After Justin Verlander’s performance a few days ago, I started to here talk of how Justin was the best pitcher in the American League. I have no doubt that Verlander has the talent to be the best, and having two no hitters in his career doesn’t hurt at all. My personal litmus test is basically this, can I name 5 better guys off hand? I couldn’t of course, but that thought spawned the creation of this list. This is a list of who I think are the best guys right now, so if he hasn’t done anything this year he’s not on the list.
5.C.J. Wilson, Texas Rangers- The Rangers sit at 3 games above .5oo and Wilson is a big reason why. With 7 wins in 10 starts for the Rangers, his pitching has helped to keep the boys from Texas afloat. C.J. Wilson has done more than win games, he wins them with dominance. He’s a left hander that doesn’t give up a lot of runs. His mechanics are solid and his variety of pitches makes it a tough outing for opposing batters. He started the season solid, but has been even better in the month of June with a 1.99 ERA inside the month.
4. James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays- While Shields hasn’t been brilliant this year he’s been very good. He also slowed up as of late after a hot start at the beginning of the season, but the reason he sits at number 4 is his play at home. Shields has been absolutely ridiculous at home. He’s got an ERA of 1.99 at home as compared of course to his less than amazing 3.28 ERA on the road. With a 6-4 record on the season my advice; more run support. Most of Shields wins are on the road where he pitches worse. If he doesn’t get support at home a lot of dominant performances are going to go to waste.
3. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers- Justin Verlander has never flown higher. He seems to have figured out his game. He’s been phenomenal at working pitch counts. His ERA has been steadily dropping each month that he plays which shows that he’s been improving as the season has gone on. Verlander has a June ERA 1.08 which of course can be attributed to the almost no-hitter that he had on Thursday. A few more performances like that and he could very well be on top of this list.
2. Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels- Jered Weaver has more control over batters than Verlander in my opinion. They’re both intelligent pitchers that know how to work batters and understand how to catch them off guard, but apart from being clever Weaver can throw heat as well. Jered Weaver has a fastball that’s just plain wicked and some days just seems unfair. With an ERA of 2.06 on the season Weaver is all business.
1. Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox- Josh Beckett has found something. I don’t know what it is but his stuff has been good all season long. Even when the Sox were struggling he’s been lights out. Nobody is as dominant as he is right now. Beckett has got the best ERA in the majors at 1.86, nobody gets a clean hit on this guy. And I do mean nobody. He’s got speed, he’s clever, and he’s just to much for most guys to handle. I was able to watch the games where he absolutely neutered the Yankees line up. Josh Beckett is no joke.