Daily Notes: Now with NERD Scores Everywhere

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

1. Announcement: NERD Scores Now Available
2. NERD for Pitchers: Leaderboards and Formula
3. NERD for Teams: Leaderboard and Formula
4. Today’s Complete Schedule

Announcement: NERD Scores Now Available
The purpose of this announcement is to inform the reader that NERD scores are now available and will be a fixture in the Daily Notes for the remainder of the season.

“What is a NERD score, even?” a reasonable person might ask. It’s this, in fact: an attempt to summarize, in one number (on a scale of 0-10), the watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. It’s also this: a response to a challenge issued by Rob Neyer to the author in May of 2010.

Below is a discussion of pitcher and team NERD, specifically — along with leaderboards for each and relevant current formulae.

NERD for Pitchers: Leaderboards and Formula
Leaders and Laggards
In America, it is possible to see the top-10 pitchers according to NERD so far in 2013 (minimum 20 IP). Right here, for example:

Name NERD xFIP SwStrk Strk Velo Age Luck KN
Yu Darvish 10 2.50 3.74 -0.06 1.11 0.66 0.00 0.00
Max Scherzer 10 2.33 2.46 1.12 0.85 0.17 1.00 0.00
Matt Harvey 10 1.20 2.08 0.58 1.90 1.15 0.00 0.00
Jeff Samardzija 10 1.51 2.46 0.33 1.82 0.17 0.16 0.00
Adam Wainwright 10 2.60 1.09 1.56 0.00 0.00 0.03 0.00
Garrett Richards 10 1.13 0.84 -0.46 2.08 0.91 0.32 0.00
Shelby Miller 9 0.97 0.07 1.78 1.02 1.64 0.00 0.00
Felix Hernandez 9 1.56 1.82 0.82 0.14 0.42 0.00 0.00
Jose Fernandez 9 0.45 -0.62 -0.11 1.86 2.13 0.48 0.00
Mat Latos 9 1.32 0.88 1.44 0.27 0.91 0.00 0.00

It is also possible to see the bottom 10, as in here:

Name NERD xFIP SwStrk Strk Velo Age Luck KN
Scott Feldman 0 -1.67 -1.21 -2.02 0.19 0.00 0.00 0.00
Jason Vargas 0 -1.98 -0.83 -1.03 0.00 0.00 0.19 0.00
Jeremy Hefner 0 -1.93 -0.96 -1.53 0.00 0.42 0.00 0.00
Miguel Gonzalez 0 -2.12 0.28 -0.73 0.10 0.00 0.00 0.00
Jason Marquis 0 -1.23 -1.13 -2.13 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Jason Hammel 0 -1.72 -1.60 -0.74 0.80 0.00 0.00 0.00
James McDonald 0 -1.43 -0.32 -1.29 0.00 0.17 0.00 0.00
Jeff Locke 1 -1.44 -0.49 -2.49 0.00 0.91 0.00 0.00
Joe Saunders 1 -1.32 -1.13 -1.65 0.00 0.00 0.70 0.00
Brad Peacock 1 -1.98 -1.21 -1.97 0.41 0.91 1.00 0.00

Formula
The formula for pitcher NERD — and that formula’s assorted variables — have been derived using the hardest science available.

The present formula for pitcher NERD is unchanged since last season. Below are the components included in its calculation:

• xFIP
• Swinging-Strike Rate (SwStrk)
• Strike Rate (Strk)
• Velocity (Velo)
• Age
• ERA-xFIP (Luck)
• Knuckleball Rate (KN)

And here’s the formula itself:

(zxFIP * 2) + (zSwStrk / 2) + (zStrk / 2) + zVelo + zAge + Luck + (KN * 5) + Constant

Notes
• Any variable preceded by a z represents the z-score — or standard deviations from the mean — of the relevant metric. The population used for determining the mean in this case includes all starters who’ve thrown 20 innings.

• Players are never assessed negative, but only positive, scores for Velo, Age, and Luck. Any number that would be below zero is simply rendered as zero. Note that Velo and Age are capped at 2.0; Luck, at 1.0. For science reasons.

• The constant at the moment is about 4.0.

NERD for Teams: Leaderboard and Formula
Leaderboard
Here’s the complete leaderboard for team NERD. A discussion of the components of, and formula for, team NERD follow below:

Teams NERD BAT HR% BsR BULL UZR PAY AGE LUCK
Braves 10 0.80 2.35 -0.82 0.63 1.65 0.27 1.53 0.27
Mets 9 0.56 0.88 2.58 0.35 -0.92 0.63 0.61 0.00
Red Sox 8 1.08 0.09 1.99 0.75 0.88 0.00 0.00 0.22
Orioles 8 0.29 0.47 0.36 -0.26 0.78 0.25 1.11 1.02
Indians 8 0.56 1.13 -0.36 1.14 0.87 0.64 0.36 0.00
Rockies 7 0.95 0.65 -0.14 -0.26 0.48 0.69 0.45 0.00
Pirates 7 -1.01 -0.73 1.13 0.63 1.10 0.51 0.61 1.27
Royals 7 -0.50 -1.19 0.68 1.19 1.07 0.51 1.69 0.16
Athletics 7 1.28 0.12 1.18 -2.06 -0.92 0.94 0.45 0.00
Rays 7 -0.14 0.86 0.45 -0.95 1.12 1.00 0.00 0.00
Yankees 6 0.69 1.15 -1.00 0.98 -0.30 0.00 0.00 0.77
Astros 6 -0.06 0.17 -0.32 -2.47 -0.29 1.82 1.61 0.00
Reds 6 -0.30 -0.30 0.77 0.78 1.51 0.00 0.28 0.00
Giants 5 -0.41 -1.14 1.27 0.86 1.90 0.00 0.00 0.00
Brewers 5 -0.39 0.36 -1.04 1.39 0.30 0.30 0.03 0.87
Rangers 5 0.08 0.25 -0.09 0.25 0.48 0.00 0.00 0.17
Nationals 5 -0.37 0.80 -1.72 0.20 -0.18 0.00 0.86 0.87
Diamondbacks 5 -1.02 -0.20 -0.91 1.92 0.66 0.27 0.36 0.52
Mariners 4 -0.78 0.15 -0.45 0.32 -0.41 0.64 0.00 0.00
Tigers 4 0.25 -1.37 0.50 0.83 -0.79 0.00 0.00 0.00
Cardinals 3 -0.46 -0.24 -0.59 -0.16 -0.90 0.00 0.00 0.92
Padres 3 -0.79 -1.46 0.32 -0.46 -1.02 0.81 0.53 0.37
Twins 3 -0.73 -1.01 0.32 -0.54 -1.41 0.59 0.53 0.26
Angels 3 0.48 -0.39 -1.18 -0.24 -0.71 0.00 0.53 0.00
Blue Jays 3 -0.99 1.19 -0.32 -0.95 -1.40 0.00 0.00 0.00
Cubs 2 -1.46 0.83 -0.77 -0.72 -0.96 0.00 0.28 0.00
Phillies 2 -0.96 -0.79 0.63 -0.95 -0.77 0.00 0.00 0.00
White Sox 2 -2.08 0.68 -0.27 -0.84 -0.17 0.00 0.00 0.00
Dodgers 2 -0.23 -1.16 -1.18 -0.46 0.37 0.00 0.00 0.00
Marlins 0 -3.57 -2.15 -1.00 -0.90 -1.72 1.49 0.00 0.00

Formula
The formula for team NERD — and that formula’s assorted variables — are all below.

The present formula for pitcher NERD has been altered, but only very slightly, since last season. Below are the components included in its calculation:

• Park-Adjusted Batting Runs Above Average (BAT)
• Park-Adjusted Home Run Rate (HR%)
• Baserunning Runs (BsR)
• Bullpen xFIP (BULL)
• Team UZR (UZR)
• Payroll, Where Below Average Is Better (PAY)
• Batter Age, Where Younger Is Better (AGE)
• Expected Wins, Per WAR, Minus Actual Wins (LUCK)

And here’s the formula for team NERD:

zBAT + zHR% + zBsR + (zBULL / 2) + (zUZR / 2) + zPAY + zAGE + (LUCK / 2) + Constant

Notes
• As with pitcher NERD, any variable preceded by a z represents the z-score of the relevant metric — in this case, relative to averages for the whole league.

• Teams are never assessed negative, but only positive, scores for Pay, Age, and Luck. Any number that would be below zero is simply rendered as zero. Note that Luck is capped at 2.0.

• Last year, park-adjusted home runs per fly ball (HR/FB) was used as the proxy for team power. This year, it’s park-adjusted home-run rate (HR%). Because Dan Turkenkopf’s HR/FB park factors are three years old at this point, is one reason. And also for the sake of simplicity, is mostly why.

• Last year, Speed Score (Spd) was used as the proxy for team speed/baserunning ability. In the meantime, however, we’ve added stolen-base runs to our previously available baserunning metric (UBR) here at the site. As a result, baserunning runs (BsR) ought to work as a meaningful proxy for speed and baserunning. Also, Spd seemed to favor the Colorado Rockies unduly in 2012, and it was upsetting for both the author and every reader.

• The constant for team NERD is currently at about 4.25.

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 5.6.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Lucas Harrell HOU 2 6 5 6 6 NYA Andy Pettitte 19:05
Mike Pelfrey* MIN 2 3 5 4 10 DET Max Scherzer 19:08
Matt Harvey NYN 10 9 8 0 9 MIA Jose Fernandez 19:10
Stephen Strasburg WAS 8 5 7 10 5 ATL Julio Teheran 19:10
Clayton Richard* SD 2 3 5 2 10 CHN Jeff Samardzija 20:05
Ubaldo Jimenez* CLE 4 8 6 7 7 KC Wade Davis* 20:10
Wandy Rodriguez PIT 5 7 5 5 3 MIL Yovani Gallardo 20:10
Mat Latos CIN 9 6 8 3 10 STL Adam Wainwright 20:15
Matt Cain SF 6 5 5 5 5 AZ Ian Kennedy 21:40
Tommy Hanson* LAA 2 3 6 7 10 OAK Dan Straily* 22:05
Zach Britton* BAL 2 8 3 4 1 SEA Joe Saunders 22:10
Tyler Chatwood* COL 3 7 4 2 5 LAN Ted Lilly* 22:10

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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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


25 Responses to “Daily Notes: Now with NERD Scores Everywhere”

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  1. cnote66 says:

    WOO HOO, its back!!

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. dp says:

    As I am statistically literate (to a first grade level) but otherwise deficient, may I ask how you determine a constant?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • NatsFan73 says:

      You figure out what number is required to get the 0-10 scale to work. No one likes a scale from -4 to 6.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The constant is the difference between the average of the raw scores and 5.0 — such that, after the constant is added to all the raw scores — the average of all the finished NERD scores 5.0.

      Does that make sense?

      It’s basically whatever number needs to be added to create 5.0 as the average for all the NERD scores.

      Does that make sense this time?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joelskil says:

      The constant is just to get it to the scale he wants. So instead of the scores being between -4 and 6, he adds a constant of 4 to get it to 0 to 10 (for example).

      It’s like the FIP constant to get FIP in the range of ERA.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Nate says:

    Love me some NERD! “the hardest science available”!!

    I’m just shocked you’re so open with the formula. In 40 years it’ll be the premier stat National Media will care about.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Doc says:

    fantastic.. love the NERD

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    For me, personally, Yu Darvish’s NERD score is an 11.
    For several of my female friends, Yu Darvish’s hindquarters are also an 11.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Benzedrine says:

    Suprised that nobody got an 11 this time, given the list of pitchers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Matt says:

    Happy to see the return of NERD

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. kdm628496 says:

    “Note that Velo and Age are capped at 2.0; Luck, at 1.0. For science reasons.”

    indeed. science.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. CB says:

    This is my first season of reading this site daily–I had noticed everyone clamoring for NERD scores but I didn’t bother learning what that was. I must say this is so much grander than I could have imagined. Very impressive science.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Dear Author forgot the intro:
    The rank and qualifications of the writer.

    The scribe of noble parts, patient in discussion, at whose utterances men rejoice when they are heard, skilled in the hieroglyphs; there is nothing he does not know. He is a champion in valour and in the art of Seshyt; servant of the lord of Khmun in the hall of writing; assistant-teacher in the office of writing. First of his companions, foremost of his fellows, prince of his contemporaries, without his peer.

    His merit is proved in every stripling. His hand goes forth, noble, keen of wit, adept in knowledge; fortunate are we because of it. Protecting himself by his good qualities; beloved in men’s hearts, without being repelled; men like to make a friend of him, they do not tire of him. Swift to inscribe empty rolls. Youthful, eminent of charm, pleasant of grace. Unravelling the obscurities of the annals like him who made them. All that goes forth from his mouth is steeped in honey; the heart is refreshed with it as it were with medicine. Groom of his Majesty, follower of the Sovereign, trainer of the steeds of the king, ardent cultivator of the stable.

    He greets his friend, his excellent brother, the royal scribe in command of the victorious army; noble of parts, goodly of qualities, adept in knowledge; who has not his equal in any scribe. Beloved of all men; beautiful to him who beholds his charm; like a flower of the marshes in the heart of others.

    A scribe in every style; there is nothing that he does not know. Men inquire after his response in quest of choice words. Keen of wit, patient of heart, loving mankind; rejoicing at deeds of Justice, he turns his back upon iniquity.

    Carson Harrington Cistulli, son of the steward Philip, the revered.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. eddiegaedel says:

    So glad to see the Dodgers low in the NERD score. I have been to several Dodgers games and watched most on television and boy has this season been boring for them. My Indians though, are near the top, and even though they have struggled it has been a fun season to watch.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. rustyspatula says:

    I don’t know how open you are to tinkering, but I personally find very old starting pitchers interesting as well — have you considered giving them a positive although not fully-weighted NERD score based on their Age?

    Think for example of late-career Roger Clemens — I saw a game where the Rockies bunted on him excessively so that we could laugh at him trying to run off the mound to field them. That was definitely worth watchability points. Or of one of the numerous Jamie Moyer maybe this will be his farewell tour starts…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Klements Sausage says:

    Can anybody work out when today’s games are scheduled to begin?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. DavidJ says:

    The prospect of three or four Harvey-Stanton confrontations alone should be enough to give the Mets-Marlins game a 10.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. MTUCache says:

    There MUST be some way to incorporate the announcer data that was calculated last year to come up with an overall GEF (Game Enjoyment Factor).

    Hardest science available… turgid, purple science, in fact. Much like my wife, I love me some NERD.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Wes Renne says:

    Wow, first time on the site and my mind is scrambled, can’t wait to learn more

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. John says:

    Can you incorporate pitchf/x h- and z-movement numbers for breaking balls into NERD scores?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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