This edition of One Night Only (from a super-extra-special guest host!) contains:
1. Expanded previews for two games: a matchup of aces in Boston, and a West Coast rivalry game featuring two solid young pitchers.
2. Additionally, find enclosed brief previews for three other, only slightly less titillating tilts: Atlanta at Arizona, Chicago (AL) at Cleveland, and Milwaukee at San Diego.
3. Pitcher and Team NERD scores for every one of tonight’s games.
Detroit (2) at Boston (6) | 19:10 ET
Tigers: Justin Verlander (8)
65.0 IP, 8.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, .209 BABIP, 41.3% GB, 8.5% HR/FB, 3.25 xFIP, 82 xFIP-
Red Sox: Josh Beckett (7)
51.1 IP, 8.6 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, .220 BABIP, 43.8% GB, 5.9% HR/FB, 3.10 xFIP, 65 xFIP-
• Justin Verlander has a .209 BABIP, but that tends to be the case when, you know, a pitcher goes a whole game without giving up any hits at all.
• Justin Verlander also probably won’t have too many more games where he doesn’t, you know, give up any hits at all.
• Either way, though, he’ll probably end up with more of those games than his counterpart, Josh Beckett.
• And since Josh Beckett doesn’t have a no-hitter, I totally can’t justify his .220 BABIP.
• Which means that Beckett is totally due to be really bad. Just watch.
If I Had My Druthers
• Pitcher quality would be directly related with facial hair quality. Which would be a very, very bad thing for a certain probable starter for a certain team from Boston.
• It would probably just be a medium thing for Verlander. I would rate his facial hair as “unremarkable” on a scale from “1” to “Awesome.”
• I would be just as good a Major League pitcher as I am now.
San Francisco (4) at Los Angeles Nationals (3) | 22:10 ET
Giants: Madison Bumgarner (9)
42.1 IP, 7.2 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, .318 BABIP, 52.7% GB, 5.9% HR/FB, 3.38 xFIP, 91 xFIP-
Dodgers: Chad Billingsley (7)
56.1 IP, 8.0 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, .263 BABIP, 49.7% GB, 6.0% HR/FB, 3.35 xFIP, 90 xFIP-
• Chad Billingsley has a pitch type value of 25.75 for his slider. Sure, he’s only thrown it 0.1% of the time according to BIS and it probably was just a misclassified cutter. But dang, that’s a good pitch.
• Only a team with Clayton Kershaw can make a pitcher on pace for his third straight four-win season in four years look pedestrian.
• Wait, actually, a team with Tim Lincecum would probably be pretty good at that, too.
• Because even if 4.25 Madison Bumgarner’s ERA comes down toward his 3.07 FIP and 3.35 xFIP, he still won’t be Tim Lincecum.
• But Madison, I can relate. I also have to deal with not being Tim Lincecum on a daily basis, and it’s terrible.
If I Had My Druthers
• I would be Tim Lincecum.
• I would also settle for being Clayton Kershaw.
• At the very least, they would be starting this game.
Chicago Americans (1) at Cleveland (10) | 9:40pm ET
• Back when Fausto Carmona was good, he was getting over 60% ground balls. This year, he’s getting 60% ground balls. And hey, he’s good again (3.94 ERA, 3.95 FIP)!
Milwaukee (8) at San Diego (9) | 10:05pm ET
• The name Prince Fielder really doesn’t fit him at all. He’s actually not even a member of any royal family.
These games are very likely playing at some kind of sporty channel near you.
pNERD = Pitcher NERD
tNERD = Team NERD
Game = Time and Average NERD for Game
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD of 5 (or 10 for debuts)
Jack Moore's work can be seen at VICE Sports and anywhere else you're willing to pay him to write. Buy his e-book.