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Daily Notes, In Which Los Angeles Figures Prominently

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

1. Featured Game: Milwaukee at Los Angeles NL, 22:10 ET
2. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule
4. Today’s Complete Schedule, With a Playoff-Odds Adjustment

Featured Game: Milwaukee at Los Angeles NL, 22:10 ET
What This Game Features
What this game features, in Brewers right-hander Michael Fiers and Dodgers right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, is a pair of starting pitchers with both (a) an above-average minor-league track record and also (b) limited major-league experience.

Also, What Else
Also, both pitchers are making their season debuts tonight.

Michael Fiers, In Brief
Fiers, in his age-27 season, has pitched very well in the minors (346.2 IP, 9.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9) despite a pedigree (he was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2009 draft) and stuff (he has below-average fastball velocity) that might have originally suggested otherwise. According both to Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook and also John Sickels, Fiers’ best pitch is a changeup that one supposes will help him neutralize left-handed batters.

Why He’s Pitching
Because right-hander Marco Estrada was recently put on the DL with a quad injury.

Nathan Eovaldi, In Brief
Eovaldi is both considerably younger (22) and more physically impressive (his fastball averaged 94.1 mph during his 34.2 major-league innings last season) than Fiers. Our Marc Hulet ranked him second among Dodgers prospects before the season. So did John Sickels. Baseball America ranked him third. Control has been — and remains — an issue for Eovaldi. Prior to 2012, he’d walked 9.3% of minor-league batters faced; over 35.0 innings at Double-A Chattanooga this season, he walked 9.2%.

Why He’s Pitching
Because Ted Lilly was recently put on the DL with shoulder inflammation.

What This Game Won’t Feature
This game won’t feature Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy (151 PA, .345/.387/.583, .381 BABIP, 166 wRC+, 1.9 WAR), who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a broken right hand. The 25-year-old Martin Maldonado took Lucroy’s place on the roster.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project, FanGraphs readers like both Milwaukee Radio and Los Angeles NL Television (link).

Other Notable Games
Washington at Miami | 19:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Only four games separates the first (Washington) and last (Atlanta, Philadelphia) place teams in the NL East. At 27-22, Miami’s just 2.5 games behind D.C. Edwin Jackson (58.2 IP, 92 xFIP-, 1.1 WAR) faces Anibal Sanchez (59.2 IP, 83 xFIP-, 1.7 WAR).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Washington Radio.

New York AL at Los Angeles AL | 22:05 ET
Andy Pettitte has been surprisingly effective (21.1 IP, 72 xFIP-, 0.2 WAR) since returning to the majors in mid-May. Dan Haren has been the exact amount of effective (64.2 IP, 82 xFIP-, 1.4 WAR) you would’ve expected.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Los Angeles AL Television, Maybe?

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 5.4.

Regard, a magnificent and sortable table:


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Eric Stults* SD 2 3 5 3 10 CHN Jeff Samardzija 14:20
Homer Bailey CIN 5 4 5 2 5 PIT Charlie Morton 19:05
Will Smith* KC 4 6 4 4 2 CLE Just. Masterson 19:05
Jake Arrieta BAL 7 6 5 6 2 TOR Ricky Romero 19:07
Philip Humber CHA 3 6 6 6 9 TB James Shields 19:10
Justin Verlander DET 9 3 5 5 1 BOS Daniel Bard 19:10
Joe Blanton PHI 7 4 5 1 4 NYN Jeremy Hefner* 19:10
Jake Westbrook STL 5 10 6 7 4 ATL Ran. Delgado 19:10
Edwin Jackson WAS 8 5 7 4 8 MIA Anibal Sanchez 19:10
Jason Vargas SEA 3 5 4 10 3 TEX Scott Feldman* 20:05
Jarrod Parker OAK 3 3 4 2 6 MIN Cole DeVries* 20:10
Andy Pettitte NYA 9 5 7 3 7 LAA Dan Haren 22:05
Michael Fiers* MIL 10 7 9 6 10 LAN Nathan Eovaldi* 22:10
Joe Saunders AZ 2 5 3 6 1 SF Ryan Vogelsong 22:15

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.

Today’s Complete Schedule, With a Playoff-Odds Adjustment
Here are today’s games, with a poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment applied to each Game Score. (There was discussion of this in yesterday’s edition of Daily Notes, if, for some reason, you’re curious enough to care about this ludicrous adjustment to a fake stat.)

Because the methodology for said adjustment is both imperfect and confusing, I won’t elaborate on it. The important thing to note is that it (a) rewards teams whose playoff odds are closest to 33% (i.e. the generic major-league playoff odds for each team at the beginning of the season) and (b) has a range of -2 to +2 for any one game.

The reader will note that the Padres-Cubs contest receives the biggest penalty of all today’s games, as neither team is in anything like contention. The Dodgers are actually penalized for being so far ahead in the NL West. Meanwhile, both the Orioles-Jays and Tigers-Red Sox games receive the biggest bonuses from the adjustment. (Or boni in Latin, of course.)

Note: the right-most column (marked “POFF”) reflects each game’s playoff-odds adjustment. Playoff odds themselves from Cool Standings.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home POFF
Eric Stults* SD 2 3 3 3 10 CHN Jeff Samardzija -1.9
Homer Bailey CIN 5 4 5 2 5 PIT Charlie Morton 0.3
Will Smith* KC 4 6 4 4 2 CLE Just. Masterson 0.4
Jake Arrieta BAL 7 6 6 6 2 TOR Ricky Romero 1.5
Philip Humber CHA 3 6 6 6 9 TB James Shields 0.0
Justin Verlander DET 9 3 6 5 1 BOS Daniel Bard 1.5
Joe Blanton PHI 7 4 6 1 4 NYN Jeremy Hefner* 0.9
Jake Westbrook STL 5 10 6 7 4 ATL Ran. Delgado 0.5
Edwin Jackson WAS 8 5 8 4 8 MIA Anibal Sanchez 0.6
Jason Vargas SEA 3 5 3 10 3 TEX Scott Feldman* -1.5
Jarrod Parker OAK 3 3 2 2 6 MIN Cole DeVries* -1.7
Andy Pettitte NYA 9 5 8 3 7 LAA Dan Haren 1.2
Michael Fiers* MIL 10 7 8 6 10 LAN Nathan Eovaldi* -1.4
Joe Saunders AZ 2 5 3 6 1 SF Ryan Vogelsong 0.6