10 MLB Pitchers Most Likely to Throw the Next No-Hitter After Reid Detmers

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2022

10 MLB Pitchers Most Likely to Throw the Next No-Hitter After Reid Detmers

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    Los Angeles Angels left-hander Reid Detmers made history Tuesday night when he threw the first individual no-hitter of the 2022 season, blanking the Tampa Bay Rays on 108 pitches while allowing one walk and striking out two.

    With a 5.32 ERA on the season entering play on Tuesday, and just 10 MLB starts under his belt, Detmers was an unlikely candidate to toss the season's first solo no-no, even in a year when there have been more than a few breakout pitching performances.

    That makes trying to predict who will throw baseball's next no-hitter something of a crap shoot, but we're going to give it a try anyway.

    Ahead, we've highlighted 10 pitchers we think have the best chance to make history next, based on their early-season success, past track record, and quality of their stuff.

    Who is your pick to throw the next no-hitter?

Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Armed with a six-pitch repertoire that includes a mid-90s fastball, terrific cutter and two plus breaking pitches, Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler is as effective as any pitcher in baseball at keeping opposing hitters off balance.

    He worked the first six innings of a combined no-hitter against the San Diego Padres in 2018, and he threw seven no-hit innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks last June before giving up a leadoff single to start the eighth.

    The 27-year-old has undoubtedly developed into one of the game's top pitchers, and following a fourth-place finish in NL Cy Young voting last season, he's off to an even better start this year with a 1.96 ERA in 36.2 innings and a complete-game shutout already under his belt.

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers

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    Corbin Burnes was arguably the most dominant pitcher in baseball last season, leading the majors in ERA (2.43) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.6) while racking up 234 punchouts in 167 innings on his way to NL Cy Young honors.

    His stuff is electric, and he's missing plenty of bats again this season with 50 strikeouts in 38.2 innings over his first six starts to go along with a 1.86 ERA and 0.80 WHIP. When his cut fastball, breaking stuff and changeup are all working, he controls both sides of the plate and can be equally lethal against right-handed and left-handed hitters.

    The 27-year-old is no stranger to no-hitters after tossing eight no-hit frames against Cleveland last season before he was lifted from the game at 115 pitches and closer Josh Hader finished up the no-no. Don't be surprised if he does it himself sometime soon.

Nestor Cortes, New York Yankees

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    Nestor Cortes almost became the first pitcher to throw a solo no-hitter in 2022 on Monday when he blanked the Texas Rangers for 7.1 innings before allowing a single to Eli White.

    The soft-tossing left-hander has been one of the biggest surprises of the first month of the season, posting a 1.41 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 32 innings. Despite averaging just 90.4 mph with his fastball, Cortes induces a ton of weak contact with his cutter, and he's throwing that pitch more than ever this year with usage up from 23.6 to 40.7 percent.

    It's clear when everything is working that he's capable of dominating an opposing lineup, and he has as much momentum as any pitcher in baseball right now going into his next start.

Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    An ace on the rising heading into the 2021 season, Zac Gallen instead battled through an injury-plagued campaign, starting with a hairline fracture in his right arm, which was followed by a right elbow sprain and a hamstring strain.

    With a clean bill of health, he once again looks like one of the best young pitchers in baseball in the early going this year with a 0.95 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and a 26-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 28.1 innings.

    The 26-year-old tossed seven shutout innings in his most recent start, and with a .160 opponents' batting average, he has been one of the stingiest in baseball so far at allowing hits. With an elite fastball-changeup-curveball mix and the proven durability to pitch deep into games, he has to be considered a candidate for a no-hitter.

Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox

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    So far, so good on Michael Kopech making the transition from bullpen to starting rotation for the Chicago White Sox.

    The 26-year-old has a 0.93 ERA in 29 innings after allowing two hits and one unearned run against the Cleveland Guardians on Monday, and his .153 opponents' batting average trails only Justin Verlander (.150) for lowest among qualified starters.

    With a mid-90s fastball he can dial up to triple digits, a wipeout slider and a vastly improved curveball, Kopech undoubtedly has the stuff to silence an opposing lineup. The issue is going to be pitching deep enough into the game to make history, as Kopech has never worked beyond the sixth inning or thrown more than 94 pitches in his MLB career.

    While we're talking about the White Sox, don't sleep on Dylan Cease as a candidate for a no-hitter as well.

Alek Manoah, Toronto Blue Jays

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    The No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Alek Manoah moved quickly through the minors and made his MLB debut on May 27 last season.

    The burly 6'6", 285-pound right-hander had an excellent rookie season, going 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 127 strikeouts in 111.2 innings. That included a brilliant outing against a really good Tampa Bay Rays team on Sept. 13 when he allowed just one hit while striking out 10 over eight scoreless innings.

    The 24-year-old is more reliant on his heavy, mid-90s fastball this year, and he's off to an excellent start with a 1.75 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 35 strikeouts in 36 innings. He is on his way to being one of the breakout stars of 2022, and he has the size and stuff to carry his swing-and-miss arsenal late into games.

Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays

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    The latest in a long line of quality homegrown starting pitchers to emerge from the Tampa Bay Rays farm system, left-hander Shane McClanahan made his big league debut in the 2020 postseason before assuming a spot in the starting rotation last year.

    He finished 10-6 with a 3.43 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 141 strikeouts in 123.1 innings, and the hard-throwing southpaw is in the process of taking another significant step forward this year.

    With elite fastball velocity (96.9 mph, 93rd percentile) and one of the best whiff rates in baseball (92nd percentile), he checks the boxes of a pitcher capable of dominating when everything is working. The 25-year-old currently leads the AL in strikeouts (47) and strikeout rate (13.1 K/9) despite finishing six innings just twice in six starts. Convincing manager Kevin Cash to let him throw nine innings will be a significant hurdle.

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

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    There's not much Shohei Ohtani can't do on a baseball diamond, so why not include him on a list of pitchers most likely to toss a no-hitter?

    He has shown no-hit-caliber stuff more than once already this season, turning in brilliant starts against the Houston Astros (6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 12 K) and Boston Red Sox (7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 11 K), and with the Los Angeles Angels squarely in contention, his contributions have become that much more meaningful.

    The Angels will be hesitant to run up a big pitch count given the time he's missed on the mound in the past, but if he can clear seven innings efficiently, it would be hard not to give baseball's most dynamic player an opportunity to add another accolade to his impressive resume.

Max Scherzer, New York Mets

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    Max Scherzer already has two no-hitters on his illustrious resume, both of which came during the 2015 season when he made his Washington Nationals debut.

    Seven years later, Scherzer remains a threat to befuddle the opposition for nine innings.

    The 37-year-old has not thrown a shutout since 2018, and his willingness to attack hitters results in him getting burned from time to time, but his stuff is still just as electric as it was a decade ago when he first broke out with the Detroit Tigers.

    He has a 2.92 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 49 strikeouts in 37 innings over his first six starts in a New York Mets uniform, and it would be unwise to bet against him making history for a third time before his Hall of Fame career comes to a close.

Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

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    Justin Verlander is one of only six pitchers in MLB history with three or more no-hitters, and he almost joined an even more exclusive group Tuesday when he no-hit the Minnesota Twins into the eighth inning before giving up a one-out single to Gio Urshela.

    Back in action after missing most of the 2020 season and all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Verlander re-upped with the Houston Astros on a one-year, $25 million deal during the offseason, and he has quickly regained his frontline form.

    The 39-year-old has a 1.55 ERA and 0.64 WHIP in 40.2 innings, and his .150 opponents' batting average is the lowest in baseball among qualified starters.

    Can he join Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers to throw a fourth no-hitter?


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and accurate through Tuesday's games.