Top 5 MLB Starting Pitchers

Top 5 MLB Starting Pitchers

#5 Clayton Kershaw

Credit: USA Today Sports

• Games Started: 18
• Win/Loss record: 9-2
• Earned Run Average: 2.85 (career: 2.42)
• Innings Pitched: 117
• Strikeouts: 117
• Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched: 1.017
• Wins Above Replacement: 2.5

Kershaw is an MVP, five-time ERA champ, Gold Glover, and a three-time Cy Young award winner. There is no question Kershaw is the best pitcher of this era. While recent injuries have reduced his time on the mound this season, Kershaw remains as dominant as ever.


#4 Stephen Strasburg

Credit: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

• Games Started: 22
• Win/Loss record: 14-4
• Earned Run Average: 3.26 (career: 3.15)
• Innings Pitched: 140.2
• Strikeouts: 168
• Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched: 1.038
• Wins Above Replacement: 4.8

Since Strasburg’s return from surgery eight years ago, he has consistently overpowered batters. Strasburg’s triple-digit fastball is even more devastating considering he pairs it with a changeup that drops to the low 70s. Strasburg clearly possesses sufficient talent to lead this list, but he will need to walk substantially less batters to be considered a top 3 pitcher in the majors.


#3 Hyun-Jin Ryu

Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

• Games Started: 20
• Win/Loss record: 11-2
• Earned Run Average: 1.74 (career: 2.92)
• Innings Pitched: 129.2
• Strikeouts: 116
• Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched: .956
• Wins Above Replacement: 4.5

Ryu didn’t exactly burst on the scene, since he’s been in the league for six seasons. But he certainly burst into the ‘best in the game’ conversation with his 2019 campaign. Ryu’s win/loss record and ERA are so good they seem implausible. If Ryu continues to perform at this level, the Dodgers should earn a repeat trip to the fall classic.


#2 Max Scherzer

Credit: Rich Schultz/Getty Images

• Games Started: 20
• Win/Loss record: 9-5
• Earned Run Average: 2.41 (career: 3.17)
• Innings Pitched: 134.1
• Strikeouts: 189
• Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched: .990
• Wins Above Replacement: 5.3

Scherzer’s three Cy Young awards aside, he is a strikeout master. His elite command and movement make him a nightmare for batters to prepare for. While his Nationals teammates have not provided enough run support for Scherzer to lead this list in total wins, his strikeout numbers and WAR are undeniable.


#1 Justin Verlander

Credit: AP Photo | David J. Phillip

• Games Started: 22
• Win/Loss record: 13-4
• Earned Run Average: 2.86 (career: 3.36)
• Innings Pitched: 144.2
• Strikeouts: 183
• Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched: .836
• Wins Above Replacement: 4.5

Verlander has done it all. He’s won the triple crown, been an MVP, won a CY Young award, an ERA champ, and most importantly, Verlander is a World Series champion. His brilliance helped a franchise reach the pinnacle of the baseball world. For the past ten years, Verlander has been the model of consistency and excellence.

Top 5 MLB Ballparks

Top 5 MLB Ballparks