Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman 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
Miami at Tampa Bay | 13:10 ET
Fernandez (53.2 IP, 66 xFIP-) vs. Smyly (56.0 IP, 91 xFIP-)
Having read no fewer than two or maybe one popular-science books on the subject of human cognition, the present author is prepared to state unequivocally that a central feature of the brain is its tireless search for patterns — and tendency to extract meaning from mere coincidence. As a product of those traits, one might reasonably expect the human brain to regard these numbers with some interest:
Those are the the 2015 and 2016 seasons of Jose Fernandez. What one observes are the similarities between certain of the right-hander’s index stats from one season to the next. Nearly identical adjusted xFIP marks, for example. And nearly identical (and lower) adjusted FIP marks. And actually identical (and slightly higher) adjusted ERA marks. Of course, the figures aren’t entirely random; they have, for example, been produced by the same pitcher. Nevertheless, the symmetry of the data is unusual. The brain is stirred! Or, at least: maybe the brain is stirred!