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The Midsummer classic is here and with it comes controversy over the voting process.

Keep it simple stupid is always a winning philosophy and something I implement when determining who is an All-Star. Teams should be constructed of the best player,s but based on their merit and not reputation or a recycling of fan favorites.

The recent All-Star game selections have become questionable in certain instances and even worse is the fact that an exhibition game counts for something, home field advantage in the World Series.

Who is currently the best pitcher in Major League Baseball? This examination presents 10 names for your consideration. Here is my 2015 All-Team starting pitcher honors.

So let’s get to the starting pitcher rankings!

Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

2015 MLB ALL-TEAM

Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers

2015 Statistics

  • 18 GS
  • 123.1 IP
  • 8-2
  • 1.39 ERA
  • 2.65 FIP
  • 3.18 xFIP
  • 22.8 K%
  • 18.5 K-BB%

Greinke’s greatness in Dodger Blue is reaching ridiculous levels. I exhibited his dominance at home and versus National League West opponents in the 2015 Starting Pitcher Index, but Zack continues to be unstoppable in year three. Greinke has extended his scoreless streak to 35.2 innings.

Career as a Dodger: April 5th 2013 – July 9th 2015

  • 78 GS
  • 503.1 IP
  • 40-14
  • 2.36 ERA
  • 2.98 FIP
  • 3.09 xFIP
  • 23.0 K%
  • 17.6 K-BB%

 

Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

2015 Statistics

  • 17 GS
  • 123.1
  • 9-7
  • 2.12 ERA
  • 2.04 FIP
  • 2.87 xFIP
  • 30.2 K%
  • 27.2 K-BB%

*Sunday July 12th statistics not included

Scherzer was dominate in Detroit over the previous two seasons, winning the American League Cy Young Award in 2013, but the move to the National League East has catapulted him further into the elite starting pitcher stratosphere. It should be an interesting arms race the rest of the season for National League pitching supremacy.

Previous 2 seasons in Detroit: April 6th 2013 – September 25th 2014

  • 65 GS
  • 434.2 IP
  • 39-8
  • 3.02 ERA
  • 2.79 FIP
  • 3.14 xFIP
  • 28.3 K%
  • 21.4 K-BB%

 

Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

2015 Statistics

  • 16 GS
  • 112.1 IP
  • 7-4
  • 280 ERA
  • 2.31 FIP
  • 2.36 xFIP
  • 33.4 K%
  • 28.4% K-BB%

Is Sale the best starting pitcher in the game? He continues to pitch in rarefied air and his dominance has reached historic levels in 2015. Last seasons convergence is now a transformation in terms of pitch usage and selection.

Sale’s stats since start of the 2014 season

  • 43 GS
  • 293.1 IP
  • 20-8
  • 2.39 ERA
  • 2.43 FIP
  • 2.63 xFIP
  • 31.6 K%
  • 26.3 K-BB%

Pitch Data

  • 2013  FB% 51.4 (93.1), SL% 29.6 (78.5) and CH% 19.0 (82.8)
  • 2014  FB% 52.9 (93.8), SL% 18.4 (79.8) and CH% 28.6 (84.7)
  • 2015 FB% 54.6 (94.3), SL% 16.8 (79.1) and CH% 28.6 (84.9)

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

  • 18 GS
  • 123.0 IP
  • 6-6
  • 2.85 ERA
  • 2.40 FIP
  • 2.07 xFIP
  • 32.7 K%
  • 27.1 K-BB%

The best starting pitcher in the game is now sporting a sub 3.00 ERA and leads all of baseball in strikeouts with 160. Kershaw hammers home the point that baseball is a marathon versus a sprint and performance usually wins out over the long grind of the season.

Classic Clayton, 2011-2014 seasons: 3 Cy Young Awards (2011, 2013 & 2014) and 1 Most Valuable Player

  • 126 GS
  • 895.1 IP
  • 72-26
  • 2.11 ERA
  • 2.41 FIP
  • 2.78 xFIP
  • 27.3 K%
  • 21.6 K-BB%

 

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

2015 Statistics

  • 17 GS
  • 113.2 IP
  • 9-6
  • 2.14 ERA
  • 2.63 FIP
  • 3.03 xFIP
  • 25.3 K%
  • 20.5 K-BB%

The Mets have a couple of superheroes in their rotation, but deGrom may be the King of New York. Jacob was a league average pitcher after his first 10 GS but has been elite over the last calendar year.

Jacob’s Ladder, July 8th 2014 – July 8th 2015

  • 29 GS
  • 194.1 IP
  • 17-7
  • 2.04 ERA
  • 2.30 FIP
  • 2.78 xFIP
  • 26.9 K%
  • 21.9 K-BB%

 

Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates

2015 Statistics

  • 18 GS
  • 117.1 IP
  • 13-3
  • 2.30 ERA
  • 2.74 FIP
  • 2.95 xFIP
  • 24.6 K%
  • 18.7 K-BB%

The number one overall selection from the 2011 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft is now one of the premiere pitching talents in the game. The 2015 version of Cole is fulfilling the prophecy in Pittsburgh and cementing his ace status.

Cole Mountain, statistics since August 20th 2014 – July 10th 2015

  • 26 GS
  • 169.2 IP
  • 17-4
  • 2.65 ERA
  • 2.63 FIP
  • 2.89 xFIP
  • 26.0 K%
  • 20.2 K-BB%

 

Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics

2015 Statistics

  • 18 GS
  • 123.2 IP
  • 10-3
  • 2.04 ERA
  • 2.63 FIP
  • 3.27 xFIP
  • 22.5 K%
  • 16.1 K-BB%

In some instances, solid and steady is not appreciated or valued correctly. Gray is the perfect example, in 2013 he showcased scintillating skills over 64 innings, but followed that up with a solid but not spectacular 2014 campaign. Let me clarify, last season was impressive on many levels but the perception did not mirror his results.

Sonny’s career stats July 10th 2013 – July 7th 2015

  • 60 GS
  • 397.2 IP
  • 28-18
  • 2.76 ERA
  • 3.11 FIP
  • 3.33 xFIP
  • 21.8 K%
  • 14.2 K-BB%
  • 55.0 GB%

 

Dallas Keuchel, Hoston Astros

2015 Statistics

  • 48 GS
  • 337.1 IP
  • 23-13
  • 2.64 ERA
  • 3.05 FIP
  • 3.01 xFIP
  • 19.4 K%
  • 13.3 K-BB%
  • 63.7 GB%

Houston we have a prominent pitcher! There was much skepticism in the preseason with this starting pitcher, but Dallas has erased that. The ground ball machine has furthered his success with increased dominance in 2015.

Kid Keuchy’s statistics since the start of the 2014 season

  • 19 GS
  • 137.1 IP
  • 11-4
  • 2.23 ERA
  • 2.82 FIP
  • 2.73 xFIP
  • 21.3 K%
  • 14.9 K-BB%
  • 64.1 GB%

 

Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays

2015 Statistics

  • 19 GS
  • 121.2 IP
  • 9-6
  • 2.74 ERA
  • 2.64 FIP
  • 2.56 xFIP
  • 30.4 K%
  • 24.2 K-BB%

2015 Starting Pitcher Index Rewind, CTM does believe an increased strikeout rate is plausible but command + control improvements & advancements vs left-handed hitters are the perfect storm needed for attaining his lofty ceiling. Archer owns the skills, has the competitive makeup on the mound & like his teammate Drew Smyly is a 2015 breakout candidate.

The grenade start in Kansas City aside, Archer has arrived and pitched fantastically in the first half of the 2015 season.

Pitch Data: The Slide piece is filthy and fastball ferocious

  • 2014 FB% 65.9 (94.6), SL% 28.9 (86.2) and CH% 5.2 (86.0)
  • 2015 FB% 52.9 (94.9), SL% 40.7 (87.9) and CH% 6.4 (85.7)

 

Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs

2015 statistics

  • 18 GS
  • 121.2 IP
  • 10-5
  • 2.66 ERA
  • 2.59 FIP
  • 2.71 xFIP
  • 25.8 K%
  • 20.1 K-BB%
  • 50.3 GB%

The mastery Arrieta exhibited during last season might not have received the recognition it deserved. There are a multitude of metrics that attest to Arrieta being statistically substantial.

Arrieta’s numbers since making his 2014 debut on May 3rd – July 7th 2015

  • 42 GS
  • 269.1 IP
  • 19-10
  • 2.64 ERA
  • 2.45 FIP
  • 2.75 xFIP
  • 26.6 K%
  • 20.4 K-BB%
  • 49.5 GB%

 

Here is this week’s Top 50 Starting Pitchers rankings. Visit ctmbaseball.com for the “Mid-Season Starting Pitcher Index”.

All-Star Break 2015

  1. Clayton Kershaw
  2. Chris Sale
  3. Max Scherzer
  4. Zack Greinke
  5. Felix Hernandez
  6. Corey Kluber
  7. Jacob deGrom
  8. Gerrit Cole
  9. Chris Archer
  10. David Price
  11. Johnny Cueto
  12. Madison Bumgarner
  13. Cole Hamels
  14. Matt Harvey
  15. Sonny Gray
  16. Jake Arrieta
  17. Carlos Carrasco
  18. Jose Fernandez
  19. Francisco Liriano
  20. Dallas Keuchel
  21. Michael Wacha
  22. James Shields
  23. Michael Pineda
  24. Garrett Richards
  25. Carlos Martinez
  26. Jason Hammel
  27. Jon Lester
  28. Jordan Zimmermann
  29. Lance Lynn
  30. Jeff Samardzija
  31. AJ Burnett
  32. Noah Syndergaard
  33. Danny Salazar
  34. Tyson Ross
  35. Shelby Miller
  36. Jake Odorizzi
  37. Lance McCullers
  38. Gio Gonzalez
  39. Anibal Sanchez
  40. Masahiro Tanaka
  41. Taijuan Walker
  42. Alex Wood
  43. Andrew Cashner
  44. Scott Kazmir
  45. Clay Buchholz
  46. Jose Quintana
  47. John Lackey
  48. Julio Teheran
  49. Hector Santiago
  50. Yovani Gallardo

Which players do you think we should move up — or down — in these Starting Pitcher Rankings?

Best of luck in the confidence game that is starting pitching.

Follow Matt!

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