Baseball perfection is one of the most exciting, rare and unpredictable feats in all of sports. Yet here I am trying to predict who will hurl the next ultimate gem.
The last time we saw one, Roy Halladay pulled it off in a 1-0 victory over the then Florida Marlins in May of 2010. The fact that Halladay has done it so recently makes him an automatic candidate to pull it again, never mind the postseason no-no he threw that same year.
If Halladay does indeed throw another perfect game, he would make history in more than one way. He would become the only man in baseball history to be perfect more than once.
That puts into perspective just how rare this is. Since 1922, there have only been 15 thrown, and only 20 in the game's history.
I did some deep digging, because that is just what I love to do, and I found a few interesting trends. The average age of the past 15 pitchers to throw a perfect game is 30. They have had an average of nine years MLB experience and a WHIP of 1.272 the previous season.
The most common season for a pitcher to throw a perfect game has been a player's fourth season. Four players threw their masterpiece in their fourth year—most recently Dallas Braden of the Oakland A's.
Older pitchers haven't been shut out either, as four pitchers at 35 years old or older have accomplished the feat. Randy Johnson threw his at 40, in his 18th season.
While there aren't any players that hit each of those numbers and categories exactly, there are a few players that come fairly close.
In light of these findings, as well as a few other fruits of my research, I've compiled a list of 20 pitchers that have the best shot at throwing the next perfect game.
I've grouped the players into four different categories. Behold the slideshow: