Daily Notes, Featuring a Shameless Poll Situation

NOTE: precisely 258 respondents to the poll below believe that 10.3 Nationals batters will strike out against Phillies pitching tonight. Standard deviation: 3.3.


Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: Washington at Philadelphia, 19:05 ET
2. Shameless Poll Situation: National Strikeouts
3. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
4. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: Washington at Philadelphia, 19:05 ET
Regarding Who’s Pitching This Game
In terms of who’s pitching this game, it’s Edwin Jackson for Washington and Cole Hamels for Philadelphia.

Why Anyone Should Give a Care
A reader might be interested to know — apropos tonight’s starters Edwin Jackson and Cole Hamels — that they’ve both, generally speaking, been excellent this season. Like, how Jackson has posted this line: 51.2 IP, 88 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR. And how Hamels has posted this one: 54.1 IP, 78 xFIP-, 1.5 WAR.

Why Else Anyone Might Give a Care
A reader might also be interested to know that Jackson (at 13.1%) and Hamels (at 13.0% even) are ranked second and third, respectively, among 118 qualified starters in terms of swinging-strike rate.

What That Means, Generally
Generally speaking, a high swinging-strike rate leads to a high strikeout rate. (The two variables together have an r-squared of about 0.70.)

What That Means for Tonight
What that means for tonight is probably that there’ll be an above-average number of strikeouts — especially among the Nationals, who’ve also posted the highest offensive swinging-strike rate in the majors so far this season, at 11.0%.

Finally, Regarding These Teams
Washington and Philadelphia were ranked second and fifth, respectively, in this week’s edition of the SI.com MLB Power Rankings, calculated by using FanGraphs WAR.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project, FanGraphs readers like Washington and Philadelphia Radio about evenly (link).

Shameless Poll Situation: National Strikeouts
As noted above, Cole Hamels has one of the highest swinging-strike rates among starting pitchers in the majors. As also noted, the Washington Nationals have recorded the highest rate of offensive swinging strikes in the league. The combination will likely result in a number of strikeouts for the visiting team — but how many?

Use this shameless poll to yell your opinion into the void! (Results will be posted at the top of this, uh, post just before game time.)

Other Notable Games
San Diego at St. Louis | 20:15 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn, who has been excellent (50.2 IP, 83 xFIP-, 1.2 WAR), faces a Padres offense that has not been, really (82 wRC+).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: St. Louis Radio.

Chicago NL at Houston | 20:05 ET
Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija (51.0 IP, 81 xFIP-, 1.3 WAR) is the qualified pitcher who has a better swinging-strike rate (13.3%) than Edwin Jackson and Cole Hamels.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Houston Television.

Minnesota at Chicago AL | 20:10 ET
Is Twins lefty Scott Diamond (19.1 IP, 65 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR) an above-average major-league starter? Likely not; however, he’s pitched like one through his first three starts of the season. Of particular note are both his walk and ground-ball rates so far (2.7% and 64.4%, respectively).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Minnesota Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.3.

Regard, a magnificent and sortable table:

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Daniel Bard BOS 1 5 5 5 8 BAL Jake Arrieta 12:35
Jonathon Niese NYN 6 1 5 1 6 PIT Charlie Morton 12:35
Barry Zito SF 0 4 4 6 6 MIL Marco Estrada 13:10
Ricky Romero TOR 3 6 6 6 8 TB James Shields 13:10
Jered Weaver LAA 5 3 3 4 0 OAK Jarrod Parker 15:35
Scott Feldman* TEX 4 10 5 5 3 SEA Kevin Millwood 15:40
Doug Fister DET 8 3 6 4 6 CLE Zach McAllister* 19:05
Luis Mendoza KC 1 6 5 6 8 NYA Andy Pettitte* 19:05
Edwin Jackson WAS 9 5 8 4 9 PHI Cole Hamels 19:05
Tommy Hanson ATL 4 7 5 3 5 CIN Bronson Arroyo 19:10
Alex White* COL 5 7 5 4 4 MIA Carl. Zambrano 19:10
Jeff Samardzija CHN 10 3 7 6 5 HOU Wa. Rodriguez 20:05
Scott Diamond* MIN 8 2 7 4 8 CHA Chris Sale 20:10
Jeff Suppan SD 0 4 5 10 8 STL Lance Lynn 20:15
Ted Lilly LAN 3 6 3 3 2 AZ Joe Saunders 21:40

To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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Aaron (UK)
Aaron (UK)

The Nats have gone from a team NERD of 0 to one of 5 in pretty short order. How much of this is attributable to Harper, kind sir?


Part Harper being amazing, part Ian Desmond being amazing, part everyone in the pen (not named Henry Rodriguez) figuring it out, and part Adam LaRoche’s graceful, effortless defense at 1B.

Well-Beered Englishman
Well-Beered Englishman

Team NERD also factors in the average age of the lineup, which means the removal of Mark DeRosa and the new preference for Lombardozzi in LF over Nady is helping the score too.