NERD Game Scores: Paradox of Choice Home Experiment

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
Boston (Price) at Tampa Bay (Moore) | 12:10 ET
Chicago NL (Hendricks) at Cincinnati (Reed) | 12:35 ET
Toronto (Sanchez) at Colordao (Anderson) | 15:10 ET
New York NL (Verrett) at Washington (Scherzer) | 19:05 ET

In both his book The Paradox of Choice (through which the present author has leafed casually) and a TED Talk (which the author watched eight years ago) psychologist Barry Schwartz discusses the means by which greater choice can actually facilitate less happiness. With more options, one expects greater satisfaction. When that satisfaction never materializes, however, one becomes disappointed with his or her own selections.

Today represents an opportunity to conduct this experiment for oneself: four games offer roughly the same expected pleasure according to the author’s haphazardly constructed NERD metric. Does this abundance of choice cultivate the same sort of Paradox addressed by Schwarz? Or is it somehow exempt from his point?

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Assorted, Naturally.

Two Other Brief Notes
Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Los Angeles NL at Milwaukee. What else it features is the debut of Dodgers right-hander Brock Stewart. After producing basically the best strikeout- and walk-rate differential across all Double-A, the 24-year-old Stewart actually improved upon that figure after graduating to Triple-A. What’s previously prevented the author from including Stewart among the Fringe Five is his arm speed. Reports regarding his velocity graded it as average at best. More recently, however, Stewart has touched 96 mph. Tonight’s game starts at 20:10 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 June 29, 2016
Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time
David Price BOS 8 8 7 6 6 TB Matt Moore 12:10
Kyle Hendricks CHN 7 6 7 3 10 CIN Cody Reed 12:35
Tom Koehler MIA 2 6 5 4 7 DET Daniel Norris* 13:10
Aaron Sanchez TOR 9 5 7 4 9 COL Tyler Anderson 15:10
Dallas Keuchel HOU 7 6 5 3 2 LAA Jered Weaver 15:35
Yovani Gallardo BAL 0 8 4 5 2 SD Christian Friedrich 15:40
Zach Eflin PHI 3 2 4 6 6 AZ Archie Bradley 15:40
Logan Verrett NYN 4 6 7 8 10 WAS Max Scherzer 19:05
Nick Martinez TEX 0 5 4 4 6 NYA Masahiro Tanaka 19:05
Danny Salazar CLE 7 8 5 2 4 ATL Joel De La Cruz* 19:10
Brock Stewart* LAN 10 6 6 4 5 MIL Junior Guerra 20:10
Ricky Nolasco MIN 6 5 4 3 2 CHA James Shields 20:10
Edinson Volquez KC 5 4 6 6 7 STL Carlos Martinez 20:15
Jake Peavy SF 4 5 5 4 6 OAK Sean Manaea 22:05
Jameson Taillon PIT 8 5 6 5 6 SEA Wade Miley 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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7 years ago

At least this paradox of choice you can pretty much fully watch 3 of the 4 highest-rated games. If you have the time.

Brian Reinhartmember
7 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Yeah, I don’t see any paradox here. Grab your cubicle lunch early, say, “Oh no! I got food poisoned by this sandwich!”, rush home, and watch the 12:10, 3:10, and 7:05 games. (Though you can switch channels to watch the Reds’ bullpen if you want to method-act and REALLY get an upset stomach.)