The Top 10 Pitchers in Major League Baseball
The upcoming season is less than a week away and I am showing my opinion about the top 10 pitchers.
This season should be a very good and interesting one. There are some big faces in some new places. And the playoff races are going to be more heated up than last year.
You're gonna have three good teams battling for the AL East with the Rays, Red Sox, and new and improved Yankees. Can the Tigers bounce back from a disappointing season? Can the Cubs end the 100-year drought?
Many questions, but no answers until October, and it all depends on pitching. If you can't pitch, you more than likely won't make it to October. The teams with these top 10 pitchers have a good chance on winning the title this year.
10. Dice K
Dice K is coming off an outstanding season in '08, posting a 18-3 record and having the sixth best ERA in the majors last year with a 2.90 ERA. He didn't have the number of strike-outs that he wanted, only having 154. He had the fourth most walks in all of baseball with 94 walks. Those ahead of him were Ubaldo Jimmenez, Barry Zito, and Oliver Perez, who all had over 100. But he has proven himself a star in the future for the Red Sox.
9. Felix Hernandez
Felix didn't have the year that he had hoped for, only going nine and 11, posting an 3.45 ERA and having 175 K's. He was 19th in the league in both era and strike-outs. The Seattle Mariners had the second worst record in baseball, (61-101) behind the Nationals. In 2007, Seattle went 88-74, and he went 14-7. He has a bad career record but on any given night, if you put him on the mound, he gives you a chance to win.
8. A.J. Burnett
2008 was a career year for A.J. Burnett. He went 18-10 and posted a career high 231 strikeouts. His ERA was over 4.00 and he had 86 walks but he won games and that's what counts. This year, he is a key factor for the Yankees doing well and pitching into October.
7. Cliff Lee
Cliff Lee without a doubt was the best pitcher in the MLB last year. He had a league-leading 22 wins, while only posting three loses. He also posted the second lowest ERA in the MLB with a 2.54, trailing Johan Santana by .01 (2.53). He struck out 170 batters. Injury-prone, Cleveland started the year off terribly. Cleveland then traded all-star pitcher CC Sabathia to the Brewers. Late in the year, their players came back and they started to win games and finished 81-81. This year, they have healthy players some great young talent.
6. Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum was 18-5 in 2008 and led the MLB with 265 strikeouts. He also had the third lowest ERA with 2.62. The Giants finished in fourth place in the NL West with a 72-90 record, and just 12 games back of the Dodgers for first. The Giants present a young team, but with a talented pitcher like Lincecum and a supporting staff of Matt Cain, Barry Zito, and the newcomer Randy Johnson, they have a chance to win the West.
5. Jake Peavy
The Padres came in last in the NL West with a 63-99 record. He had a bad year when it came to winning; he was 10-11. His team wasn't very productive when it came to offense. The team's bullpen always blew the game when he had a lead.He was third in the National League with a 2.85 ERA. His 166 strikeouts were 15th in the Nl. Look for Jake Peavy to rebound but don't expect him to finish the season with the Padres, as he will likely be traded to a contender mid-season.
4. Roy Halladay
Roy Halladay had one of the best seasons last year: he was tied in second in wins with 20. He was fifth in strikeouts with 206. And he also posted the fifth lowest ERA last year with 2.78. His team had the lowest ERA in the majors last year with 3.49. He also had the best BAA with .244 (batting average allowed). His team was fourth in the Al East at 86-76 and finished 11 GB of Tampa Bay. But with all the injuries that the starting rotation is facing and with the loss of A.J. Burnett, they won't too good like last year, but when Halladay is on the mound, they have a chance to win every night.
3. Johan Santana
Johan Santana has been one of the top pitchers for years, and will be for even years to come. He went 16-7 and posted the lowest ERA in the MLB last year with 2.53. He could have gotten a lot more wins if the bullpen didn't blow the third most saves with 29. He was tied in fifth with 206 strikeouts. Look for him and the Mets have a breakout year, especially with the addition of JJ Putz and K-Rod.
2. Brandon Webb
For the most part of last season, he was the best pitcher around. He won a league high 22 wins but with seven losses. He had a 3.30 ERA and a 183 strikeouts but the Diamondbacks didn't win the NL West. They blew a big lead to the Dodgers, thanks to the acquisition of Manny Ramirez. Don't expect much out of them this year because they have no offense, but look for Webb to put up some big numbers like last year.
1. CC Sabathia
CC Sabathia started off poorly last year with Cleveland. He was 6-8 with 123 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.83. Then he got traded about a month before the trade deadline to the Milwaukee Brewers.
There, he took them to a Wild Card berth. He went 11-2 and posted a 1.65 ERA with the Brewers with 128 strikeouts. He ended up with a 17-10 record and the second most strikeouts in MLB with 251, and the fourth lowest ERA in the majors with 2.70.
Since the end of the season he signed as a free-agent with the New York Yankees, who are now a top favorite to win the World Series. Look for him to put up big numbers this year.