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 has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Mike H
Mike H

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