NERD Game Scores: The Playoff Adjustment… Explained!

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
Miami at Philadelphia | 19:05 ET
Fernandez (107.1 IP, 57 xFIP-) vs. Nola (96.0 IP, 72 xFIP-)
If Benjamin Franklin didn’t say it expressly, then he certainly thought it once or twice: the key in this life is to budget one’s resources properly — not just money, but also one’s energy and one’s time. It’s imperative, this practice, to keeping the mind sana and the body sano.

Today, the author utilized almost the entirety of his alloted time for this post to composing the unwieldy description of NERD’s postseason adjustment, which appears below. As a result, there’s no discussion of today’s most highly rated game.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Philadelphia Radio.

Two Other Brief Notes
Regarding NERD’s Ongoing Playoff Adjustment
As the season wears on, the algorithm for game NERD scores weights team scores progrssively 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 Miami as an example. Miami has divisional and wild-card odds of 4.5% and 31.1%, respectively.

  • |0.129 – 0.5| + |0.334 – 0.5| = 0.537
  • 0.537 / 2 = 0.269
  • (0.5 – 0.269) * 20 = 4.6

That 4.6 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 2.43. So, to find the Marlins’ score we subtract that figure from 5.0 and add the difference to the Marlins’ raw score.


  • 4.6 + (5.0 – 2.43) = 7.2

That 7.2 represents Miami’s current playoff adjustment. The more the season progresses, the more that figure will represent a team’s NERD score.

This, in conclusion, has been a great waste.

Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Los Angeles NL at Washington, starts at 19:05 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 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 July 18, 2016
Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time
Kevin Gausman BAL 8 9 7 4 6 NYA Ivan Nova 19:05
Jose Fernandez MIA 10 6 7 3 10 PHI Aaron Nola 19:05
Steven Matz NYN 10 6 7 6 6 CHN Jon Lester 19:05
Matt Wisler ATL 5 2 3 3 2 CIN Brandon Finnegan 19:10
Ricky Nolasco MIN 6 5 5 5 5 DET Matt Boyd 19:10
Corey Kluber CLE 8 7 5 3 4 KC Edinson Volquez 20:15
Christian Friedrich SD 3 4 5 6 6 STL Mike Leake 20:15
Drew Smyly TB 7 5 6 3 8 COL Tyler Anderson 20:40
Mike Fiers HOU 3 7 4 3 4 OAK Kendall Graveman 22:05
A.J. Griffin TEX 3 5 4 3 4 LAA Nicholas Tropeano 22:05
Chris Sale CHA 8 3 5 4 4 SEA Wade LeBlanc 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.

Comments are closed.