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Right handed

(Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

MLB’s Top Players at every Position in 2022: Right-handed Starters

Right handed
(Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

MLB’s Top Players at every Position in 2022: Right-handed Starters

Now that we’ve covered all the hitters, it’s time to look at the best pitching. Since there are so many deserving pitchers, we’re going to break it up between right-handed and left-handed starting pitching. First, we’ll look at the top 10 right-handed starters in 2022.

1. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

Coming off Tommy John surgery, the future Hall of Famer had one of the best seasons of his 17-year career. In 28 starts, he has gone 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 185 strikeouts in 175 innings. His SIERA was just above three at 3.09. The 39-year-old veteran can still throw gas, and his third Cy Young award is expected to become reality this season.

Sandy Alcántara, Miami Marlins

It was perhaps a breakout season for Alcántara, and getting him off the mound seemed impossible. Alcántara had the most complete games in MLB with six, which is pretty high considering this age of baseball and pitchers not going deep. In all 32 starts, he had a 14-9 record with a 2.28 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Alcántara had a career-high 207 strikeouts in 228.2 innings, which was also the most innings pitched in MLB this season. While the 26-year-old is seen as untouchable by the Marlins, he’ll lead a very young Marlins rotation into 2023.

3. Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox

In the second full season of his career, Cease emerged as one of the most elite right-handed starters this year. Cease threw a career-high 227 strikeouts in 184 innings, along with a 2.20 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. His 11.10 K/9 is fourth-best in all of baseball as well. Cease almost made history, as he was no-hitting the Twins through 8 2/3 until he lost it with two outs in the ninth inning. It was an underwhelming season for the White Sox, but if Cease can continue this breakout, the team will be in a good spot heading into next season.

4. Max Scherzer, New York Mets

It was another stellar season for Mad Max, this time being his first in a Mets uniform. His 5.3 WAR was powered by a 2.29 ERA and 173 strikeouts in 145 innings. Some minor injuries only allowed him to start in 23 games, but Scherzer still held batters to a .207 batting average in those games. While his horrendous playoff start against the Padres where he gave up 7 runs is one to forget, his regular season was still an amazing one.

5. Alek Manoah, Toronto Blue Jays

Manoah was arguably the MVP for this Blue Jays team. In only his second season, Manoah was not only an All-Star but will earn some Cy Young votes as well. He went 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 196 innings. Falling just shy of 200 strikeouts with 180 total, and keeping the home run numbers down with a 0.7 HR/9, the only issue is the control: he led the AL in hit-by-pitches for the second straight year with 16 in 2022. Regardless, he’s only 24 and has already established himself as an ace. Maybe next time he plays in the postseason, he shouldn’t comment about pressure though.

6. Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks

We’ve seen snippets of his potential, but in 2022, Gallen finally had his breakout. In his first season pitching over 30 games, Gallen had a career-low 2.54 ERA in 184 innings. The strikeouts sat at 192, with a 0.91 WHIP and 5.1 WAR. Gallen did exceptionally well in the walk department as well, only allowing 47 of them on the year. The Diamondbacks are in their final stages of the youth movement, so Gallen can start playing meaningful baseball very soon.

7. Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Ohtani was just talked about as one of the best DHs in baseball. Well, he’s also one of the best right-handed starters in 2022. He honestly had the best pitching performances in his career. 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA, 219 strikeouts, and 44 walks in 166 innings. He leads the AL with an 11.9 K/9. A 100 mph fastball along with a nasty splitter has turned him into arguably the best player in baseball. If he can stay healthy by hitting and pitching, he’ll turn into two Hall of Famers in one.

8. Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers

The former Cy Young winner showed no signs of regressing in 2022. The two-time all-star threw an NL leading 243 strikeouts in 202 innings pitches. He kept the WHIP below 1 with a 0.96 and had the sixth-best SIERA in MLB with a 2.91. The Brewers weren’t able to get Burnes any postseason starts, but the electricity he brings on the mound is still plenty during the regular season.

9. Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers

Win-loss really isn’t important for a pitcher, but it stands out for Gonsolin. He started the season as one of the most elite pitchers, and couldn’t seem to allow any runs. Overall, his record was 16-1. With the Dodgers’ loaded defense, any pitcher could rack up wins. Gonsolin still put up great numbers, with a 2.14 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 130 innings. He was best at getting ground balls, with a 42.9% ground ball percentage. For a Dodgers rotation that got hit with injuries, it was good to see Gonsolin step up.

10. Shane Bieber, Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland ace and former Triple Crown Winner had another sub-three ERA season. A 2.88 to be exact, paired with a 1.04 WHIP and 198 strikeouts in exactly 200 innings. Bieber did exceptionally well at preventing the long ball, as his HR/9 was 0.8, tying the lowest of his career. The team wasn’t able to get past the Yankees in the ALDS, but they put up a fight all season, and Bieber was a big reason for their success.

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