A major league baseball team will only go as far as its pitcher will take them. Although hitting homeruns may make the highlight reel more often than a nasty curveball, the men on the mound are the most important players on the field.
During the 2014 MLB playoffs, it was particularly clear that pitching was the factor, and will always be the factor, in winning and losing. Even though starting pitchers only pitch every five games, without an ace, or even two aces, that team is bound to fail.
During the history of baseball, how many teams have suffered due to the fact that they had too many good pitchers? Not many. Still, at the end of the day and during the heat of free agency, teams are always spending too much money to bring in a homerun hitter that won’t help them win a game when it counts. If a pitcher can allow the opposing team to fewer than three runs every game, their team is going to win more often than not. Pitchers make or break baseball teams, and if you ask any fan of a team that didn’t make the playoffs last season, they’re going to tell you that the lack of pitching was the reason towards their demise.
This list isn’t about the greatest pitchers of all-time or even the best pitchers in the past few seasons. It is compiled of pitchers who you would want to have starting on your team right now at this very moment.
Who do you think is the best pitcher in the MLB right now?
15 Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals
14 Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels
13 Zach Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
12 Doug Fister, Washington Nationals
11 Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
10 David Price, Detroit Tigers
9 Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs
8 Max Scherzer, Free Agent
7 Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
6 Adam Wainwright, St Louis Cardinals
5 Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds
4 Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
3 Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
2 Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
1 Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Forget the disappointing 2014 postseason that Kershaw had. There is no pitcher in the MLB that any team would rather have than Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw was unstoppable last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning the National League Cy Young, as well as the National League MVP. With Cy Young’s in three of the past four seasons, Kershaw has proven himself to be the best pitcher in baseball. In 27 starts last season, Kershaw had an amazing 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, six complete games, and a 7.5 WAR, while striking out 239 batters. Did we mention he’s only 26-years-old? Kershaw is the best pitcher in the game, and should continue to be for a long time.
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