Noah Syndergaard is No. 7 on MLB.com's Top 10 starting pitchers list for 2018, but his teammate Jacob deGrom did not make the list.
Syndergaard ranked No. 9 on the 2017 list.
The yearly ranking "takes into account player performance over the last two seasons. ... both advanced Statcast data and traditional numbers, and expert analysis by the MLB Network research team," according to MLB.com.
The full list:
1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
3. Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
4. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
5. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
6. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
7. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
8. Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
9. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
10. Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs
Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
It's hard to take any list seriously that includes Kyle Hendricks and omits Jacob deGrom. Yes, Hendricks is a damn good pitcher. But his advanced stats (which the list takes into account) show a pitcher who hasn't been nearly as dominant as his ERA suggests, and who has benefited greatly from the Cubs' stellar infield defense.
Meanwhile, deGrom -- whose career ERA is 2.98 (3.07 FIP) -- had a tremendous year in 2017 after dealing with health issues in 2016 -- when he still posted a 3.04 ERA. For long stretches, deGrom was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball last season. He struck out 239 batters in 201.1 innings, and has struck out 9.67 per nine during his career -- whereas Hendricks' K/9 rate is 7.73.
This is to take nothing away from pitchers like Hendricks who pitch to contact, but the advanced numbers (and most of the traditional numbers) show that deGrom is simply better than Hendricks. And you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who would choose Hendricks over deGrom if you had to pick who you wanted to pitch a must-win game.