NERD Game Scores: Watch Felix Doubront for Some Reason

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
Toronto at Oakland | 22:05 ET
Doubront (14.0 IP, 77 xFIP-) vs. Gray (129.2 IP, 86 xFIP-)
While the author is unable to cite any such documents specifically, reason dictates that there are probably hundreds or even thousands of tirelessly researched and scrupulously peer-reviewed scientific papers all of which conclude that human decision-making is a largely arbitrary endeavor. Today, instead of continuing to ignore this difficult truth, the reader has an opportunity to embrace it — by watching Toronto left-hander Felix Doubront pitch for some reason. Doubront has produced two curious starts for the Blue Jays, conceding just a single walk against 52 batters while recording a 69.0% ground-ball rate — this, however, while also allowing eight runs over just 11.2 innings. A compelling blend of success and failure, that. As to whether it’s a reason for watching Doubront, however — let’s regard this concern as moot for the moment.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Toronto Radio.

Two Brief Notes
Perpetually Looping Video: Joe Ross’s Slider
Yesterday, as part of Tuesday’s most highly rated game, Washington right-hander Joe Ross produced a 4:0 strikeout-to-walk ratio against 25 batters over 6.1 innings (box). Here’s footage of three of those strikeouts, all recorded by means of Ross’s slider.

Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features San Francisco at San Diego, starts at 15:40 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
Mike Bolsinger LAN 5 5 4 2 5 ATL Julio Teheran 12:10
Kyle Hendricks CHN 7 7 6 4 6 CIN Mike Leake 12:35
Dallas Beeler* CHN 5 7 6 4 6 CIN Tony Cingrani* 18:10
N. Syndergaard NYN 10 5 6 5 6 WAS Jor. Zimmermann 12:35
Jake Odorizzi TB 6 4 3 2 2 PHI Adam Morgan 13:05
Cody Anderson CLE 6 7 5 3 5 MIL Kyle Lohse 14:10
Martin Perez* TEX 6 3 4 4 4 COL Jorge de la Rosa 15:10
Matt Cain SF 5 5 5 4 7 SD James Shields 15:40
Kevin Gausman BAL 7 6 6 7 2 NYA Ivan Nova 19:05
M. Montgomery SEA 5 4 5 5 5 DET Anibal Sanchez 19:08
Joe Kelly BOS 6 4 6 10 5 HOU Collin McHugh 20:10
Charlie Morton PIT 5 8 6 6 4 KC Edinson Volquez 20:10
Lance Lynn STL 5 5 4 1 4 CHA John Danks 20:10
Jose Fernandez MIA 10 5 6 5 6 AZ Robbie Ray 21:40
Mike Pelfrey MIN 2 4 4 7 3 LAA C.J. Wilson 22:05
Felix Doubront TOR 9 8 7 5 7 OAK Sonny Gray 22:05

* = 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.

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NotGettingIt
Guest
NotGettingIt

I don’t think I understand what the NERD score actually measures. Just prior to the break 2 of the top 3 teams in baseball played 4 games and not one was highlighted by NERD. Now, once again, 2 of the top 3 teams in baseball played each other and not one game highlighted by NERD.

It seems to me that when two elite teams are playing each other, at least one of those games (likely more) ought to have the high score on the watchability meter. What am I missing here?

GettingIt
Guest
GettingIt

You are missing the link in the very first paragraph that explains what NERD measures: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/nerd-scores-return-with-something-not-unlike-a-vengeance/

StillNotGettingIt
Guest
StillNotGettingIt

You mean the paragraph that states “NERD scores represent … the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability … of a player or team or game”? I have seen that paragraph and gone to the link that has the algorithm explained.

I suppose, given the evidence, that the algorithm must be broken or biased in some way (towards the starting pitcher). I understand why someone would want to watch, say, Jose Fernandez pitch even though it would require sitting through a Reds-Marlins game. I also get why Nationals – Mets would be compelling viewing. I’m less inclined to believe, however, that a properly functioning algorithm to predict the most watchable games on a given night would completely ignore a Cardinals-Pirates series, or the Monday Pirates-Royals matchup.

MDL
Member
Member
MDL

I don’t think rivalries or postseason implications are factored into the team NERD numbers. That sounds like it’d be a nice enhancement though.

a
Guest
a

You skipped the most crucial part:

the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan , of a player or team or game

(emphasis mine)

NERD is for baseball nerds — i.e. people who care more about the actual baseball being played than about the narrative surrounding it (standings etc.).

a
Guest
a

@MDL

playoff odds are factored in

sepia officinalis
Guest
sepia officinalis

Don’t you realize that the Astros were playing?

NotGettingIt
Guest
NotGettingIt

@a

That is an interesting posit. However wouldn’t it stand to reason that the teams with the best records would also, generally speaking, play the best baseball? Are baseball nerds not interested in watching the best teams play, but rather only interested in unique or odd scenarios?

Specifically, as a baseball nerd, perhaps you can explain the draw to watching Felix Doubront that he deserves a 9. Or what is it about the Blue Jays that a baseball nerd would find so appealing that a .500 team gets an 8? And why would that game be more interesting, to a baseball nerd, than Snydergaard and the Mets vs. the Nationals? Or another Jose Fernandez start? Or, as I mentioned in my original post, the 2nd and 3rd best teams in all of baseball playing each other?

doug
Guest
doug

thanks for changing your name, pirates hurdles

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles

Not it, chalk it up to another Pirates fan. I have no issue stating my beliefs under my own banner.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles

BTW, Morton vs Volquez isn’t exactly prime time viewing. That said Ventura/AJ was pretty fun.