The Great Debate: Who Is the Best Pitcher in Baseball?

The Great Debate: Who Is the Best Pitcher in Baseball?

Throughout spring training, the CBS Sports MLB experts convene in a weekly Batting Around roundtable to dissect various aspects of baseball, from breaking news to historical questions and predictions about the future of the sport. Last week’s discussion centered on choosing between Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto. This week, the focus shifts to a perennial debate: Who is the best pitcher in baseball?

Assessing the Contenders:

Zack Wheeler: Leading the Pack
R.J. Anderson presents a compelling case for Zack Wheeler as the best pitcher in baseball. Despite formidable competition from the likes of Kevin Gausman, Spencer Strider, and Corbin Burnes, Wheeler’s consistency and dominance set him apart. Not only does he lead MLB in pitching Wins Above Replacement (WAR) according to FanGraphs, but his postseason performances underscore his importance to the Phillies beyond regular-season statistics. Wheeler’s ability to induce strikeouts and ground balls while limiting walks has made him a cornerstone of the Phillies’ rotation.

The Impact of Volume: Mike Axisa’s Perspective
Mike Axisa emphasizes the significance of both impact and volume in evaluating pitchers. For him, Zack Wheeler’s ability to deliver strikeouts, grounders, weak contact, and substantial innings places him at the top of the list. While acknowledging other strong contenders like Corbin Burnes, Spencer Strider, and Logan Webb, Axisa sees Wheeler as the standout choice, albeit slightly below Cole in overall ranking. Wheeler’s durability and ability to consistently pitch deep into games make him a valuable asset for any team.

Logan Webb: Emerging Ace and Workhorse
Matt Snyder makes a case for Logan Webb as the best pitcher in baseball, highlighting his emergence as an ace and workhorse for the Giants. Webb’s impressive innings pitched in the previous season and his consistent frontline performance make him a formidable force on the mound. Snyder emphasizes the value of pitchers who can provide 200+ innings of high-quality work, making Webb a top contender for the title. Additionally, Webb’s ability to generate ground balls and induce weak contact has contributed to his success as a pitcher.

Spencer Strider: A Dominant Force
Dayn Perry puts forward Spencer Strider as his pick for the best pitcher in baseball, citing his remarkable combination of stuff and swing-and-miss capability. Despite facing some run-prevention challenges, Strider’s ability to rack up strikeouts at an impressive rate while logging significant innings sets him apart. Perry anticipates even greater dominance from Strider in the years to come, making him a compelling choice for the top spot. Strider’s arsenal of pitches, including a devastating slider and fastball, has made him a nightmare for opposing hitters.

In Conclusion, As the debate rages on, it’s clear that the quest to determine the best pitcher in baseball is fraught with complexities and subjectivity. Each contender brings a unique set of skills and accomplishments to the table, making it challenging to reach a definitive conclusion. Whether it’s Zack Wheeler’s consistency, Logan Webb’s workhorse mentality, or Spencer Strider’s potential for future dominance, one thing remains certain: the MLB landscape is brimming with exceptional pitching talent, ensuring that the debate will continue for seasons to come.