim a record of 22-6, Oakland went only 9-19 in terms of wins and losses. As of this morning, no club features odds of reaching the divisional series (i.e. the real playoffs) closer to 50% than the A’s.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Oakland Radio.

Two Brief Notes
Corey Kluber Continued Excellence Watch
Famous Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber, tied with Felix Hernandez atop the American League WAR pitching leaderboard, makes his 31st start of the season just after noon today.

Regarding Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Minnesota at Cleveland, starts at 12:10 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 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 changes here, if you’re the sort of person accustomed to making poor life decisions.

NERD Image 4

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Kyle Gibson MIN 5 4 5 4 10 CLE Corey Kluber 12:05
Ricky Nolasco MIN 5 4 5 4 10 CLE T.J. House TBD
Lance Lynn STL 5 4 4 3 8 CIN Johnny Cueto 12:35
Scott Kazmir OAK 7 10 7 3 10 CHA Chris Sale 14:10
Rand. Delgado* AZ 6 3 6 10 4 SF Jake Peavy 15:45
Fran’sco Liriano PIT 9 10 7 3 5 PHI A.J. Burnett 19:05
Alex Cobb TB 8 4 5 3 9 NYA Michael Pineda 19:05
Tanner Roark WAS 6 4 4 3 7 NYN Bartolo Colon 19:10
Cory Rasmus* LAA 5 4 3 3 1 TEX Nick Martinez 20:05
Clay Buchholz BOS 5 3 6 10 5 KC Liam Hendriks 20:10
Nathan Eovaldi MIA 10 4 6 5 9 MIL Mike Fiers 20:10

To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.





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

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Tim
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Tim

Did I miss something where we added 2.3 WAR to Scott Kazmir?