Daily Notes: Saturday’s Notable Games

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

1. Featured Game: St. Louis at Houston, 19:05 ET
2. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: St. Louis at Houston, 19:05 ET
Regarding the Houston Astros as of Friday
As of Friday, the Houston Astros were tied (with San Francisco) for the 11th-best WAR winning percentage in the majors, at .525.

Regarding the Houston Astros on Friday
On Friday, the Houston Astros defeated the St. Louis Cardinals — that is, the team with the best overall WAR winning percentage — by a score of 5-4 (box).

Regarding One Reason the Astros’ Early Success Is Surprising
One reason the Astros’ early success is surprising is because they were the worst team in the majors last season by almost every measure.

Another Reason the Astros’ Early Success Is Probably Surprising
Another reason the Astros’ early success is probably surprising is because they have both (a) the third-lowest payroll in the majors and (b) second-youngest overall batter age.

Regarding Houston’s Batting Leaders
Here are Houston’s batting leaders:

Jose Altuve: 105 PA, .358/.404/.526 (.407 BABIP), 161 wRC+, 1.4 WAR
Jed Lowrie: 82 PA, .329/.427/.500 (.377 BABIP), 164 wRC+, 1.4 WAR
Jordan Schafer: 102 PA, .273/.360/.352 (.400 BABIP), 110 wRC+, 1.0 WAR

Starting Pitchers
Jaime Garcia (32.1 IP, 100 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR) faces Bud Norris (31.1 IP, 106 xFIP-, 0.2 WAR).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project, FanGraphs readers prefer Houston Television (link).

Other Notable Games
New York AL at Kansas City | 19:10 ET
Felipe Paulino makes his season debut after missing the first month or so with a strained right forearm. Here’s his preseason Steamer projection: 126.0 IP, 7.63 K/9, 3.61 BB/9, 1.01 HR/9, 4.12 FIP. Here’s his preseason ZiPS projection: 121.0 IP, 7.59 K/9, 3.79 BB/9, 0.89 HR/9, 4.05 FIP. Here’s what he did in two rehab starts at Double-A: 10.1 IP, 13 K, 2 BB, 1 HR, 2.52 FIP.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Kansas City.

Atlanta at Colorado | 20:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Jamie Moyer pitches for the Rockies. Idea: bring your father into the room and make note of Jamie Moyer pitching for Colorado. Now ask him (i.e. your father), “What are you doing with your life?” Bask in the glow of filial piety.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Neither, Really.

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 4.9.

Regard, a magnificent and sortable table:

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Chris Capuano LAN 4 5 5 2 6 CHN Chris Volstad 13:05
Vance Worley PHI 6 3 6 0 9 WAS Gio Gonzalez 13:05
Jason Hammel BAL 8 5 5 5 3 BOS Aaron Cook* 13:10
Patrick Corbin* AZ 6 6 6 2 6 NYN Johan Santana 16:05
Gavin Floyd CHA 5 5 5 2 5 DET Max Scherzer 16:05
Randy Wolf MIL 0 5 3 5 4 SF Mad. Bumgarner 16:05
Mike Leake CIN 5 2 4 3 3 PIT Jam. McDonald 19:05
Jaime Garcia STL 6 10 7 8 7 HOU Bud Norris 19:05
Derek Holland TEX 6 9 4 5 1 CLE Derek Lowe 19:05
Hiroki Kuroda NYA 3 6 6 10 8 KC Felipe Paulino* 19:10
Bartolo Colon OAK 4 3 4 7 3 TB Jer. Hellickson 19:10
Mike Minor ATL 8 8 6 9 3 COL Jamie Moyer 20:10
Mark Buehrle MIA 4 3 4 5 3 SD Clayton Richard 20:35
Kyle Drabek TOR 5 6 5 3 5 LAA C.J. Wilson 21:05
Jason Marquis* MIN 1 3 3 3 6 SEA Felix Hernandez 21:10

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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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

8 Responses to “Daily Notes: Saturday’s Notable Games”

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  1. Chike says:

    How do the Nationals have 0 team nerd? Am I reading that properly? I’m not even a Nationals fan and I find them endlessly entertaining to watch. Consider:

    – Bryce Harper
    – Stephen Strasburg
    – One of the deepest, surprising and most talented starting rotations in baseball
    – Closer Henry Rodriguez, he of the 100mph+ fastball
    – Davey Johnson, he who is equal parts salty, old and skipper
    – Jayson Werth’s beard
    – Overall team age
    – Overall team Nattitude

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Well-Beered Englishman says:

      I am a Nationals fan, and consider:
      – The entire offensive lineup except for Bryce Harper.

      That said, the team NERD scores were first calculated when Harper had played only like one game, and I can’t help wondering if, next calculation, he’ll single-handedly up the score a couple points. It’ll hopefully also get bumps from the returns of Zimmerman and Morse. And if Davey would start Tyler Moore occasionally, that would put three rookies (with Steve “True Ecksteinian Grit” Lombardozzi) in the starting lineup.

      I’m pretty sure team NERD discounts starting pitching, since the pitching scores are listed separately. Strasburg’s a 10, Gio’s a 9, and I think Detwiler and Zmann are 8-9 also.

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    • Daniel says:

      To what extent is the Nationals rotation “surprising”?

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      • Chike says:

        The Nationals’ pitching staff leads the league in ERA and FIP through the first six weeks of the season. Their starting rotation leads the league with 4.6WAR. How is that NOT surprising?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Ricky says:

    H2h fantasy is losing by 1 in W category but slightly ahead in whip era and k/bb. Do I dare start hammel in Boston?

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  3. OneHungLo says:

    I was at the game Friday night, and I’m pretty sure they announced that Nationals Stadium has been renamed “Natitude Stadium.” I was pounding beers though.

    There is a Nats commercial in DC that starts out exclaiming “MAXIMUM ROGER!” It is a commercial all about Roger Bernadina.

    Oh, one other thing. On Friday, Jayson Werth gave Phillies fans the “I’m going to cut off your head” sign.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Gregory says:

    What makes Felix have just a 6 NERD factor?

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