## NERD Game Scores: Let’s Use Championship Leverage Index

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
Los Angeles NL at San Francisco | 15:05 ET
Maeda (173.0 IP, 89 xFIP-) vs. Moore (190.1 IP, 108 xFIP-)
As in other recent editions of this daily exercise, this current edition of the exercise is the product of an experiment — in particular, with regard to how the team NERD scores are calculated. At this point of the season, those team NERD scores are typically a function of each club’s playoff probability, where a probability of 50% (or, in a recent case, 33%) would yield a NERD score of 10; a probability of either 0% or 100%, a NERD score of 0.

For today, however, NERD scores have instead been calculated by utilizing championship leverage index (cLI) — which metric is, per Dan Hirsch’s Baseball Gauge, “a measurement of the importance of a particular game, based on how a win or a loss affects a team’s World Series win expectancy.” This is essentially the concept of leverage index applied not to a game state but a season state.

What I’ve done is to assess the highest current cLI (San Francisco’s 2.84 mark) a NERD score of 10 and scale all other cLI figures to that. The results of those calculations are below. (Note: all cLI numbers are available here.)

NERD Scores for October 02, 2016 (Using cLI)
 Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time Kevin Gausman BAL 8 4 3 0 7 NYA Luis Cessa 13:05 Brady Rodgers* HOU 5 0 1 0 4 LAA Jhoulys Chacin 15:05 Kenta Maeda LAN 6 0 5 10 4 SF Matt Moore 15:05 Tom Koehler MIA 3 0 2 0 10 WAS Max Scherzer 15:05 Gabriel Ynoa NYN 4 0 1 0 5 PHI Jerad Eickhoff 15:05 Chase Whitley* TB 6 0 1 0 4 TEX Martin Perez 15:05 Aaron Sanchez TOR 8 4 4 0 8 BOS David Price 15:05 Kyle Hendricks CHN 8 0 1 0 3 CIN Robert Stephenson 15:10 Justin Verlander DET 7 9 5 0 5 ATL Julio Teheran 15:10 Tyler Cravy* MIL 5 0 2 0 7 COL German Marquez* 15:10 Jose Berrios MIN 4 0 2 0 9 CHA Chris Sale 15:10 Sean Manaea OAK 8 0 2 0 4 SEA Felix Hernandez 15:10 Paul Clemens SD 0 0 1 0 5 AZ Matt Koch* 15:10 Josh Tomlin CLE 6 0 1 0 4 KC Ian Kennedy 15:15 Ryan Vogelsong PIT 2 0 4 9 5 STL Adam Wainwright 15:15
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.

Unsurprisingly, the Cardinals’ and Giants’ and Tigers’ team scores are the highest. They’re among a paucity a minority of clubs whose seasons haven’t been resolved. Because none of them are playing each other, however, none of the games themselves are likely to reach peak drama. All in all, it appears as though the Giants game is most urgent in its way. FanGraphs readers prefer Vin Scully’s Dodgers broadcast for this and every contest.

## NERD Game Scores: So Much Depends Upon a Red Ballclub

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
Pittsburgh at St. Louis | 13:05 ET
Kuhl (65.2 IP, 108 xFIP-) vs. Wacha (137.0 IP, 97 xFIP-)
Over the last few days, in an attempt to fully illustrate the absurdity of this ongoing endeavor, the author has presented some alternative scoring methods and scales for these NERD game scores. To describe the public as “scandalized” would be an exercise in understatement. The mailbox is full of letters — the electronic mailbox, full of electronic letters — all of them saying one thing: “We are scandalized, Carson.”

Today, this hard look into the gauzy mists of our humanity continues. Below are two different, but also not entirely different, versions of the NERD scores for today’s games. The first one is a product of the methodology utilized in yesterday’s post. For this one, team scores are based entirely on the relevant club’s postseason odds — namely, the proximity of those odds to 33.3% repeating. A probability of precisely 33.3% yields a NERD score of 10; of either 0% or 100%, a score of 0.

The results of that:

NERD Scores for October 01, 2016 (Version 1)
 Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time Bartolo Colon NYN 4 0 1 0 4 PHI Phil Klein* 13:05 Chad Kuhl PIT 6 0 4 6 7 STL Michael Wacha 13:05 Wade Miley BAL 7 1 2 0 9 NYA Luis Severino 16:05 Clayton Kershaw LAN 10 0 3 3 5 SF Ty Blach* 16:05 Wei-Yin Chen MIA 6 0 1 0 5 WAS Tanner Roark 16:05 Jon Lester CHN 7 0 1 0 3 CIN Tim Adleman 16:10 Trevor Bauer CLE 6 0 1 0 5 KC Edinson Volquez 16:15 Jordan Zimmermann DET 4 5 3 0 1 ATL Aaron Blair 19:10 Hector Santiago MIN 1 0 0 0 1 CHA James Shields 19:10 J.A. Happ TOR 5 4 3 0 5 BOS Eduardo Rodriguez 19:10 Jake Odorizzi TB 5 0 1 0 3 TEX Colby Lewis 20:05 Wily Peralta MIL 6 0 1 0 1 COL Jeff Hoffman 20:10 Clayton Richard SD 5 0 1 0 6 AZ Archie Bradley 20:10 Collin McHugh HOU 6 0 2 0 6 LAA Tyler Skaggs 21:05 Jharel Cotton OAK 5 0 3 5 3 SEA Hisashi Iwakuma 21:10
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.

## NERD Game Scores: The Sound and Fury and Cardinals

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
Pittsburgh at St. Louis | 20:15 ET
Glasnow (18.1 IP, 104 xFIP-) vs. Martinez (188.1 IP, 94 xFIP-)
Yesterday, the author experimented with a version of NERD game scores that does not assume an average NERD score of 5 for all teams every day of the season, but instead assesses a score to each club based on its postseason odds, where odds of 50% would equal a perfect score of 10 and odds either of 0% or 100% equal a NERD score of 0. Given the number of teams which have either clinched a playoff spot or, in most cases, been eliminated from the postseason altogether, this naturally leads to a lot of 0s. The advantage, however, is the there aren’t a number of teams clustered around the 4 mark, which naturally becomes the “average” score at a point in the season when most teams are playing for little and/or nothing.

## NERD Game Scores: Experiment from the NERD Laboratory

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.

***

Attempting to represent numerically the probable appeal of baseball games, already an absurd enterprise, becomes even more absurd at the end of the season. It stands to reason that a spectator would prefer, all things being equal, to watch a game that offers postseason implcations to one that doesn’t offer them. After that, though, there are questions of preference that are likely too subtle to account for and then express in a single number.

Like, for example, what’s more compelling: a game that features two clubs, each with a very low (but still extant) probability of reaching the playoffs, or a game that features one club that’s been eliminated already against another that possesses exactly a 50% chance of reaching the postseason — and therefore resides at the crossroads of great uncertainty? Or, here’s another question: is a game featuring two clubs that have been eliminated entirely meaningless? Or, another one: is the “average” watchability of a game in April (when hope is ubiquitous) the same as one September (when most clubs have already become resigned to merely seeing the season out, like a marriage that exists only for the kids)?

While there’s probably something worthwhile to say about any of those questions, this post is designed only to address only the last one — which is to say, the matter of an April game versus a September one. By the typical methodology for calculating NERD team scores, all those same scores are adjusted to produce a leaguewide average of 5.0 exactly. For most of the year, the effects of that calculation are largely invisible. But as postseason odds begin to represent a larger portion of the team NERD score (which they do, slowly, as the season progresses), most clubs also begin to feature postseason odds either of zero or one. At that point, a plurality of teams are playing games of little consequence. This becomes “average.”

The result is that clubs all cluster together at around 5.0. Here’s an example of how today’s NERD scores would look calculated by the typical methodology:

Typical NERD Scores for September 29, 2016
 Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time Robbie Ray AZ 10 5 6 5 7 WAS Joe Ross 13:05 Ryan Merritt* CLE 5 5 6 7 8 DET Daniel Norris 13:10 Henry Owens BOS 0 5 4 5 4 NYA CC Sabathia 19:05 Rob Zastryzny* CHN 5 5 5 5 7 PIT Ivan Nova 19:05 Ubaldo Jimenez BAL 5 7 6 5 10 TOR Marcus Stroman 19:07 Jeremy Hellickson PHI 4 5 5 5 5 ATL Josh Collmenter 19:10 Dan Straily CIN 3 5 6 7 8 STL Alex Reyes 19:15 Kyle Gibson MIN 4 5 5 5 8 KC Danny Duffy 19:15 Chris Archer TB 10 5 6 5 4 CHA Jose Quintana 20:10 Julio Urias LAN 8 5 5 5 3 SD Christian Friedrich 21:10 Kendall Graveman OAK 5 5 5 5 3 SEA Ariel Miranda 22:10 Jon Gray COL 9 5 7 7 7 SF Johnny Cueto 22:15
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.

Basically, every club is a 5. Detroit and San Francisco and two or three other clubs receive a bonus for their still living postseason aspirations. But that’s it. All the other teams have either clinched and been eliminated. As a a result, this is “normal.” And because a majority of the clubs have nothing for which they’re a playing, they all receive basically an average score of 5.

For today, however, I’ve also employed an alternative methodology. One that doesn’t take for granted this average of 5.0. One that, as a result, implies that certain games in September are a bit hopeless — especially as compared to April, when every club features basically the same generic odds of reaching the World Series. For this method, what I did was merely to take each club’s chances of reaching the postseason and find the absolute value of that figured substracted from 50%. Then I’ve subtracted that figure from 50% and multiplied the result by 20. By this method, a club with a 50% chance of making the playoffs reaceives a 10.

Here’s how it works, with the Tigers as an example. The Tigers currently possess a 0.0% probability of winning the division and 29.0% probability of reaching the wild-card game, so a 29.0% chance overall. Here’s the calculation that follows:

• |0.50 – 0.29| = 0.21
• 0.50 – 0.21 = 0.29
• 0.29 * 20 = 5.8

By this method, Detroit receives a NERD score of 5.8, rounded to 6.

Here’s that same thing applied to all today’s games:

Experimental NERD Scores for September 29, 2016
 Away SP TM GM TM SP Home Time Robbie Ray AZ 10 0 2 0 7 WAS Joe Ross 13:05 Ryan Merritt* CLE 5 0 4 6 8 DET Daniel Norris 13:10 Henry Owens BOS 0 0 1 0 4 NYA CC Sabathia 19:05 Rob Zastryzny* CHN 5 0 2 0 7 PIT Ivan Nova 19:05 Ubaldo Jimenez BAL 5 6 5 2 10 TOR Marcus Stroman 19:07 Jeremy Hellickson PHI 4 0 1 0 5 ATL Josh Collmenter 19:10 Dan Straily CIN 3 0 3 5 8 STL Alex Reyes 19:15 Kyle Gibson MIN 4 0 2 0 8 KC Danny Duffy 19:15 Chris Archer TB 10 0 2 0 4 CHA Jose Quintana 20:10 Julio Urias LAN 8 0 1 0 3 SD Christian Friedrich 21:10 Kendall Graveman OAK 5 0 1 1 3 SEA Ariel Miranda 22:10 Jon Gray COL 9 0 4 5 7 SF Johnny Cueto 22:15
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.

In this case, there are mostly 0s where there were 5s before — because the average team’s postseason future is already settled. The top game by this methodology is the one between two still-contending teams in Baltimore and Toronto. The readers preferred broadcast is Baltimore television.

## NERD Game Scores for September 28, 2016

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
Cleveland at Detroit | 19:10 ET
McAllister (50.1 IP, 106 xFIP-) vs. Fulmer (155.2 IP, 91 xFIP-)
There are only a few teams playing games of real consequence at the moment, but Detroit’s and St. Louis’s games are probably the most consequential among them. Both trail their league’s respective second-place wild-card club by just a game. Both play at home tonight, too — and are likely, as a result, to host lively partisan crowds. For those compelled to choose, Detroit’s game also offers one of the American League’s top rookies in right-handed starter Michael Fulmer.

## NERD Game Scores for September 27, 2016

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
Baltimore at Toronto | 19:07 ET
Gausman (166.1 IP, 88 xFIP-) vs. Sanchez (179.0 IP, 88 xFIP-)
While other outcomes are certainly possible, what this game — and, indeed, what this series — probably represents is a prelude to the American League Wild Card game. Toronto has already recorded as many wins as either Detroit or Seattle — that is, the teams currently situated just outside the top of the wild-card standings — as many wins (86) as either Detroit or Seattle are projected to record; Baltimore, just one fewer. What’s required both of the Baltimores and the Torontos, then, is merely not to fail too hard.

Of course, as modest as that requirement might seem, it’s one that everyone is eventually unable to fulfill. Sometimes chronically so. And then your father’s like, “Do you know how much I’ve paid for tennis lessons, and you can’t even get past the first round of a regional tournament?” And then you’re like, “Whatever, Dad, I hate tennis.” And then you storm off. And then, a decade later, you’re a weblogger. Hypothetically, that is. In this hypothetical, not real example.

## NERD Game Scores for September 26, 2016

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
New York NL at Miami | 19:10 ET
Colon (184.1 IP, 101 xFIP-) vs. Undecided (N/A)
It’s generally regarded as unwise to alter the results of a statisical model due to the existence of additional, seemingly relevant information. “If there’s additional, seemingly relevant information,” goes the reasoning, “then merely incorporate it into the model itself.” Regardless of what the best practices are for such a thing, the author has altered the NERD game scores for today’s Mets-Marlins game because (a) these so-called “NERD game scores” are the product less of a statistical model and more just a distillation of the author’s own biases, anyway, and (b) there’s hardly any way to integrate “horrible death of a beloved young person” into a model reliably. If one is inclined to fill his or her role as spectator today, then this is likely the best means by which to fill that role.

## NERD Game Scores for September 25, 2016

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
St. Louis at Chicago NL | 20:08 ET
Martinez (182.1 IP, 94 xFIP-) vs. Lester (191.0 IP, 84 xFIP-)
The point of this daily exercise is, pretty immediately, to identify that game or those games which are most likely to facilitate joy for the spectator. There are occasions, however, on which one is less inclined to seek out that sort of joy. The news of Jose Fernandez‘s death early this morning would appear to represent one of those times. That said, it’s difficult to provide a full-throated endorsement of any game. For one so inclined to observe a contest of some consequence, however, this one is probably it. The Cardinals possess nearly even odds of qualifying for a wild-card berth. The pitching matchup is also quite strong.

## NERD Game Scores for September 24, 2016

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
Arizona at Baltimore | 19:05 ET
Ray (166.0 IP, 80 xFIP-) vs. Miley (151.1 IP, 100 xFIP-)
Baltimore’s postseason odds have remained between 25 and 75% — which is to say, closer than not to 50% — since basically the beginning of the season, as the following graph illustrates.

As that graph also illustrates, Baltimore’s postseason odds remain in the 25-75% range today — in no small part due to an extra-inning victory on Friday that allowed them to stay on pace with a Detroit club that currently occupies the second wild-card spot. Detroit and, in the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals also play games of considerable import today.

## NERD Game Scores for September 23, 2016

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
Kansas City at Detroit | 19:10 ET
Duffy (169.2 IP, 87 xFIP-) vs. Fulmer (148.2 IP, 94 xFIP-)
For as bananas as the National League’s wild-card picture has become — featuring three clubs in a sometimes virtual, sometimes actual real tie — the American League’s version has become roughly that same number of bananas. As of this morning, five clubs continue to possess at least a 10% probability of qualifying for a berth according to this site’s methodology:

American League Wild-Card Odds, Bananas
 Team W L W% GB EXPW EXPL rosW% WC Blue Jays 83 69 .546 1.0 88.4 73.6 .537 75.9% Tigers 82 70 .539 0.0 87.4 74.6 .543 57.6% Orioles 82 71 .536 -0.5 86.6 75.4 .513 33.9% Astros 81 72 .529 -1.5 85.8 76.2 .532 16.6% Mariners 80 72 .526 -2.0 85.5 76.5 .547 12.9%

Second-place Detroit has never possessed playoff odds much above 60% this year. A victory tonight would likely allow them to cross that particular threshold. Helping them in that endeavor is young right-hander Michael Fulmer, who either should win the Rookie of the Year or shouldn’t per Jeff Sullivan.

## NERD Game Scores for September 22, 2016

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 at Baltimore | 19:05 ET
Price (211.2 IP, 79 xFIP-) vs. Tillman (164.2 IP, 105 xFIP-)
Owing to their recent form, the Red Sox have unceremoniously resolved whatever mystery might have surrounded the likely outcome of the American League’s easternmost division. They’ve now recorded as many wins as the Orioles are projected to record before the end of the season — and one more than the Blue Jays are — which information is conveyed here in visual form, as well.

That’s not to say this particular game is without consequence, however. For, while the Bostons have more or less settled their affairs for the moment, the Baltimores’ world is full both of shadows and fog. Indeed, they possess roughly a 50% chance of qualifying for a wild-card berth — which is also to say they possess roughly a 50% chance of fulfilling or failing to reach their dearest professional ambitions.

## NERD Game Scores: Commence NL Wild-Card Thunderdome

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
St. Louis at Colorado| 15:10 ET
Weaver (33.2 IP, 70 xFIP-) vs. Marquez (5.1 IP, 118 xFIP-)
In Marcel Proust biopic Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, a frenzied crowd chants “two men enter, one man leaves” before a gladiatorial duel that pits Mel Gibson against a developmentally disabled giant. Following wins by San Francisco and St. Louis last night — plus a loss by the Mets — the current National League wild-card situation bears some similarity to that post-apocalyptic mise-en-scĂ¨ne. Except, instead of perspiring Australians, the competitors are the three aforementioned clubs. And instead of two of them, there’s three. And also Tina Turner’s not there.

Here are the current standings and probabilities per this site’s methodology:

National League Wild-Card Situation
 Team W L W% EXPW EXPL rosW% WC Mets 80 71 .530 86.3 75.7 .573 68.4% Giants 80 71 .530 86.1 75.9 .551 64.0% Cardinals 80 71 .530 86.1 75.9 .553 63.9%

Less urgent but still notable is the pitching matchup here. St. Louis right-hander Luke Weaver has produced the highest strikeout rate (tied with Rich Hill) among all starters to record 20 or more innings over the last month. German Marquez, meanwhile, is scheduled to make his first major-league start. Owner of a plus fastball, he produced decidedly above-average strikeout and walk numbers as just a 21-year-old in the high minors.

## NERD Game Scores for September 20, 2016

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 at Baltimore | 19:05 ET
Rodriguez (90.1 IP, 119 xFIP-) vs. Gausman (160.0 IP, 87 xFIP-)
Despite Boston’s win over Baltimore last night, this series remains the most relevant where postseason implications are concerned. The Red Sox possess the lowest probability of winning their division among the league’s six divisional leaders. The Orioles, meanwhile, have nearly even odds of qualifying for the wild card or not doing that. With regard to Kevin Gausman, here’s something not entirely irrelevant, either: over the last 30 days, he’s recorded the third-highest WAR among major-league pitchers — the sort calculated with FIP — and the second-highest WAR as calculated with runs allowed. This has all been information.

## NERD Game Scores for September 19, 2016

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 at Baltimore | 19:05 ET
Porcello (201.2 IP, 91 xFIP-) vs. Bundy (99.2 IP, 108 xFIP-)
The AL East has been — and will remain for most of today, at least — the most tightly contested division in the majors. Here one finds two of the three principal characters in that race, Boston and Baltimore. In conclusion, this has been a brief, nearly unnecessary paragraph.

## NERD Game Scores for September 18, 2016

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
St. Louis at San Francisco | 16:05 ET
Reyes (28.0 IP, 95 xFIP-) vs. Suarez (75.0 IP, 109 xFIP-)
St. Louis’s wild-card odds have declined by nearly 20 points since Thursday, an interval which accounts for the first three games of their series against San Francisco in the latter’s ballpark. The results could have been worse: had they not won last night, the loss in wild-card probability would likely have amounted to roughly 30 points.

Regard:

Wild-Card Odds, Cardinals and Giants
 Event STL WC% Change SFG WC% Change Before Series 52.1% — 67.3% — After Game 1 43.3% -8.8 72.4% +5.1 After Game 2 28.1% -15.2 79.6% +7.2 After Game 3 34.3% +6.2 74.7% -4.9 Total — -17.8 — +7.4

The endeavor has become more difficult in the meantime, as well, with the recent success of the Mets — rendering a win today even more consequential.

## NERD Game Scores for September 17, 2016

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
New York AL at Boston | 13:05 ET
Mitchell (7.1 IP, 99 xFIP-) vs. Price (205.2 IP, 79 xFIP-)
Two days ago, with a Cy Young candidate in Masahiro Tanaka scheduled to face the struggling Eduardo Rodriguez, it seemed reasonable to think that the Yankees had some cause for optimism with regard to the short-term fate of their postseason odds. A ninth-inning loss on Thursday, however — followed by a more pedestrian sort of defeat last night — has rendered their improbable claim to the division something more like impossible.

Postseason Odds, Red Sox and Yankees
 Event Boston DIV% Diff New York DIV% Diff Start of Series 61.4% — 8.1% — After Game 1 68.1% +6.7 5.9% -2.2 After Game 2 69.6% +1.5 3.8% -2.1

Nor is the prognosis for this afternoon particularly good for New York: the Red Sox feature nearly a 70% probability of winning that contest according to this site’s methodology.

## NERD Game Scores for September 16, 2016

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
St. Louis at San Francisco | 22:15 ET
Weaver (31.0 IP, 67 xFIP-) vs. Moore (176.2 IP, 110 xFIP-)
While members of different divisions, the Cardinals and Giants are very much involved in a zero-sum game (or nearly zero-sum game) at the moment where the 2016 postseason is concerned. Owing to a Mets club that has insisted on winning more than its fair share of games, there’s a distinct probability that only one of St. Louis and San Francisco will qualify for a wild-card spot. The Giants are the more likely of those two at this point according to the numbers. But, as a member of your local zoo-crew radio team might say, “Numbers ain’t nothin’ but a… number, I guess. Uh. Here’s the latest traffic report.” Toilet-flush sound effect. “Kapowie!” sound effect. Local auto-body commercial.

## NERD Game Scores: A Curiously Relevant Sox-Yankees Game

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
New York AL at Boston | 19:10 ET
Tanaka (186.2 IP, 82 xFIP-) vs. Rodriguez (88.0 IP, 115 xFIP-)
On the one hand, one finds that Boston currently possesses over a 60% probability of winning the AL East; New York, about just a 1% probability. Looking over into the other, second hand, however, what one also finds is that the Yankees (a) currently trail the Red Sox by just four games, (b) begin a four-game series against that exact Red Sox club today, and (c) appear to have the benefit of a favorable pitching matchup tonight. Owing both to their offense and home-field advantage, Boston still possesses a slight advantage in terms of the single-game winning projection for tonight’s encounter. It wouldn’t be particularly surprising for the gap between the clubs to shrink to just three games before tomorrow, however.

## NERD Game Scores for September 14, 2016

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
Baltimore at Boston | 19:10 ET
Gausman (152.0 IP, 87 xFIP-) vs. Porcello (193.2 IP, 91 xFIP-)
Were one inclined to facilitate a yelling match between a group of Boston-area residents — ideally, for the purposes of this experiment, men aged 18 to 65 — one means by which to accomplish that might be to ask them whether they regard Rick Porcello or David Price as the ace of the Red Sox. “Porcello’s got more wins,” one might declare. “But Price has better stuff,” another would almost certainly ejaculate. Is that third one, over in the corner, exhibiting signs of a heart attack? No, that’s just how people in Boston look and act. An entire people on the verge of cardiac arrest: this is an adequate characterization of Boston.

Porcello, who’s got a lower FIP-based WAR but higher RA-based WAR than Price, is scheduled to start this particular, urgent game.

## NERD Game Scores for September 13, 2016

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
Baltimore at Boston | 19:10 ET
Bundy (94.1 IP, 106 xFIP-) vs. Pomeranz (158.2 IP, 89 xFIP-)
Over the past week or so, this space has been reserved almost exclusively for Baltimore games or Boston games or Toronto games or Baltimore-Toronto games or Boston-Toronto games or, as is the case today, Baltimore-Boston games. Because the AL East is currently home to a giant competitive rumpus, is why. By the coin-flip methodology of calculating postseason odds — which seems to best represent how the human mind conceives of these things — all three of the aforementioned teams possess better than a 10% probability of winning the division. Even the dumb Yankees, by that same methodolgy, possess greater odds than the second-place club in three other divisions. So this Orioles-Red Sox contest is most highly rated it. This is the end of the explanation for why.