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This week, let’s evaluate dominance in the Starting Pitcher market and of course provide our weekly Starting Pitcher rankings.

What composition of categories do you utilize when calculating a pitchers dominance?

There are various formulas one can employ but for this exercise we’ll focus on three of my preferred classifications K%, K-BB% and xFIP when deciphering the data.

In this investigation certain benchmarks must be set to determine tiers, which in turn will regulate the hierarchy of the candidates stature in the pool.

How does one achieve ACE status and what criteria is needed?

Here are the tiered starting pitchers and their qualifications.

What will we find when we strip away their Earned Run Averages? Damn, that was so High Sparrow of me.

Starting Pitcher Rankings: Aces Tier

  • K% 30.0% and greater
  • K-BB% 25.0% and greater
  • xFIP less than 3.00
  1. Chris Archer TBR 32.4 K% (2), 26.4 K-BB% (2) & 2.26 xFIP (2)
  2. Clayton Kershaw LAD 32.1 K% (3), 25.8 K-BB% (4) & 2.16 xFIP (1)
  3. Chris Sale  CHW  32.7 K% (1),  27.1 K-BB% (2)  &  2.67 xFIP (7)
  4. Max Scherzer  WAS   30.9 K% (t4),  27.1 K-BB% (1)  &  2.76 xFIP (9)

Tier 2

  • K% 27.0% or greater
  • K-BB% 22.0% or greater
  • xFIP less than 3.00
  1. Francisco Liriano PIT  30.5 K% (5),  22.2 K-BB% (t7)  &  2.57 xFIP (3)
  2. Danny Salazar  CLE   30.9 K% (t4),  24.5 K-BB% (5)  &  2.76 xFIP (6)
  3. Corey Kluber  CLE   28.3 K% (7),  23.7 K-BB% (6)  &  2.63 xFIP (6)
  4. Jake Arrieta  CHC  27.0 K% (10),  22.2 K-BB% (t7)  &  2.60 xFIP (5)

Tier 3

  • K% 25.0% or greater
  • K-BB% 21.0% or greater
  • xFIP less than 3.00
  1. Gerrit Cole  PIT  27.7 K% (8),  22.0 K-BB% (t8)  &  2.67 xFIP (t7)
  2. Jacob deGrom  NYM  26.8 K% (11),  21.7 K-BB% (9)  &  2.79 xFIP (10)
  3. Carlos Carrasco  CLE  27.4 K% (9),  21.6 K-BB% (t10)  &  2.84 xFIP (11)
  4. Michael Pineda  NYY  24.8* K% (15),  22.0 K-BB% (t7)  &  2.59 xFIP (4)

BONUS Tier

  • K% 25.0% or greater
  • K-BB% 21.0% or greater
  • xFIP less than 3.15
  1. James Shields  SDP  28.5 K% (6),  21.6 K-BB% (t10)  &  3.06 xFIP (15)
  2. Matt Harvey  NYM  25.9 K% (t13),  21.5 K-BB%(11)  &  3.05 xFIP (14)
  3. Jason Hammel  CHC  25.2 K% (t14), 21.4 K-BB% (12)  &  3.11 xFIP (16)

This examination hopefully showcased some names that might not have seen as dominant on the surface but who have actually exhibited superior skills this season. Other names were obvious but the tiering was done based on their performance over three categories and stringent criteria.

All Statistics thru Monday June 15 and via Fangraphs.

Top 50 Starting Pitcher Rankings

Here is this week’s top 50 Starting Pitchers rankings, and visit ctmbaseball.com for the “Mid-Season Starting Pitcher Index” dropping in July.

June 16, 2015

  1. Clayton Kershaw
  2. Max Scherzer
  3. Chris Sale
  4. Corey Kluber
  5. Felix Hernandez
  6. Gerrit Cole
  7. Chris Archer
  8. Jacob deGrom
  9. Matt Harvey
  10. Madison Bumgarner
  11. Zack Greinke
  12. David Price
  13. Cole Hamels
  14. Johnny Cueto
  15. Sonny Gray
  16. Jake Arrieta
  17. Carlos Carrasco
  18. Michael Pineda
  19. James Shields
  20. Masahiro Tanaka
  21. Francisco Liriano
  22. Danny Salazar
  23. Jon Lester
  24. Michael Wacha
  25. Jason Hammel
  26. Dallas Keuchel
  27. Garrett Richards
  28. Jordan Zimmermann
  29. Stephen Strasburg*
  30. Carlos Martinez
  31. Jeff Samardzija
  32. AJ Burnett
  33. Shelby Miller
  34. Gio Gonzalez
  35. Tyson Ross
  36. Noah Syndergaard
  37. Jose Fernandez*
  38. Lance Lynn
  39. Jake Odorizzi*
  40. Andrew Cashner
  41. Anibal Sanchez
  42. Trevor Bauer
  43. Alex Wood
  44. Julio Teheran
  45. Drew Hutchison
  46. Mike Friers
  47. Lance McCullers
  48. Jose Quintana
  49. John Lackey
  50. Scott Kazmir

*Best of luck in the confidence game that is starting pitching.*

Which players do you think we should move up — or down — in these Starting Pitcher Rankings?

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