Kevin Gausman

Ranking the 10 Best Starting Pitchers in MLB Ahead of the 2024 Season

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Not that baseball fans are complaining, but there are almost too many candidates to consider when looking at the top starting pitchers in 2024.

We keep seeing young pitchers break out into stars while pitchers from the other side of the world get to the big leagues and find immediate success. In fact, it may not be long until we have to rewrite our list of the greatest starting pitchers in MLB history.

10 Best MLB Starting Pitchers in 2024

The crazy thing is that the best starting pitchers for 2024 aren’t necessarily the same as we predicted a year ago. A lot has changed in the past year.

We also have to project who will shine the most during the upcoming season. Nevertheless, we’re excited to share with you our list of the 10 best starting pitchers in 2024.

10. Luis Castillo

Going to Seattle may have taken Luis Castillo out of the spotlight a little, but it hasn’t prevented him from being a top-flight pitcher. He won 14 games last season while pitching to a WHIP of 1.10 or lower for the second straight season.

       

At the same time, Castillo has a high strikeout rate and has proven to be one of the most durable starters in baseball. That’s more than enough to list him among the top 10 starters in the majors right now.

9. Kodai Senga

Even after posting a 2.98 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in his first MLB season last year, we haven’t seen the best of Kodai Senga. He had some ups and downs early in the season, which was to be expected, but still got some down-ballot Cy Young votes.

MLB hitters still look confused by his ghost fork, which is why once he recovers from a shoulder injury that sidelined him during spring training, Senga should put together a season that is better than what we saw last year.

8. Zack Wheeler

Forget about the numbers, when you watch Zack Wheeler pitch, there’s no question he is a top-flight pitcher. On his best day, he can make the best lineup in baseball look like a triple-A team.

Wheeler has matured by leaps and bounds since he arrived in Philadelphia. At age 33, he still has great stuff, but Wheeler also has the intelligence and experience to get the most out of it.

       

7. Kevin Gausman

Like a fine wine, Kevin Gausman only seems to get better with time. His best seasons have come after age 30, with Gausman being one of the most consistent starters in baseball over the past few seasons.

Surprisingly, he led the American League in strikeouts last season. That’s strong evidence that Gausman isn’t going away anytime soon and will continue to excel in 2024.

6. Zac Gallen

After helping Arizona get to the World Series, baseball fans are finally well-acquainted with Zac Gallen. He’s been working his way up the totem pole for a few years and finally had a breakout season with 17 wins last year.

Gallen has great control of his pitches and a high strikeout rate, which is why we think last year’s success was a sign of things to come in 2024 and beyond.

5. Logan Webb

For the last three seasons, big leaguers have struggled to figure out Logan Webb and his great sinker. Webb is arguably the best ground-ball pitcher in baseball right now.

While his win total and ERA may not reflect it, last year was Webb’s best season yet at getting weak contact and ground-ball outs. Webb is only 27, which makes us think that he could be ready to take another step forward in 2024 and become a serious Cy Young contender.

4. Blake Snell

Forget about his long and complicated free agency drama this past winter, Blake Snell is still an elite pitcher. He’s the reigning Cy Young winner in the National League, earning 28 of 30 votes while posting the lowest ERA in the majors at 2.25.

Conventional wisdom says that Snell will start to take a step back and won’t be able to replicate last year’s success. But it’ll take a big step backward to prevent him from being among the elite pitchers in baseball.

3. Spencer Strider

His strikeout rate alone is enough to make Spencer Strider one of the top starting pitchers in 2024. He led the majors in both strikeouts and wins in 2023, proving that he can miss bats better than any pitcher in the big leagues.

Somehow, Strider only turned 25 last October, so he probably hasn’t reached his prime just yet. Obviously, his 3.86 ERA needs to come down if he’s going to be an elite starter. But at the same time, there’s something to be said for a guy who could flirt with 300 strikeouts this season.

2. Corbin Burnes

Admittedly, Corbin Burnes wasn’t at his best last season. However, he’s only 29, so there’s no reason to think he won’t bounce back after being traded to the Orioles.

Burnes dominated while winning the Cy Young in 2021 and also led the National League in strikeouts in 2022. He’s still capable of being that pitcher. In fact, since he’s now in the American League where hitters have seen less of him over the years, Burnes could be ready to have one of his best seasons.

1. Gerrit Cole

It took a long time, but Gerrit Cole finally won the Cy Young last season, cementing his standing as the best starting pitcher in MLB. Despite being his first Cy Young, Cole has been an All-MLB First-Team selection three times in the last five years.

He’s also led the American League in ERA twice and led the majors in strikeouts twice during that stretch. Cole was something else last year and has no signs of slowing down. Not only is he a strikeout machine, but Cole’s highest WHIP in the past six years was 1.06. That stat speaks volumes about how good he is. 

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