2011 Major League Basball: Ranking the Top 10 Franchise Pitchers
Major League Baseball is a funny game, it's not like the NBA where guys can just play offense and win games. Baseball requires a franchise to have dominant pitching that will shutdown the opposing offense players.
A top of the line pitcher is one who'll take the rubber under his control and dictate what happens next through out the course of a game.
Sadly, there aren't quite as many of these guys out there as you would think.
So who are the top 10 franchise pitchers?
10. CC Sabathia: New York Yankees
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Last season, CC Sabathia had a career year in wins with 21.
Not to mention he rounded out the top 15 in strikeouts with 197.
With a career average of 189 strikeouts and the loss of some weight this offseason, Sabathia could look like the CC from 2008—with a 17-10 record, 2.70 ERA and 251 strikeouts.
9. Ubaldo Jimenez: Colorado Rockies
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Up to mid-June last season, Ubaldo Jimenez looked like Bob Gibson on the mound: starting 13-1 with a 1.15 ERA.
He is a power pitcher that will blow it by anyone on an given night.
Finishing the season with 19-8 record and 2.88 ERA he was ranked seventh in strike outs with 214.
This season could be even better for Jimenez if he can get a more productive offense.
8. Matt Cain: San Francisco Giants
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Some of you might be wondering why Matt Cain is on the list after finishing with a 13-11 record last season.
Well, there is a good reason why he should be on this list. Just this past postseason he posted a 0.00 ERA in three starts and has seen a major decline in his walk rates.
Cain will just need to improve his win percentage where he's below .500 since the 2007 season, but some of those loses have been due to no run support.
7. Jon Lester: Boston Red Sox
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Of all the southpaws to ever pitch in the "Bigs," Jon Lester holds the highest winning percentage (.709) for lefties in history with a minimum of 80 decisions.
Adding to his impressive resume, he is the only active AL pitcher with at least 225 strikeouts in back-to-back seasons.
Not to mention the lineup behind him this season is like an All-Star team that should give him a few more wins.
6. Justin Verlander: Detroit Tigers
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The past two seasons, Justin Verlander is the only AL starting pitcher with 18 wins, 200 strikeouts and a sub-3.50 ERA.
That right there is enough said about his dominance on the mound.
5. Clayton Kershaw: Los Angeles Dodgers
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In his last 20 starts last season, Clayton Kershaw walked just one of every 13.9 batters he faced. That is amazing because, before that point, his career average was one per 8.0 batters.
He finished the season ninth in strikeouts with 212 and posted a sub-3.00 ERA.
The emergence of this young gun began last season and he will only get better.
4. Josh Johnson: Florida Marlins
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Last season Josh Johnson held the lowest ERA in the NL—2.30—and broke a Marlins franchise record with a 1.57 home ERA.
At 6'7" Johnson is as intimidating as they come on the mound. With great control of all his pitches he rarely allows walks and has a knack for strikeouts (186 in 2010).
3. Tim Lincecum: San Francisco Giants
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With two Cy Young Awards under his belt and a career average of 226 strikeouts a season it's easy to say that Tim Lincecum is one of the best.
Considered a down year for him in 2010, Lincecum posted a 16-10 record with a 3.43 ERA and still finished third in strikeouts (231).
2. Felix Hernandez: Seattle Mariners
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A first time Cy Young Award winner in 2010, Felix Hernandez is a starter any club would love to have.
The only issue for Hernandez is that he plays for the Mariners, one of the worst offensive clubs last season.
His sub-2.30 ERA in 2010 would've resulted in an even better record than 13-12 if he had received some run support.
1. Roy Halladay: Philadelphia Phillies
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In 2010 Roy Halladay finished in the top five for wins (21), ERA (2.44), strikeouts (219) and WHIP (1.04) in both leagues.
Adding to his dominance, he gave up only 30 walks—the third lowest of his career.
He easily is the number one on this list and will go down as one of the greatest pitchers the game has ever seen.