On Saturday, Detroit’s Justin Verlander became the 30th player in MLB history to throw multiple no-hitters in a career. He walked one and struck out four in a dominant performance over the Toronto Blue Jays that saw him touch 100 mph in the ninth inning.
Verlander’s first career no-hitter came against the Milwaukee Brewers. In that game, he stuck out a whopping twelve batters.
If he wasn’t before today, Verlander is firmly solidified among the top ten pitchers in baseball. However, where exactly does he sit among the best of the best?
Here now are the top ten pitchers in MLB.
The young Tampa Bay ace is having another great season following his breakout 2010 campaign.
After going 19-6 and striking out 188 in 2010, David Price is 4-3 and has 40 strikeouts in 49 innings while posting a 3.26 ERA.
The first overall selection in the 2007 MLB Draft is the ace of a very talented Tampa Bay staff, and Price’s name will only rise on the list.
Jon Lester is next on the list after a stellar 2010 season.
Lester finished fourth in the American League Cy Young voting after going 19-9 and striking out 225 batters in 208 innings.
This season, Boston’s ace is 4-1 with a 9.0 K/9 ratio, while also sporting a 2.33 ERA.
If the Red Sox are able to get out of their current funk and make the playoffs, it will be largely due to the dominant pitching from Jon Lester.
C.C. Sabathia has been one of the majors’ best pitchers for a while now.
He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2007 while with the Indians, and while playing for both Cleveland the Milwaukee in 2008, Sabathia threw ten complete games.
Since arriving in New York in 2009, Sabathia is 42-17, and has struck out 197 hitters in each of his two seasons in the Bronx.
The Yankees’ ace is off to another good start in 2011, recording a 2.68 ERA with 42 strikeouts.
Justin Verlander comes in at no. 7 among the best pitchers in MLB.
Verlander has a career 3.80 ERA, and in 2009 he struck out 269 batters in 240 innings.
This year, Verlander has been just as dominant. He has struck out 55 in 57 innings, all while recording a quality start in each of his eight starts.
Especially with his no-hitter, Verlander is on the early shortlist for A.L. Cy Young.
Before his rough outing against the Cardinals, Josh Johnson was nearly unhittable, recording a 0.99 ERA.
Despite his outing in his first loss of the year, Johnson is still maintaining a 1.68 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.
Though he may not receive as much publicity as pitchers in bigger market teams, Josh Johnson is one of the best in the bigs.
If the A.L. Cy Young voting was conducted today, Jered Weaver would have the award wrapped up.
Weaver won his first six starts of the year, and currently has a 1.35 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP with 55 strikeouts.
This is all coming after a season in which he struck out 233 while having a 3.01 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.
At 28 years of age, Weaver looks to be entering his prime, and possibly with a Cy Young to boot.
The dominant Cliff Lee is at it again this year, recording 60 K’s in just 46 innings.
This comes on the heels of a season where he threw seven complete games and walked just 18 batters all season.
It’s numbers like those that commanded his 5-year, $120 million contract from the Phillies.
After his 2010 season, Felix Hernandez finally received some much due national recognition when he won the American League Cy Young.
Despite only going 13-12, he recorded a 2.27 ERA and 232 strikeouts. The year before, King Felix went 19-5 with a 2.47 ERA and 217 strikeouts.
If the Mariners can consistently give him enough run support, Hernandez will be a constant threat to win the Triple Crown.
Tim Lincecum has a career 3.01 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 59-30 record, and 964 strikeouts. And he’s just 26-years-old.
Lincecum has been a something special to watch in San Francisco, putting up those gaudy numbers while winning back-to-back Cy Youngs and leading the Giants to a World Series.
Lincecum will be on this list for years to come and might eventually be no. 1.
Roy Halladay is the most dominant and feared pitcher in the game today.
He not only threw a perfect game last season against the Marlins, but he became only the second player to throw a postseason no-hitter when he did so against the Reds.
Halladay has won 20 games in a season three times, struck out 200 batters four times, and has had a sub-3.00 ERA five times.
In 2011, Halladay is 5-1 with a 2.19 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 57 strikeouts.
Justin Verlander’s no-hitter was great, but it’s going to take a lot more for him, or anyone for that matter, to dethrone Roy Halladay.