NERD Game Scores: Feat. A Case Study in Intellectual Myopia

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.


The Playoff-Odds Adjustment: A Tiresome Explanation
The amount of time and energy dedicated by the present author to the construction of a formula which reveals the aesthetic promise of a pitcher or team or game — it’s absurd, this, and unbecoming of a human man. The endeavor itself? A case study in myopia, assuredly. And yet, because he’s a person without sense, the author whittled away a few more hours from his finite time on earth this weekend by working to make the aforementioned formula(e) more complicated and obscure — in this case, by employing a suggestion provided by reader DavidKB from last week. The suggestion: to apply a playoff-odds adjustment to each day’s NERD game scores not just over the last month-plus of the season, but all season long. And second: to weight that playoff-odds adjustment on a scale relative to the number of games remaining until the end of the season.

What follows is a tiresome explanation of how the author has done that.

First: Calculate a NERD playoff-odds score for each team.
This calculation rests on the premise that teams which possess playoff odds closer to 50% are those whose games present the greatest sense of urgency and, likely, pleasure.

1. Find each club’s odds of reaching divisional series (DOFF).

2. Calculate:

( 0.5 – ABS ( DOFF – 0.5 ) ) * 20

3. A club with a 50% DOFF will produce a figure of 10 by this measure; either 0% or 100% DOFF, a figure of 0.

4. Adjust results so average of all clubs equals 5.0.

Second: Blend NERD playoff-odds score with original team NERD score.
At the beginning of the season, every club possesses some kind of promise (even if those same clubs’ playoff odds belie that promise). Naturally, however, interest in a club by the end of that season — especially a neutral supporter’s interest — correlates rather strongly with that club’s odds of making the postseason. As such, the playoff-odds team score will take precedence over the original team score (an explanation of which one can read here) as the season progresses.

5. Find percent of season completed thus far (COMP%).

6. Calculate:

( Playoff-Odds Team NERD * COMP% ) + ( Original Team NERD) * ( 1 – COMP% ) )

Third: Calculate game scores with new team score and pitcher score.
Typically, NERD game scores have weighted starting pitchers by a factor of three relative to the teams’ relative scores. At the end of the season, though, it’s generally the identities of the teams themselves — and those teams’ respective odds of qualifying for the postseason — which inform the drama inherent to a particular game. Accordingly, as the season progresses, it makes sense to weight the teams more heavily — in this case, by a factor of three, as well.

7. Calculate:

( Team-Heavy NERD Game Score * COMP% ) + ( Pitcher-Heavy NERD Game Score * ( 1 – COMP% ) )

Most Highly Rated Game
Los Angeles AL at Los Angeles NL | 22:10 ET
Garrett Richards (144.1 IP, 84 xFIP-, 3.6 WAR) faces Zack Greinke (139.1 IP, 70 xFIP-, 2.8 WAR). The clubs feature playoff odds of about 72% and 91%, respectively.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Los Angeles NL Television.

One Brief Note
Regarding Today’s Free Game
Today’s free game features Cincinnati at Cleveland, starts at 7:05pm ET, and can be accessed by means of this hyperlinked text.

Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete and very sortable table for all of today’s games. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from and also the rest of the internet.

NERD Image 4

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Tim Hudson SF 5 9 5 2 4 NYN Dillon Gee 12:10
Kevin Gausman BAL 5 8 6 5 5 WAS Tanner Roark 19:05
Alfredo Simon CIN 5 3 5 5 10 CLE Corey Kluber 19:05
Max Scherzer DET 8 4 6 5 9 NYA Brandon McCarthy 19:05
Nick Martinez TEX 0 3 3 3 4 CHA Hector Noesi 20:10
Alex Cobb TB 8 5 7 7 7 OAK Jeff Samardzija 22:05
Garrett Richards LAA 9 7 7 5 9 LAN Zack Greinke 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 has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Looking forward to watching Kluber and Scherzer tonight!

Well-Beered Englishman
Well-Beered Englishman

Do you have a splitscreen?