Today, instead of reviewing one game, we’re going to spend some time in the NERD Lab. “Fun!” is the appropriate response to that.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous edition of One Night Only — or, in the comments section of a previous edition, at least — one thing that’s maybe less effective with the present iteration of NERD is that the playoff-odd adjustments are applied directly to Team NERD and not to the overall Game Scores. This isn’t really representative of what we’re trying to assess, I don’t think, because the playoff adjustment is an expression of context, and how that context might make a game more or less interesting. Meanwhile, the Team NERD scores are designed to be a measure of a team’s pure watchability.
Accordingly, I’ve submitted two versions of today’s games below: one with the playoff-odd adjustment in the Team NERD (as per usual) and one with a playoff-odds adjustment applied after the fact, to the Game Score directly.
The calculation for the playoff adjustment is both (a) boring and (b) assuredly more difficult than it needs to be.
1. Find playoff odds (ODDS) for all 30 teams.
2. For each team, if ODDS are less than 25%, do 25% – ODDS. If greater than 25%, do (25% – ODDS) / -3. This rewards teams that are closest to 25% — that is, basically where every team begins the season. We’ll call this number ODDS1. The teams closest to 25% will now have something close to 0. The teams closer to 100% or 0% will have closer to 25 — that is, the difference between their ODDS and 25 is greater. The Royals, for instance, have a 24.9 after this calculation; the Red Sox, 24.5; the Diamondbacks, 7.0; the Indians are lowest, at 3.3. Note that, if this were the first days of the season, basically every team would have a 0.
3. We’re going to be finding z-scores (standard deviations from the mean), so we need to invert the values of the ODDS1 numbers, such that teams with higher scores are more highly valued. We’ll call this ODDS2. The ODDS2 numbers for the above teams are as follow: Royals, 0.1; Red Sox, 0.5; Diamondbacks, 18.0; Indians, 21.7.
4. Find the z-scores for all the ODDS2 numbers. We’ll call this the playoff-odds adjustment, or POFF. In this case, the average ODDS2 number is 5.7. The standard deviation is 7.5. Were this opening day, the average would be much closer to 25 and the standard deviation would be much smaller. The scores for the above teams are as follows: Royals, -0.75; Red Sox, -0.69; Diamondbacks 1.65; Indians, 2.15. What I like about this is the spread it creates between the contending and non-contending teams.
5. For each game, add together the POFF numbers for each team. Then, add that number to the Game Score.
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.
As promised, here are today’s games using the usual method.
|Vance Worley||PHI||5||3||5||4||6||LAN||Chad Billingsley||15:10|
|Jeff Karstens||PIT||5||4||4||6||3||SF||Jonathan Sanchez||15:45|
|Garrett Richards*||LAA||10||9||8||6||5||NYA||Ivan Nova||19:05|
|Philip Humber||CHA||4||5||4||3||3||BAL||Tommy Hunter*||19:05|
|Rick Porcello||DET||5||5||6||9||7||CLE||Ubaldo Jimenez||19:05|
|Gio Gonzalez||OAK||7||2||7||4||10||TOR||Henderson Alvarez*||19:07|
|Tim Hudson||ATL||6||5||7||6||9||FL||Anibal Sanchez||19:10|
|Kevin Millwood*||COL||4||5||5||5||6||CIN||Mike Leake||19:10|
|Felipe Paulino||KC||9||7||5||5||1||TB||Wade Davis||19:10|
|Aaron Harang||SD||4||4||6||5||9||NYN||R.A. Dickey||19:10|
|Jason Vargas||SEA||3||1||5||7||7||TEX||Derek Holland||20:05|
|Ross Detwiler*||WAS||5||3||3||2||2||CHN||Rodrigo Lopez||20:05|
|Jon Lester||BOS||7||7||5||2||3||MIN||Nick Blackburn||20:10|
|Randy Wolf||MIL||2||7||4||7||4||STL||Jake Westbrook||20:15|
And here are today’s games, with the playoff-odds adjustment (POFF, in grey) added directly to the Game Score. Which is to say, the Game Scores you see here include the POFF adjustment. Notice, though, that the Team NERD scores are quite different from the ones above, as the Yankees go from 6 to 9; the Indians, from 9 to 6; the Cardinals, from 7 to 4, etc.
|Vance Worley||PHI||5||3||4||4||6||LAN||Chad Billingsley||-1||15:10|
|Jeff Karstens||PIT||5||6||5||3||3||SF||Jo. Sanchez||1||15:45|
|Gar. Richards*||LAA||10||5||9||9||5||NYA||Ivan Nova||1||19:05|
|Philip Humber||CHA||4||1||3||2||3||BAL||Tommy Hunter*||0||19:05|
|Rick Porcello||DET||5||2||9||6||7||CLE||Ubaldo Jimenez||3||19:05|
|Gio Gonzalez||OAK||7||1||6||6||10||TOR||Hend. Alvarez*||-1||19:07|
|Tim Hudson||ATL||6||4||7||8||9||FL||Anibal Sanchez||-1||19:10|
|K. Millwood*||COL||4||6||4||5||6||CIN||Mike Leake||-1||19:10|
|Felipe Paulino||KC||9||10||4||6||1||TB||Wade Davis||-1||19:10|
|Aaron Harang||SD||4||6||5||6||9||NYN||R.A. Dickey||-1||19:10|
|Jason Vargas||SEA||3||0||5||8||7||TEX||Derek Holland||0||20:05|
|Ross Detwiler*||WAS||5||4||2||1||2||CHN||Rodrigo Lopez||-1||20:05|
|Jon Lester||BOS||7||10||4||1||3||MIN||Nick Blackburn||-1||20:10|
|Randy Wolf||MIL||2||8||6||4||4||STL||Jake Westbrook||3||20:15|
NERD represents an attempt to anticipate the watchability of a game for the baseballing enthusiast.
To learn more about Pitcher NERD, click here and scroll down a little.
To learn more about latest Team NERD, 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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