10 Best Pitchers in MLB 2023 Edition
G'day tribe! I'm really going hard out on the baseball lately! So I got to thinking, who are the best pitchers in MLB 2023? We take a look at the best players in the most important position in baseball.
10. Jacob deGrom
A healthy Jacob deGrom makes a strong case for being even higher on the list of best pitchers in MLB. He’s had an injury riddled last couple of seasons and he missed the beginning of the 2022 season due to a stress reaction in his right scapula.
DeGrom made only 11 starts when healthy and posted a 3.08 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and an absurd 102-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 64.1 innings. He also made a Major League Baseball record 39 consecutive starts allowing three or fewer earned runs.
After the season, deGrom opted out of his contract with the Mets and signed a five-year, $185 million contract with the Texas Rangers. The expectation is that once healthy, he’ll be one of the best pitchers in MLB with his velocity, control and deceptive delivery.
Over 3 1/2 Minutes of Jacob deGrom's Glove Side Sliders from 2022. 🤢de Glove Side 🐐 pic.twitter.com/zYuuEXEmCf — Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) January 20, 2023
9. Spencer Strider
Atlanta Braves pitcher Spencer Strider had an impressive rookie season in 2022 finishing with an 11-5 record and a 2.67 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 202 strikeouts in 131.2 innings.
Strider gets remarkable extension on his pitches despite being just 6'0″, and he's got the remarkable ability of throwing his fastball almost two-thirds of the time. He only joined the starting rotation late in May 2022 and allowed just 86 hits for a .180 opponents batting average.
Despite fewer innings than the other top 10 pitchers, Strider's dominance earned him a spot on the list. The Braves locked him up with a seven-year extension in October.
80 Seconds of Spencer Strider's K-Rouettes & K struts. #quadzilla 🦖 pic.twitter.com/uXEP209BWB— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) January 24, 2023
8. Shane McClanahan
Shane McClanahan made his MLB debut in 2020 during the playoffs and made a strong impression in his rookie season in 2021, going 10-6 with a 3.43 ERA and 141 strikeouts in 123+1/3 innings.
He took his game to another level in 2022 in which he earned All-Star selection. He drastically improved his fastballs thrown at the top of the zone, has been able to produce curveballs with a couple of inches of vertical drop and his changeup went another level.
McClanahan finished the season 12-8 with a 2.54 ERA, 194 strikeouts, and leading the American League in SO/9, Strikeout-to-walk ratio, and Wins Above Replacement. He also finished second in WHIP and Opponent Batting average, behind Justin Verlander.
Happy Shane McClanahan day!In honor of his start today, let’s go back and take a look at his record-setting performance on 6/9/2022. Sugar Shane set the record for most lineouts with an xBA > .400 in a single game with seven! Alchad’s Lab stood no chance! pic.twitter.com/zTRLnXjjZS — Jacob (@CardinalsReek) November 29, 2022
7. Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola is a streaky player and is one of the best pitchers in MLB after having a strong 2022 season. He finished with a 11-13 record, 3.25 ERA, and 235 strikeouts in 32 starts and 205 innings.
He led the majors in strikeout-to-walk ratio and started in several key games for the Phillies in the playoffs, including the playoff-clinching win and Game 2 of the National League Wild Card Series.
Nola started Game 1 and Game 4 of the 2022 World Series but couldn't get the job done. Regardless, he's one of the best in the league with exceptional control and execution.
Aaron Nola, 95mph Back Door Two Seamer. 🚪 pic.twitter.com/womBUAv9QH— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 29, 2022
6. Brandon Woodruff
Brandon Woodruff signed a one-year, $10.8 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2022 to avoid arbitration. In 2022 he posted a 3.05 ERA and 190:42 K: BB over 153.1 innings.
Woodruff has had his fair share of injury issues but when he does play, he’s one of the best pitchers in MLB. He’s able to keep the ball down in the strike zone most of the time, and it's his four-seam fastball that creates the most issues for batters with a high number of swings & misses.
In the 2018 playoffs Woodruff smashed only the third home run hit by a relief pitcher in postseason history after hitting Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw out of the park.
Brandon Woodruff are you KIDDING ME!?The @Brewers pitcher just took Kershaw deep 📺:Live on FS1 pic.twitter.com/Kq63qfoTrq — FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 13, 2018
5. Shohei Ohtani
Two-way Angel’s superstar Shohei Ohtani had a standout performance in 2022 on the mound. He went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 219 strikeouts in 166 innings, tallying double-digit strikeouts 10 times in 28 starts.
Ohtani finished fourth in the AL Cy Young balloting and was runner-up in the AL MVP voting. He can do it all with his offensive arsenal of four-seam fastballs, curves, cutters, sliders, and a split-fingered fastball.
His splitter in particular is almost impossible for batters to hit and is the most devastating pitch in the MLB. Pitching aside, he’s also one of the best hitters in the league with his phenomenal power that he can develop with his frame.
In the last 60 MLB seasons:Highest slugging percentage by a hitter with runners in scoring position? Shohei Ohtani. Lowest slugging percentage allowed by a starting pitcher with runners in scoring position? Shohei Ohtani. Just completely insane. 🦄 pic.twitter.com/054rWrBmYY — Codify (@CodifyBaseball) January 22, 2023
4. Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander is without a doubt on his way to becoming a Hall of Famer. He finished 2022 with an 18-4 record, a 1.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and 185 strikeouts in 175 innings, winning his third career AL Cy Young award unanimously.
Verlander isn’t as dominant as he used to be, but he can still deliver a pitch at devastating speed and especially during big games, where he’s usually at his best during crunch time.
He continues to climb the ranks as one of the best pitchers in the modern era of baseball. He's got two World Series wins to his name and will be hunting a fourth Cy Young award.
Justin Verlander will have a ___ ERA in 2023 ⬇️ #LGM pic.twitter.com/btY5WguWih— Nathan💫 #OhtaniToQueens (@MarteMoonshot) January 25, 2023
3. Corbin Burnes
Despite not repeating his 2021 Cy Young award season, Corbin Burnes is still one of the best pitchers in MLB and one of the best baseball players over the last decade.
Even though he lost more than half a point on his ERA and had a 5-point drop in his strikeout rate, he still had a fantastic 2022 with a 3.07 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and a 30.5% K%. A five-start stretch later in the season pushed out his ERA, where he had an 5.29 ERA, and an unusually high home run rate.
His pitch mix has remained unchanged, and his cutter, one of the most devastating pitches in the game, had a 17.4% swinging-strike rate.
Introducing the 2022 Brewers: Corbin Burnes - Won Cy Young in '21, selected to 1st ASG - Led NL SP in ERA, K%, K/BB, HR/9, fWAR, xERA, FIP - Has the best pitch in baseball (his cutter) - 2.34 ERA in 226 IP since start of 2020 - Is the best pitcher in baseball Highlights👇👇 pic.twitter.com/kNehK9XhtB— The Barrel (@thebarrelmke) April 6, 2022
2. Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole dominates on the mound with his powerful fastball and devastating off-speed pitches. He finished the 2022 season with an MLB-leading 257 strikeouts, a 13-8 record, a 3.50 ERA, and an AL-leading 33 home runs allowed.
He can be expensive, allowing the second most home runs in the MLB. With that said, Cole broke the Yankees' single-season strikeout record and became the first right-handed pitcher in franchise history to lead all of MLB in strikeouts in a season.
Cole’s pitching style is a nightmare for opposing batters. It features a four-seam and two-seam fastball, knuckle curve and changeup. His introduction of his cut fastball in 2022 helped take his game to a new level. It’s Cole’s devastating slider that's his best weapon.
Gerrit Cole’s 15 K game vs. the Angels in 2021 was wild.⚾️ 32 swinging strikes ⚾️ 18 called strikes ⚾️ 6 outs that were a result of making contact. One of his most dominant starts with the Yankees. They hardly touched the ball. pic.twitter.com/mxSQj9fyZP — Joe Randazzo (@Yankeelibrarian) January 1, 2023
1. Sandy Alcantara
Sandy Alcantara was a workhorse for the Miami Marlins in 2022, leading the majors in innings pitched (228.2) and complete games (6), while going 14-9 with a 2.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 207 strikeouts.
Alcantara has the ability to get better as the game goes on and he finds himself going deeper into games than other pitchers. He’s been a fierce competitor and has been extremely valuable to the Marlins, who have a better record whenever he starts.
Sandy Alcantara after getting pulled at 113 pitches with 2 outs and a runner on third in the 8th.Dude is a competitor pic.twitter.com/43INDLomyG — Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 14, 2022
His lanky frame can make him quite deceptive, and he consistently throws vicious fastballs and sinkers that can clock speeds at over 100 mph. Alcantara also led all pitchers with 8.0 WAR and was the unanimous NL Cy Young winner in 2022 - the first pitcher in Miami Marlins history to take the honor.
Alcantara may not have the highest strikeout rate, but his elite numbers across the board over a high volume of innings pitched deep into games makes him the best pitcher in MLB for 2023.
86 Seconds of Sandy Alcántara getting Whiffs on Changeups over 93mph. 👌🔥 pic.twitter.com/DaprJHR07C— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) January 13, 2023
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Wolfgang Sport started in 2017 as a way to connect my passion for American and British sports. Today it's evolved into a blockchain sports blog pushing the boundaries into the crypto world and embracing Web3 technologies.
Great list! Agree with most of the choices, but I think Gerrit Cole should be number 1. He's been dominant for the past few seasons and shows no signs of slowing down.
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This is my favourite pitcher personally,