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MLB Top 10 Pitchers 2023 Rankings

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By admin | May 29, 2023

The 2023 MLB schedule is rolling along as the last few days of May have arrived. With the first few months of the season basically in the rear-view mirror, now is a perfect time to take a look at the success of Major League Baseball top performing players including the top players at each position.

One position that has seen a ton of success this season is on the pitching mound while the list of candidates who are well deserving of a spot on the Top 10 MLB Best Pitchers 2023 Rankings list continues to grow.

While the list of MLB pitchers putting together strong seasons in 2023, one name that stands out is the Tampa Bay Rays Shane McClanahan.

McClanahan is off to the best start of his young MLB career over his first 11 starts of the season including posting an incredible 8-0 record over that stretch.

As the Rays starter has been brilliant, other pitchers deserving of a mention include Sonny Gray of the Minnesota Twins, Bryce Elder of the Atlanta Braves, Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees, and Emmanuel Clase of the Cleveland Guardians. Here is a look at the Top 10 MLB Best Pitchers 2023 Rankings list.

Honorable Mention

Yennier Cano

Team: Baltimore Orioles

Position: Relief Pitcher

Landing just outside of the Top 10 MLB Pitchers 2023 Rankings list is the Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Yennier Cano. The Cuban baseball player has been brilliant for an Orioles team currently sitting with the second-best record in baseball.

In his first full season in Major League Baseball, Cano has appeared in 21 games on the season while allowing just a .68 earned run average over that stretch.

In those 21 outings Cano has been nearly unhittable picking up 29 strikeouts across 26.2 innings of work while recording four saves and 10 holds. 

Clayton Kershaw

Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

Position: Starting Pitcher

The future MLB Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw continues to rank among the best pitchers in baseball while putting together a strong start to the 2023 MLB schedule.

The longtime Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher has pitched to a 6-4 record on the year while posting a 2.98 earned run average to go along with 69 strikeouts.

Kershaw currently ranks tied for 4th in wins, tied for 20th in earned run average, and tied for 11th in strikeouts through his 10 starts on the season.

Top 10 Pitchers

10. Spencer Strider

Team: Atlanta Braves

Position: Starting Pitcher

Coming in at number 10 on the Top 10 MLB Pitchers 2023 Rankings list is the Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider. Entering Memorial Day Weekend 2023, the Braves starter pitcher currently leads all of Major League Baseball in strikeouts with 97 over 10 games while averaging 15.1 strikeouts per nine innings. In addition, Strider has posted a 4-2 record to go along with a 2.97 earned run average with five quality starts.

9. Josh Hader

Team: San Diego Padres

Position: Closer

One of the top performing closers in all of baseball and one of the top relief pitchers to start the 2023 MLB season is the San Diego Padres closer Josh Hader. Hader entered the 2023 season having posted at least 34 saves in three of his last four seasons.

Over 21 appearances for the Padres in 2023, Hader has recorded 13 of his 15 saves while posting 29 strikeouts in 21 innings of work to go along with a .86 earned run average and .76 WHIP.

8. Shohei Ohtani

Team: Los Angeles Angels

Position: Starting Pitcher

Among the top players in all of baseball, Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels ranks among the best pitchers in baseball as well as one of the best hitters in baseball.

While Ohtani is playing himself into consideration for the MVP, he has made a push for the American League Cy Young Award in 2023. Through 10 starts in 2023, The Angels starter has posted six quality starts, 5-1 record, and a 3.05 earned run average.

To push his performance level even higher Ohtani currently ranks 3rd in MLB in strikeouts with 80 over 59 innings of work while averaging 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings. 

7. Eduardo Rodriguez

Team: Detroit Tigers

Position: Starting Pitcher

Entering MLB Memorial Day Weekend games, Eduardo Rodriguez has been an anchor in the Detroit Tigers rotation and one of the times brightest stars.

Rodriguez who is in his second year of a five-year deal signed with the Tigers back in late 2021 is off to a strong start while posting a career low 2.19 earned run average of 10 MLB starts in 2023.

The 2.19 earned run average currently ranks 5th in all of baseball. In seven of his 10 starts this season Rodriguez has allowed two or fewer runs including four outings with zero earned runs allowed. In addition, Rodriguez has posted a 4-4 record with a .96 WHIP and 61 strikeouts over 61.2 innings of work. 

6. Joe Ryan

Team: Minnesota Twins

Position: Starting Pitcher

When you look at the Minnesota Twins the team currently has two of the best pitchers in baseball to start the season. One of those two starters is Joe Ryan who currently sits tied for 2nd in all of baseball with seven wins over his first 10 starts.

The 26-year-old starting pitcher from San Francisco, California also ranks 7th in baseball with a 2.21 earned run average and tied for 2nd with eight quality starts over those outings.

Ryan has allowed three or fewer runs in nine of his 10 outings, two or fewer earned runs in seven outings, and one or fewer earned runs in six outings.

5. Emmanuel Clase

Team: Cleveland Guardians

Position: Closer

Rounding out the top five on the Top 10 MLB Pitchers 2023 Rankings list is the Cleveland Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase. Clase ranks among the best closers in all of baseball while being a key part of the Guardians bullpen staff.

Entering play on May 26th, 2023, the Guardians Closer currently leads all of Major League Baseball with 16 saves. Clase has held opponents to a 1.25 WHIP on the year while striking out 16 batters over 24 innings of work.

His success in 2023 follows up his 2022 MLB season in which the All-Star closer led all of MLB in saves with 42 saves over 77 outings.

4. Gerrit Cole

Team: New York Yankees

Position: Starting Pitcher

The New York Yankees starting pitcher continues to build on a very strong career in 2023 joining an elite company of striking out 2,000 batters in his pitching career including becoming the 3rd fastest pitcher to record the feat.

As Gerrit Cole continues to move up the leaderboard in multiple stats in 2023, Cole has been solid for a Yankees team competing in a very difficult American League East division.

Cole has posted a 5-0 record over 11 starts in 2023 while pitching to a 2.53 earned run average and 70 strikeouts over 67.2 innings of work. 

3. Bryce Elder

Team: Atlanta Braves

Position: Starting Pitcher

One name that might not be recognized on the list of the best pitchers in baseball in 2023 is the Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Bryce Elder. Elder, who is just 24 years old joins teammate Spencer Strider on the list while helping to form one of the best rotations in baseball.

The Braves starter has already matched his 10 games pitched last season to start 2023 while he continues to develop into an everyday MLB starter. Currently Elder is 3rd in all of baseball with a 2.01 earned run average over 58.1 innings of work and a 3-0 record. 

2. Sonny Gray

Team: Minnesota Twins

Position: Starting Pitcher

It is hard to look past the veteran starter as one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2023. Gray currently leads all starting pitchers with a 1.82 earned run average of 10 starts.

The former stud prospect of the Oakland A’s has been as impressive as any starter in baseball posting a 4-0 record while striking out 66 batters over 54.1 innings of work.

To go with those numbers the Twins starter has allowed three or mores runs in just one game this season while posting six straight games to start the season with one or fewer runs. 

1. Shane McClanahan

Team: Tampa Bay Rays

Position: Starting Pitcher

In at number one on the Top 10 MLB Pitchers 2023 Rankings list is the Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan. The Rays currently have the best record in all of baseball while McClanahan has been a strong part of the team’s success.

McClanahan currently ranks 2nd in baseball with a 1.97 earned run average, 1st in wins with eight wins over 11 starts and tied for 5th with 75 strikeouts.

Overall, McClanahan has racked up 64 innings of work over those 11 starts while allowing just 14 earned runs. An early candidate for the AL Cy Young Award has also added a 1.13 WHIP and a 2.3 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) mark. 

How would you rank these pitchers in the 2023 MLB season? Rank below to be added in the MLB Power Rankings.

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