Top 10 Starting Pitchers in MLB

MLB Network's Top 10 Starting Pitchers

1/18/12 in MLB   |   Carlo_S   |   28 respect

Yesterday on MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now!, host Brian Kenny, former MLB pitcher Al Leiter, and writer Joe Sheehan ranked MLB’s top-ten starting pitchers. The goal of the exercise, though not entirely clear, seemed to be to rank the pitchers based on how they’ve performed over the last few seasons while projecting their performance for 2012. 
 
There were three top-ten lists. The first was produced by a formula that used various statistics to weigh track record over the last few seasons and project performance through 2012. For some reason, they chose not to reveal the formula’s inputs, though it consisted mostly of “advanced” statistics. The other two belonged to Sheehan, an analytically-minded baseball writer, and Leiter, who relied less-so on stats.
 
Here are the lists, starting with their formula (which they called “The Shredder”):
  1. Roy Halladay
  2. Justin Verlander
  3. Cliff Lee
  4. Felix Hernandez
  5. Clayton Kershaw
  6. Jered Weaver
  7. Tim Lincecum
  8. Dan Haren
  9. CC Sabathia
  10. Zack Greinke
Joe Sheehan
  1. Roy Halladay
  2. Clayton Kershaw
  3. Justin Verlander
  4. Felix Hernandez
  5. CC Sabathia
  6. Tim Lincecum
  7. Cliff Lee
  8. Jered Weaver
  9. Cole Hamels
  10. David Price
Al Leiter
  1. Justin Verlander
  2. Roy Halladay
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. CC Sabathia
  5. Felix Hernandez
  6. Tim Lincecum
  7. Jered Weaver
  8. Cliff Lee
  9. Matt Cain
  10. Jon Lester
Here are my rankings and some thoughts:
  1. Roy Halladay
  2. Justin Verlander
  3. Felix Hernandez
  4. CC Sabathia
  5. Clayton Kershaw
  6. Cliff Lee
  7. Tim Lincecum
  8. Jered Weaver
  9. Zack Greinke
  10. David Price
  • As they said on the show, the top-eight on every list is pretty similar. It’s the final two spots in which it becomes a crap shoot.
  • Halladay turns 35 this season, which is definitely a concern, but he’s this era’s Maddux – I think he’ll pitch well as he ages. Plus, he has the best track record of any pitcher.
  • Sabathia deserves to be ranked higher than ninth. He should be in the top-five.
  • Lincecum’s last two seasons are a concern, especially the dip in velocity. 2012 will be a huge, perhaps make-or-break, season for him – and that’s weird, considering he’s a two-time Cy Young Award winner.
  • Dan Haren and Matt Cain are underrated. Both have been absolute studs over the past few seasons and should be good going forward.

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1/19/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

derms33 wrote:
 Matt Cain has been very good and very consistent, just little run support

Cain's best year win wise was the one season his team scored him a few runs...

But he has always been a good pitcher with no-hit stuff every time he hits the mound.

My favorite Cain stat:   2010 post season...  ZERO earned runs in 3 starts.

1/19/12   |   derms33   |   17653 respect

 Matt Cain has been very good and very consistent, just little run support

1/18/12   |   Carlo_S   |   28 respect

Dan_B wrote:
How about Luis Mendoza? And I know wish you could have included relievers so you could throw Timmy Collins in there.... 

Luis Mendoza made the Triple-A version of this list...Timmy Collins would easily make MY list if it included relievers. Collins might be pound-for-pound the best pitcher in the league.


1/18/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Carlo_S wrote:
 Nope. But Bruce "No. 1 Starter" Chen just missed the cut.

How about Luis Mendoza? And I know wish you could have included relievers so you could throw Timmy Collins in there.... 

1/18/12   |   Carlo_S   |   28 respect

Dan_B wrote:
 What? No Kyle Davies?

 Nope. But Bruce "No. 1 Starter" Chen just missed the cut.

1/18/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

 What? No Kyle Davies?

1/18/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

I'm surprised Lincecum isn't rated higher than that.  But that's OK.  I'd rather players on my team be undervalued than overvalued. 

Halladay has certainly been a stud the last few years.  I wouldn't put him in Maddux territory.  He's more the next level down.  But if they are taking the future into consideration not sure why his advanced age doesn't hurt him...