By Ed Morgans @writered21 on August 21, 2014
While a starting pitcher can only help his team win once every four or five days, having at least one consistent go-to guy in the rotation is a must for any MLB League team that is going to be successful. This season, there have been many consistent starters who have answered the bell in each appearance, but here are the top 10.
Roark has been a nice surprise for the Nationals, who may be running away with the NL East. In 25 starts this season, Roark is 12-7 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, while posting just 36 walks to 118 Ks in 160.2 innings,
Kluber has been a revelation for Cleveland, and likely the only reason why the Indians are still on the outskirts of the playoff race in the AL. He is 13-6 with a 2.41 ERA in 26 starts, with a mere 38 walks in 179.1 innings compared to a whopping 197 strikeouts. He has also allowed only 10 homers all season.
One of baseball's best all-around pitchers, Wainwright is down this list a bit because others have made more starts. But in 25 trips to the mound this season, he has 15 wins, a 2.40 ERA, just 140 hits and 41 walks allowed in 176 innings (1.03 WHIP) and 143 strikeouts. He's conceded just six homers in 2014.
Strikeouts are the name of the game for Detroit's Max Scherzer, and in 26 starts he's rung up 205 batters. At 14-4, his ERA is a bit high compared to the other elite pitchers at 3.07, but he's only walked 49 in 176 innings and allowed just 150 hits (1.13 WHIP).
The longtime Tampa Bay pitcher is now in Detroit, and he took some great numbers with him. Price has made 26 starts and while his 12-8 record and 3.12 ERA are not exactly Kershaw numbers, his 212 strikeouts to just 29 walks in 193.1 innings are fantastic. Price has allowed 23 homers.
The best pitcher you've probably never heard of is having a great year in Seattle, proving to be the second of a 1-2 punch with King Felix Hernandez. Iwakuma is 12-6 with a 2.57 ERA in 21 starts, having walked only 12 batters in 147 innings to 120 strikeouts. His WHIP is a miniscule 0.95.
While Sale has made only 20 starts, he's been dominant. Sale is 10-3 with a 2.12 ERA, averaging just short of seven innings per start (136 total). In that time, he's walked just 26 and fanned 158, and has an excellent WHIP of 0.92. Opponents are batting just .202 vs. Sale this season.
Cueto probably won't win the NL Cy Young this season, but he's having a tremendous year. at 15-7, he's tied for the NL lead in wins, and his 2.24 ERA is the lowest of those in that deadlock. Cueto has fanned 191 in 192.2 innings, allowed just 129 hits, and opponents are hitting a measly .188 against him.
If you were wondering how the Mariners were competing for an AL playoff spot, look no further than the acquisition of Robinson Cano and the pitching of Hernandez and Iwakuma. For his part, King Felix has been himself. He ranks second in baseball in ERA (1.99) and WHIP (0.87), and has allowed just 32 walks to 197 Ks (fourth in MLB) in 185.1 innings.
Sometimes people want to get cute with these lists and shock you by picking someone crazy to be first. Not here. Clayton Kershaw is the best and most consistent pitcher in baseball, as shown by his long scoreless inning streak, a 1.86 ERA, 14-3 record, just 103 hits allowed in 145.1 innings, and 174 strikeouts compared to just 19 walks.
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