Daily Notes: Say Hi to Your Mother for Us

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

1. A Note for the Mothers
2. Featured Game: Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 13:35 ET
3. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
4. Today’s Complete Schedule

A Note for the Mothers
Please, if you would, say hello to your mother for FanGraphs.

And for Mark Wahlberg, too, if you have time:

Featured Game: Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 13:35 ET
First of All, Who’s Pitching
Pitching in this game are decorated British general James Shields (47.1 IP, 75 xFIP-, 0.4 WAR) for Tampa Bay and noted Italian avant garde filmmaker Jake Arrieta (44.2 IP, 85 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR) for Baltimore.

Regarding Shields, A Note on His Ground-Ball Rate
Shields’ ground-ball rate (59.6%) is currently more than 13 percentage points above his highest previous single-season mark (46.3% in 2008). Note that ground-ball rate becomes reliable at about 150 batters faced, while Shields has already faced 197 opposing batters, suggesting that Shields’ improvement is authentic at some level.

Regarding Arrieta, A Note on His Success, Generally
In his previous two major-league seasons, Arrieta has posted xFIP-s of 124 and 112 in 100.1 and 119.1 innings, respectively — and, in both of those seasons, he posted walk rates above 10%. This season so far, Arrieta has walked batters at about half that rate (5.6%).

Briefly, On Baltimore’s Record
Baltimore’s current record is 22-12, best in the AL East.

Briefly, On Baltimore’s WAR Record
Baltimore’s WAR record — which is entirely infallible and should never be questioned — is 18-16, which is second best in the AL East after New York’s, which is 20-13.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project, FanGraphs readers prefer Tampa Bay Television, but just by a little (link).

Other Notable Games
Seattle at New York AL | 13:05 ET
Former and present Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte makes his season debut.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Seattle.

Toronto at Minnesota | 14:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Left-hander Scott Diamond starts for Minnesota. His season debut was (probably surprisingly) impressive. Line: 7.0 IP, 25 TBF, 6 K, 1 BB, 12 GB on 18 batted-balls (66.7%).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Minnesota.

Atlanta at St. Louis | 14:15 ET
Lance Lynn (38.2 IP, 80 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR) starts for St. Louis. He continues to be excellent for the Cardinals — as do many of the other Cardinals, who lead the league in batter WAR.

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 5.3.

Regard, a magnificent and sortable table:

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Kevin Millwood SEA 2 3 6 7 10 NYA Andy Pettitte* 13:05
Jonathon Niese NYN 6 2 5 4 5 MIA Carlos Zambrano 13:10
Edwin Jackson WAS 8 2 6 3 5 CIN Bronson Arroyo 13:10
Justin Masterson CLE 2 4 3 5 3 BOS Daniel Bard 13:35
Wandy Rodriguez HOU 4 6 6 2 10 PIT A.J. Burnett 13:35
Jeff Suppan* SD 1 5 5 3 9 PHI Cole Hamels 13:35
James Shields TB 7 6 7 5 7 BAL Jake Arrieta 13:35
Jeff Samardzija CHN 10 3 7 6 5 MIL Marco Estrada 14:10
Danny Duffy KC 5 8 5 5 5 CHA Philip Humber 14:10
Ricky Romero TOR 4 6 5 2 7 MIN Scott Diamond* 14:10
Tommy Hanson ATL 4 8 7 10 9 STL Lance Lynn 14:15
Justin Verlander DET 8 1 5 4 3 OAK Jarrod Parker 16:05
Alex White* COL 8 8 6 6 3 LAN Ted Lilly 16:10
Barry Zito SF 0 4 2 6 3 AZ Joe Saunders 16:10
Jered Weaver LAA 6 2 5 10 4 TEX Neftali Feliz 20:05

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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