# Daily Notes: Ft. A Playoff Adjustment for NERD Game Scores

A Playoff Adjustment for NERD Game Scores
Introduction
The ongoing concern of the author — and the concern, probably, of at least one reader — is, each day, to watch a baseball game which might be best described as “rich and compelling.” For much of the season, such games are defined largely by the quality of the pitching matchup in question. Young and hard-throwing and quick-working and (ultimately) effective starters: this is the order of the day. If those pitchers’ opponents are some combination of productive and powerful and swift-footed, so much the better.

With the advent of September, however, the concerns of the spectator change. If it weren’t the case before, it’s certainly a fact now, that only a minority of clubs are playing actual meaningful games — and, while one has no interest in abandoning entirely the aesthetic considerations of the game, it’s also true that the value of a game as a spectacle depends, to some degree, on the impression that one, if not both, clubs have a real stake in victory.

With a view towards representing this shift, the author has accordingly produced here a version of NERD — that is, the very proprietary and also infallible watchability score available daily in these Notes — has produced a version of NERD designed to reflect the influence of each team’s playoff odds on the watchability of their respective games.

Playoff-Adjusted Team NERD Scores: A Calculation
In calculating a playoff-adjusted Team NERD score, the author has taken for granted that teams which are closest to a 50% chance of qualifying for their league’s respective divisional series (50.0% DOFF) will inherently make for a more compelling spectacle.

To identify such teams, the author has started by finding the absolute value of (50.0% – DOFF%). Second, he’s subtracted that result from 50.0%. Third, he’s multiplied that result by 20, which puts the final result on a scale of 0-10.

So, for example, one finds that as of Monday, Tampa Bay had a 48.1% chance of making the ALDS. Accordingly, the calculation goes as follows:

1. abs(50.0% – 48.1%) = 1.9%.

2. 50.0% – 1.9% = 48.1%.

3. 48.1% * 20 = 9.6, rounded up to 10.

And here’s the calculation for Texas as of Monday:

1. abs(50.0% – 74.80%) = 24.8%

2. 50.0% – 24.8% = 25.2%

3. 25.2% * 20 = 5.0, rounded to 5.

It’s the effect of this methodology to reduce most teams’ NERD scores to zero, or near zero, a result which seems perhaps severe, but which also serves to reflect the actual urgency with which each team forced to play its September games.

Playoff-Adjusted NERD Game Scores: A Calculation
For reasons noted above, NERD Game Scores typically weight each game’s starting pitchers much more heavily than the respective teams to which each belongs — by a factor of three, precisely. The playoff-adjusted NERD Game Scores further down in this post have been calculated in precisely the opposite manner — that is, by weighing the Team NERD scores three times as heavily as the respective Pitcher NERD scores. The effect of this appears largely to deflate the attendant Game Scores of teams whose playoff odds are closer to 100% or 0%, rather than inflate the scores of those teams in playoff contention.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Baltimore at Cleveland | 19:05 ET
Chris Tillman (167.0 IP, 99 xFIP-, 1.5 WAR) faces Ubaldo Jimenez (141.1 IP, 101 xFIP-, 1.4 WAR).

Today’s Complete Schedule
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.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Chris Tillman BAL 5 1 2 1 4 CLE Ubaldo Jimenez 19:05
Chris Sale CHA 10 0 2 1 5 NYA Hiroki Kuroda 19:05
Gio Gonzalez WAS 7 1 2 0 6 PHI Ethan Martin 19:05
Max Scherzer DET 9 0 2 1 4 BOS Jon Lester 19:10
Carlos Torres NYN 7 0 2 0 7 ATL Kris Medlen 19:10
Michael Wacha STL 10 6 8 10 9 CIN Homer Bailey 19:10
Tom Koehler MIA 4 0 1 0 5 CHN Edwin Jackson 20:05
Undecided MIN 5 0 1 0 2 HOU Jarred Cosart 20:10
Gerrit Cole PIT 10 4 3 0 3 MIL Yovani Gallardo 20:10
Erasmo Ramirez SEA 7 0 1 0 2 KC Bruce Chen 20:10
Ricky Nolasco LAN 6 0 1 0 5 COL Jhoulys Chacin 20:40
Todd Redmond TOR 5 0 1 0 6 AZ Wade Miley 21:40
Matt Moore TB 5 10 5 0 3 LAA Jason Vargas 22:05
Martin Perez TEX 7 5 6 7 4 OAK Bartolo Colon 22:05
Ma. Bumgarner SF 7 0 1 0 4 SD Robbie Erlin 22:10

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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

Guest
Spencer

I’m not sure what, but something seems to have gone horribly wrong with today’s NERD game scores.

Guest
Devin

I can’t tell if this is sarcasm or you really didn’t read any of the article above the ratings.