Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 5/24/13
1. Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers- 5-2 1.35era. 0.82whip. 72k Ever since he became a full-time pitcher in 2009, he’s shown us his electric stuff. With three “above average” big league pitches and still at the age of 25, we’ve yet to see the best of Kershaw. 2. Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners- 5-3 2.07era. 1.00whip. 72k A small injury concern this offseason didn’t stop Seattle from giving “King Felix” a monster contract. I think they made the right decision as he’ll be their franchise player for many years to come. 3. David Price Tampa Bay Rays- 1-4 5.24era. 1.44whip. Last year’s AL CY Young winner has struggled with injury and consistency this season, but he’s still only 27 and I expect him to bounce back. My only concern with Price is he seems to an every other year guy. 4. Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals- 2-5 2.66era. 1.12whip. 62k A lack of run support seems to be the theme for a lot of aces this year, and Strasburg has been bitten by this as bad as anyone. He has all the stuff to be special if he stays healthy. 5. Yu Darvish Texas Rangers- 7-2 2.84era. 0.96whip. 91k I love strikeouts, and Darvish gets a lot of them. His alarming strikeouts per innings pitched this year stands out, but his lowered ERA and WHIP have directly lead to his great record. 6. Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers- 5-4 3.66era. 1.37whip 69k What is happening to JV? After cashing in on a ridiculously long and expensive extension this offseason, he’s had trouble getting the ball over the plate. Is his velocity down a bit too? It’s too early to close the door on Verlander, but he needs to rebound soon. 7. Adam Wainwright St. Louis Cardinals- 6-3 2.38era. 0.97whip 69k He returned from injury last season with mixed results, but has shown why he’s an ace so far this year. 8. Cliff Lee Philadelphia Phillies- 5-2 2.48era. 1.02whip 52k The ageless wonder got as little run support as a pitcher can get last year, but his numbers this year are amazing, which should help him get back in the 20-win column. 9. James Shields Kansas City Royals- 2-5 2.47era 0.96whip 69k Shields has been as good as advertised for the Royals, unfortunately his lineup never feels like hitting when he’s on the mound. He looks poised to have a similar season Lee had last year. 10. Matt Moore Tampa Bay Rays- 8-0 2.29era 1.09whip 54k Moore has been the best pitcher on a team that features David Price. His record speaks for itself, and while he has had some control issues, I think we can overlook them for now. 11. Matt Cain San Francisco Giants- 3-2 5.12era 1.17whip 56k I’m not exactly sure why Cain has struggled so much to begin this season, but his numbers are staggering. His impressive resume keeps him high on this list, but his woeful start knocks him out of the top 10. 12. Jered Weaver Los Angeles Angels- 2-1 4.91era. 1.36whip 6k A couple years ago, Weaver and Verlander faced off as the top two pitchers. Both of them have had forgettable starts to the 2013 season, but at least Weaver can blame his on an injury. 13. Cole Hamels Philadelphia Phillies- 1-7 4.45era. 1.28whip. 57k Hamels is another ace bitten by the inconsistency bug this year. It doesn’t help he’s averaging to get only 1.3 runs in support, but he needs to cut down on the walks. 14. Matt Harvey New York Mets- 5-0 1.93era. 0.83whip 74k He’s been proclaimed Gotham’s Dark Knight. I don’t think he’s the second coming to Batman, but he might give Kershaw a challenge for best pitcher in a year or two. 15. Chris Sale Chicago White Sox- 5-2 2.53era. 0.92whip. 61k Sale is still a little under the radar, but he’s dealing every fifth day in the Windy City. His off speed and breaking pitches are phenomenal. 16. Johnny Cueto Cincinnati Reds- 2-0 3.22era. 1.12 whip 26k Cueto has completely remade his game the last couple seasons. He went from a middle of the rotation guy to the Reds’ ace that can really rack up strikeouts. 17. Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants- 4-2 2.89era. 1.01whip 63k Bumgarner has played second fiddle to Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum so far in his career, but he’s completely out-pitching them right now. 18. Gio Gonzalez Washington Nationals- 3-2 3.66era. 1.17whip. 57k Gio cost Washington quite a bit when they brought him in last year, and he rewarded them with a 21-win season. After a shaky start to this season, he’s rebounded with three strong outings in a row. 19. Shelby Miller St. Louis Cardinals- 5-3 1.74era. 0.93whip 62k The Wunderkind has made his mark on “The Big Stage” in dramatic fashion. His complete game one-hitter against Colorado was awfully impressive, not to mention he fanned 13 batters that day. 20. Clay Buchholz Boston Red Sox- 7-0 1.73era. 1.05whip 73k Buchholz has been inconsistent thus far in his career, but I’m finally ready to say he’s made the leap into elite status. The biggest indicator is his impressive K/BB ratio. 21. C.C. Sabathia New York Yankees- 4-3 3.43era 1.32whip. 56k Where has all of CC’s velocity gone? Now topping out at 92, batters have actually said he’s more difficult to hit, initially, because they can’t distinguish his fast ball from his slider. 22. Jordan Zimmerman Washington Nationals- 7-2 1.62era. 0.87whip 45k Zimmerman is probably the best “third” starter in the league, even though Anibal Sanchez might have something to say about that. His dominating change-up is almost unhittable. 23. Max Scherzer Detroit Tigers- 6-0 3.61era. 0.91whip 76k Scherzer will never have a great ERA with all the home runs he gives up, but he’s arguably the most electric strikeout pitcher, maybe only behind Darvish. 24. A.J. Burnett Pittsburgh Pirates- 3-4 2.57era. 1.10whip 79k Burnett has completely revived his career in Pittsburgh. It wasn’t looking good for A.J. after failing in New York, but he’s responded with a couple of his best seasons as a pro. 25. Matt Latos Cincinnati Reds- 4-0 3.17era. 1.19whip 55k Latos doesn’t get a lot of notoriety, but he demands attention with his fierce pitching motion and strong fastball. The best has yet to come for this young power pitcher. Next 10 26. Zach Grienke Los Angeles Dodgers 27. Jeff Samardzija Chicago Cubs 28. Anibal Sanchez Detroit Tigers 29. Patrick Corbin Arizona Diamondbacks 30. Hiroki Kuroda New York Yankees 31. Justin Masterson Cleveland Indians 32. Jon Lester Boston Red Sox 33. Hisashi Iwakuma Seattle Mariners 34. Josh Johnson Toronto Blue Jays 35. Jake Peavy Chicago White Sox Three to watch for: 1. Francisco Liriano Pittsburgh Pirates 2. Brandon Beachy Atlanta Braves 3. Scott Feldman Chicago Cubs
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