NERD Game Scores for Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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.


Most Highly Rated Game
Toronto at Kansas City | 20:10 ET
Drew Hutchison (26.0 IP, 80 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR) faces Yordano Ventura (25.0 IP, 84 xFIP-, 0.8 WAR). The latter, in addition to having posted the highest average fastball velocity among qualified starters (which isn’t particularly surprising), has also generated a considerable number of swings and misses with his secondary pitches (which is more surprising). Hutchison, for his part, has actually recorded even better defense-independent figures, having now struck out more than a third of opposing batters in consecutive starts.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Toronto, Maybe?

MLB.TV Free Game
Los Angeles NL at Minnesota | 20:10 ET
Zack Greinke (29.1 IP, 49 xFIP-, 0.2 WAR) faces Kyle Gibson (22.1 IP, 119 xFIP-, 0.5 WAR). The former has been indomitable through five starts, recording a strikeout-walk differential of about 30 points, nearly double his already impressive career mark. The latter, Gibson, has been much more domitable — although, were he capable of reducing his walks, would likely produce average-ish numbers based on his ground-ball tendencies.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Minnesota Radio.

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 Thing
Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Matt Garza MIL 6 7 4 2 2 STL Shelby Miller 13:45
Max Scherzer DET 9 4 7 4 6 CHA Hector Noesi* 14:10
Zach McAllister CLE 5 5 5 10 4 LAA C.J. Wilson 19:05
Bartolo Colon NYN 6 2 4 2 2 PHI Kyle Kendrick 19:05
Charlie Morton PIT 3 8 4 4 4 BAL Chris Tillman 19:05
Roenis Elias SEA 4 5 5 5 6 NYA David Phelps* 19:05
Aaron Harang ATL 4 9 7 8 10 MIA Nathan Eovaldi 19:10
Edwin Jackson CHN 2 5 3 3 3 CIN Tony Cingrani 19:10
Chris Archer TB 8 7 5 2 1 BOS Felix Doubront 19:10
Jesse Chavez OAK 7 5 6 2 6 TEX Robbie Ross 20:05
Zack Greinke LAN 10 6 6 5 1 MIN Kyle Gibson 20:10
Drew Hutchison TOR 8 5 8 2 10 KC Yordano Ventura 20:10
Jor. Zimmermann WAS 8 6 6 6 3 HOU Br. Oberholtzer 20:10
Jordan Lyles COL 5 8 5 4 5 AZ Josh Collmenter* 21:40
Robbie Erlin SD 6 3 6 6 6 SF Tim Hudson 22:15

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.

15 Responses to “NERD Game Scores for Wednesday, April 30, 2014”

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  1. Eric Chesterton says:

    While observing the current weather in the Philadelphia area, it occurs to me that weather might be a significant factor in the watchability of a game. Depending on your tastes, rainy games might add appeal in terms of increased potential for goofy or unusual events. Would it be possible to incorporate local forecasts into NERD game scores?

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    • kdm628496 says:

      rainy weather also increases the potential for rain delays and cancellations. any increase in pleasure from goofiness would be (pardon the pun) washed out by the chance of seeing no baseball at all.

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      • Matt says:

        A game with a significant risk of rain delay / postponement could definitely get docked in the rankings. This could be done using the %PoP (probability of precipitation) found at baseball press (
        Maybe it could be scaled where a 60-80% PoP would dock the total game by one score, and 80-100% would dock the game by two points? (Then again, this also gets away from the spirit of NERD, which is supposed to be focused on the teams/players involved.)

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  2. Sofa King says:

    Buck and Tabby, No Thanks!

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    • Big Jgke says:

      You can always watch it with the radio audio instead. Jerry Howarth is old and increasingly terrible, but Joe Siddall has been an unexpectedly great addition to the booth.

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  3. H.Villanueva says:

    Why is Shelby miller so cool/not nerdy?

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    • H.Villanueva says:

      After looking at the formula and his numbers it makes sense. I’m still surprised that a young hard throwing pitcher would have a score that low.

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  4. Stanatee the Manatee says:

    The Free Game has been updated, it’s Dodgers/Twins

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  5. Balk says:

    The way I see it, this doesn’t need to be a sortable table. There’s two categories that users are likely to sort by: the SP NERD scores and the Game NERD scores. However, because the pitcher matchups are chained together, it’s impossible to sort purely by SP NERD; you can sort only home SPs or away SPs. It defeats the purpose of sorting. The ability to sort by Game NERD scores is useful, but a well-designed layout would mostly alleviate the need to sort at all.

    Here’s my proposal: kill the sortability for now. Continue to have the games arranged by start time, but instead of spreading all data across a single line, group them into the familiar stacked box score format, with the away team on top of the home team. It allows the user to more easily compare SP NERD scores or Team NERD scores for each game’s matchups because they’re right next to one another. Then, to address the loss of sortability for the Game NERD scores, somehow differentiate their appearance to make it as easy as possible to scan just them.

    The most-liked comment on the 4/28 post that relaunched NERD asked that the table somehow incorporate the readers preferred broadcast. If it’s possible, adding a small icon (for either TV or Radio) next to the proper team in each matchup is, I think, the best way to do it, all things being equal.

    I humbly submit this redesign proposal:

    And actual size:

    These are yesterday’s matchups, (although the preferred broadcasts are mostly arbitrary). The home team for each matchup appears in Fangraphs green, designed with the previous dimensions in mind, 600px wide with (default) 12 pt Arial font.

    You could obviously get a lot more creative, but this is still pretty minimal and I’m assuming we’re trying to keep the font, size, dimensions and table layout mostly the same, since it will still be filled in the same way as always.

    Aesthetics, Cistulli! Happy to hear any feedback or criticism.

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    • That image is beautiful. I’m probably not competent enough to execute something along those lines every day, but I’m curious about it.

      Email me, perhaps? Here: carson [dot] cistulli [at] fangraphs [dot] com.

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  6. Big Jgke says:

    Given their stats, how has Gibson outWAR’d Grienke so far?

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    • Frank says:

      fWAR is based off FIP. When Greinke has gotten hit he’s given up long balls, while Gibson hasn’t given up any homers despite pedestrian K/BB. xFIP normalizes home run rate and is probably a better indicator of performance this early in the year. Over longer stretches of time you would expect each players HR rate to normalize at a rate that isn’t equal for each pitcher, thus FIP gives a better indicator of performance over longer stretches.

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