One Night Only: Now with Pitcher and Game NERD!

For a spreadsheet of all 116 NERD-eligible pitchers (with scores), click here.

As a reader of FanGraphs, you undoubtedly subscribe to the proposition that whatever humans can do, robots and/or computers can do perfectly. (You probably also subscribe to — and enjoy the completely indecent centerfolds of — Ubuntu Enthusiast, but that’s a different conversation.)

It was with that guiding principle in mind that, last summer, I set about devising a way that my computer might tell me which baseball games to watch on any given night — so long, that is, as I entered in the variables most important to the sabermetrically oriented baseballing fan. This, after medium-sized last, is how NERD was born.

After a bit of fiddling, and no little faddling, it became possible to put a number, on a scale of 1-10, on each specific game — a number that, while not infallible, would anticipate more quickly than I ever could which of the night’s games merited note.

Today, the NERD game score returns.

Just below these words is today’s most interesting contest. After that, some notes and the rest of today’s 15 games.

Some notes on what you’re seeing there:
pNERD is the NERD score (the watchability score, as it were) for pitchers.
tNERD is the same thing, but for teams (essentially, everything minus a team’s starting pitchers).
Game is the time (Eastern) and overall averaged score of the relevant game.

Some more notes on what you’re seeing there:
• To remind you, the inputs for Pitcher NERD (first discussed here, but altered slightly since), alternately weighted are: xFIP, Swinging-Strike Percentage, Overall Strike Percentage, Fastball Velocity, Luck (i.e. ERA – xFIP), and Age.
• For the last three of those variables, no negative scores are assessed — only positive ones, where relevant.
• Pitchers who haven’t surpassed the 20-inning threshold are marked with an asterisk and given a score of 5.

The last thing I’ll say about all that is:
Bud Norris is (a) pitching super well so far this season and (b) getting hosed by Fate.
• His line to date: 22.0 IP, 10.64 K/9, 2.86 BB/9, .322 BABIP, 46.8 GB% 15.4% HR/FB, 4.91 ERA, 3.01 xFIP.
• He’s even throwing strikes now — his 64.0% strike rate is slightly higher than league-average for pitchers in the NERD-qualified sample.

Also Playing
These games are also happening (although still not on PlayStation 3s, it appears).

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

13 Responses to “One Night Only: Now with Pitcher and Game NERD!”

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  1. Mike H says:

    What do the astrices next to the pitchers’ names mean?

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  2. Bryz says:

    Wow, I’m only half-surprised to see the Twins have a tNERD of 0.

    I have tickets to tonight’s Twins game, and if it keeps raining, the watchability score will drop to 0.

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    • Kroot says:

      Yeah and who would have thought Liriano would only have a 2 pNERD after last years cy young talk here at FanGraphs?

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  3. glassSheets says:

    The Twins tNERD would jump to 10 if the “Soul Patrol” of Shannon Stewart, Torii Hunter, and Jacque Jones were to get in their time machines and reemerge. This is mainly due to the fact they would possess a working time machine.

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  4. Kroot says:

    This is great that the NERD scores have been released, are they available somewhere for all the pitchers or will we just find out start by start?

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  5. Aaron says:

    What’s the order for the “Also Playing” games?

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  6. Naveed says:

    With all the ink (or, I guess, pixels) spilled over Matt Cain this winter, one would think his pNERD would be higher than 4.

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    • Barkey Walker says:

      pNERD is based on the premise that watching strikeouts from fastball pitchers who do not give up walks or homers is fun. Matt Cain is only a low homer pitcher, so he has a moderate pNERD. QED.

      The real question is, since when is watching homers boring?

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  7. Taylor says:

    Really cool idea Carson well done. Is there any way we can get NERD scores for every night of the season? Thanks

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  8. Onbekend says:

    Great stuff Carson!

    BTW true nerds favour Fedora or CentOS.

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