... the #1 is Clayton Kershaw. Which he's been for a remarkable period of time. Interestingly, Zach Greinke is a clear #2; I hadn't noticed that he's 14-3, 1.61, on top of his previous body of work, of course. Dr. D knows jack about the National League, but he has heard that 1-2 starters are big in Dodger lore. DaddyO can help us out here.
SSI thoroughly enjoys the starting pitcher rankings at BJOL. Bill worked hard to lay out both sides of the rectangle, the height of "how vicious has this guy been just now" across the width of "how sustainable has his goodness been and for how long." When you say Andy Murray is the #3 tennis player in the world, that's a good way to say "there are only two guys around you'd less rather see on your agenda tomorrow." The #5 pitcher right now is Chris Sale, and that's a good way to say we're glad we miss him this series. He's as likely to shut us out as any AL pitcher.
Dallas Keuchel moved from #55 to begin the year, all the way up to a screaming #10 in all the land right now. That's #5 in the AL. It's time to stop doubting him OR his beard.
Scott Kazmir moved from #88 in March to #27 now, or about #12 in the American League. When Houston traded for him, they proved they meant bidness.
Sonny Gray is the other AL West starter who is wayyyy, way up with a bullet. He's #9 in the majors, meaning that Gray IS an elite, Cy-worthy ace. One thing we notice about Keuchel and Gray is that their homer rates are miniscule. These guys are going out there and spinning gems, one start after another.
Chris Archer (#15, both leagues) along with Corey Kluber (#7) and Jacob Degrom (#17) aren't new into Elite Status because of toxic precision, like the AL West new kids on the block. There are some kids who explode on the scene with explosive explosiveness. This is what Kim Ng :- ) hopes for K-Pax and Taijuan next year.
Taijuan Walker, by the way, has worked his way up to #92. That sounds low, but it isn't. A pitcher starts at 300 points, and it's not super easy to pile up points, and Taijuan is at 414 points. At #92, when you divide that by 30 teams, Walker is a weak #3 starter or a strong #4 starter according to BJOL. And that's a good place to peg him going into 2016. What his potential is, that's another subject, but let's not forget that with 145 strikeouts and 37 walks, Taijuan already is a good starting pitcher.
Felix has "tumbled" to #13 in baseball, after a long run at #2 behind Kershaw. That's fair enough. Felix has battled:
- Lower-body injuries, and
- A bit of bad luck (nobody deserves to give up 10 runs in 2 innings or 8 runs in 0.1 innings), and
- The fact that no pitcher really stays in the top 2 for fifteen years in a row, and
- Some poor execution by his own standards (pitches left in the hitting zone).
He'll be back. Pitchers are up and down, and Felix had us spoiled.
WBC-san ranks #52 in the standings, which is good considering the injuries and layoff. Nominally that means he's still a #2 despite missing all of May, and June, and then some. It was super cool to hear him say he wants to pitch until he's 40; that means he feels terrific. If he isn't looking for $75M you've got to lay out the QO and then re-sign him. He throws glassy-smooth, with sensational balance, he looks like he's going 100 MPH ... and if he comes back for 2016 the Mariners already have a really good Big Three.
Doesn't look from here like you want to roll with Vidal Nuno instead of him.