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Daily Notes: Saturday’s Games Considered for Your Pleasure

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

1. Discretionary NERD Scores by Robert J. Baumann
2. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Discretionary NERD Scores by Robert J. Baumann
It has become customary in these Notes for the handsome author to assign NERD scores*, at his discretion, to those pitchers who’ve accumulated fewer than 20 innings as a starter — with a view, that is, to completing the day’s NERD Game Scores and, as a result, making all well within the Republic.

*NERD being the present site’s very proprietary watchability score.

It so happened, however, that the author composed today’s edition of the Notes both at a Milwaukee-area cafe and beside NotGraphs contributor/existential blunderbuss Robert J. Baumann. It was to Baumann whom the present author conceded his NERD privileges for the day.

Below are the five pitchers who are starting this afternoon/evening but who’ve also thrown fewer than 20 innings as a starter this season — each accompanied by Baumann’s discretionary NERD score and his justification of same (both, of course, being subject to the derision of the Outraged Public).

Pitcher: Tony Cingrani, LHP, Cincinnati
Discretionary NERD: 11
Baumann’s Explanation: He’s striking out batters at an amazing pace. Not really walking guys. And he looks a little bit like Bryce Harper. In the face, I mean. [Note: Baumann has celebrated Cingrani recently in the fire-hot pages of NotGraphs.]

Pitcher: Scott Kazmir, LHP, Cleveland
Baumann’s Explanation: Kazmir’s story is intriguing, but the recent major-league numbers — if you can call them recent — don’t leave much to be excited about. So I split the difference.

Pitcher: Freddy Garcia, RHP, Baltimore
Baumann’s Explanation: The very shape of Freddy Garcia bores me. It’s like looking at an empty rectangle.

Pitcher: John Lackey, RHP, Boston
Baumann’s Explanation: I’m partial to jowls. He gets a point for jowls.

Pitcher: Matt Magill, RHP, Los Angeles NL
Baumann’s Explanation: Hmm. (Thinks deeply.) I guess his recent performance at Albuquerque [gets him an above-average score], plus he struck out seven Brewers.

Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
Cincinnati at Chicago NL | 13:05 ET
Tony Cingrani and Jeff Samardzija start for the Reds and Cubs, respectively. Together, the pair have accounted for 75 strikeouts against just 227 opposing batters (i.e. 33.0%). It’s not unreasonable to expect that collective trend to continue today.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Chicago NL Television.

Tampa Bay at Colorado | 20:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
It has surprised the author, and might surprise the reader, to discover that the Rays are currently third in the entire major leagues by park-adjusted home-run rate — at least by the author’s likely flawed calculation of same.

Here are the majors’ top-five teams by that measure*:

Indians 1022 37 3.6% 96 3.8%
Braves 1086 40 3.7% 98 3.8%
Rays 1037 35 3.4% 97 3.5%
Mets 1053 32 3.0% 93 3.3%
Yankees 1059 38 3.6% 111 3.2%

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Tampa Bay Radio.

*Note: park factors already halved to account for home/away splits. Other note: it’s possible the Mets home-run park factor includes data from Citi Field prior to the fences having been moved in.

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.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Tony Cingrani* CIN 11 4 9 5 10 CHN Jeff Samardzija 13:05
Kevin Correia MIN 3 3 5 10 5 CLE Scott Kazmir* 13:05
Bartolo Colon OAK 6 7 6 6 6 NYA Phil Hughes 13:05
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 8 4 7 3 7 TOR R.A. Dickey 13:07
Freddy Garcia* BAL 1 6 2 3 2 LAA Tommy Hanson 16:05
Ad. Wainwright STL 10 2 6 6 3 MIL Yovani Gallardo 16:05
St. Strasburg WAS 8 2 5 8 2 PIT Jeff Locke 16:05
Jose Fernandez MIA 8 0 5 2 5 PHI Cole Hamels 19:05
Dylan Axelrod CHA 1 2 3 7 4 KC Jeremy Guthrie 19:10
Max Scherzer DET 10 4 6 7 3 HOU Lucas Harrell 19:10
Jon Niese NYN 1 8 5 8 6 ATL Julio Teheran 19:10
John Lackey* BOS 2 9 4 4 5 TEX Alexi Ogando 20:05
David Price TB 9 9 7 7 4 COL Jon Garland 20:10
Patrick Corbin AZ 7 5 4 4 0 SD Clayton Richard 20:40
Matt Magill* LAN 6 2 5 5 4 SF Ryan Vogelsong 21:05

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of NotGraphs contributor Robert J. Baumann.