12 Best Pitchers in MLB Right Now

With the history of being one of the oldest major sports leagues, there is no doubt that many great players have graced the sport.

Similarly, MLB has seen it had many brilliant pitchers over the years. But who are the best pitchers in the league right now amongst all?

Mariano_Rivera_pitching
Mariano Rivera pitching (Source: Wikimedia)

Hence, to answer the query, we have compiled here a list. Although it is quite difficult to pinpoint which pitcher is the best, we went through the players’ current and previous year rankings and data to develop this list.

Therefore, without any further ado, let us get into our list of best pitchers in MLB right now.

12 Best Pitchers in MLB Right Now

The list has been compiled with the help of trusted sources from the internet like NbcSports, Betway, etc. But before jumping into the details, let us take a quick look at the rankings below.

Players NameTeam
12. Max FriedAtlanta Braves
11. Blake SnellSan Diego Padres
10. Aaron NolaPhiladelphia Phillies
9. Walker BuehlerLos Angeles Dodgers
8. Hyun Jin RyuToronto Blue Jays
7. Yu DarvishSan Diego Padres
6. Clayton KershawLos Angeles Dodgers
5. Max ScherzerWashington Nationals
4. Trevor BauerLos Angeles Dodgers
3. Gerrit ColeNew York Yankees
2. Shane BieberCleveland Indians
1. Jacob DeGromNew York Mets

12. Max Fried

With Atlanta Braves’ Max Fried, we are starting our list of best pitchers in the MLB right now. He made his debut in 2017 for the Braces, but the San Diego Padres drafted him in the first round, seventh overall in the 2012 MLB draft.

However, Fried was traded to the Braves and made his MLB debut. Fried was ranked one of the top pitching prospects of the Braves in 2014. 

It was in 2020 when Fried made his breakthrough. Right away, he started the season by becoming the first left-handed pitcher not to allow any home runs through eight starts.

Meet Max Fried, the best Jewish pitcher of now.
Meet Max Fried, the best Jewish pitcher of now

The Braves won every game during the period, which had not happened since Babe Ruth in 1917. Fried finished the 2020 season with an All-MLB First Team, Gold Glove Award, and a Fielding Bible Award.

Similarly, his other notable winnings include World Series champion, All-MLB First Team, Gold Glove Award, Silver Slugger Award, and Fielding Bible Award.

Additionally, he became the third pitcher in MLB history to win Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in the same year. Fried’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read 40-18 win-loss record, 3.34 earned run average, and 447 strikeouts.

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11. Blake Snell

Nicknamed “Snellzilla,” Blake Snell is the next pitcher on our list of the best pitchers in MLB right now. The Tampa Bay Rays drafted him in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft.

After the draft, Snell was signed by the Rays, and he made his first MLB debut for the team. In 2018, he made his career breakthrough. His career highlight awards include an All-Star, AL Cy Young Award, AL wins leader, and AL ERA Leader.

Blake Snell playing for the Rays
Blake Snell playing for the Rays (Source: Wikimedia)

Similarly, he is the youngest pitcher to win the award in consecutive months since 2004. However, in 2019, Snell suffered from multiple injuries and was disabled several times.

After the 2020 season, the Rays traded him to the San Diego Padres in 2020. He recorded 49-36 win-loss records, 3.42 earned run average and 818 strikeouts through the 2021 season.

10. Aaron Nola

On our number 10 is Aaron Nola. He is the professional pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. Although the Toronto Blue Jays drafted Nola in the 2011 MLB draft, he chose to go to Louisiana State University (LSU).

He did his major in Sports Management and then in 2014, the Phillies drafted Nola in the first round as seventh overall in the 2014 MLB draft.

He signed with the team for a $3.3 million signing bonus and made his professional debut in the minor league. Then, in 2015, Nola made his major league debut.

Phillies_Aaron_Nola_August_26,_2020
Phillies’ Aaron Nola, 2020 (Source: Wikimedia)

Aaron was the first pitcher to make his season debut soon after being drafted in 1989 after Pat Combs. Then going to the 2016 season, Nola was disabled with an elbow injury.

The next year, he made a successful comeback and made a new record for the most strikeouts by a Phillie pitcher with fewer than 30 starts in one season.

Similarly, he also is the fourth pitcher in Phillies’ history to record at least 200 strikeouts in a single season. Nola’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read 67-49 win-loss record, 3.68 earned run average, and 1,145 strikeouts.

9. Walker Buehler

Walker Buehler is on our number 9 of the best pitchers in MLB right now. He is a professional pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, which drafted him as the 24th overall in the 2015 MLB draft. 

Buehler signed a $1.78 million bonus contract with the Dodgers. However, soon after his signing, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery. Then, in 2017, Buehler was added to the major league roster and made his MLB debut.

Walker Buehler (Source: Commons Wikimedia)
Walker Buehler 

In the 2020 World Series, Buehler also played an important part in winning the championship. Similarly, he was named an All-Star a year before and again added the award in 2021.

In addition, he was also named an All-MLB First Team in 2021. Buehler’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read 40-13 win-loss record, 2.90 earned run average, and 632 strikeouts.

8. Hyun Jin Ryu

On our number 8 of the best pitchers in MLB right now is a South Korean professional pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, Hyun Jin Ryu. He made his MLB debut in 2013.

Ryu was first selected by the Hanwha Eagles of the South Korean professional baseball team in the 2006 KBO League draft as the 1st pick in the second round. Then in 2013, he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers via the posting system.

The Dodgers signed him for a six-year, $36 million deal that included the option to opt-out after 5th year if certain performance benchmarks were reached.

Hyun Jin Ryu 2013
Hyun Jin Ryu 2013 (Source: Wikimedia)

In 2019, Ryu added his first MLB career win after becoming an All-Star. Since then, he has won an All-MLB Second Team twice and has been MLB ERA leader.

Furthermore, Ryu is the first Korean pitcher to start in a World Series game. He signed with Toronto Blue Jays in 2019 on a four-year contract worth $80 million.

His MLB statistics through the 2021 season state a 73-45 win-loss record, 3.20 earned run average, and 880 strikeouts.

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7. Yu Darvish

Next up is Yu Darvish, an Iranian-Japanese professional pitcher playing for the San Diego Pares. Darvish made his MLB debut in 2012 and previously played in Japanese professional baseball.

Before the 2012 season, Darvish was posted to the MLB. The Texas Rangers bid the highest reported $51.7 million in a blind posting bid.

He signed a $60 million worth contract for six-year with the Rangers. In his first season in MLB, Darvish finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting.

Yu_Darvish_pitiching_2012
Yu Darvish pitiching, 2012 (Source: Wikimedia)

The Rangers signed him for the 2012-2014 and 2016-2017 seasons. After that, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs. In 2021, Darvish was traded to the San Diego Padres.

Some of his career highlight wins include being an All-Star five times, an All-MLB First Team, NL wins leader and AL strikeout leader. Darvish’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read 79-97 win-loss record, 3.56 earned run average, and 1,591 strikeouts.

6. Clayton Kershaw

Number 6 of the best MLB pitchers right now goes to Clayton Kershaw. He is a free agent who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the entirety of his 14 seasons in MLB since his debut.

The Dodgers drafted Kershaw as the seventh overall pick and signed him for a $2.3 million signing bonus which was the largest for any Dodgers draft pick.

After that, he made his MLB debut in 2008. During his debut, Kershaw was the youngest player in MLB for a full year.

Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw

Some of his notable career highlight wins and awards include All-Star eight times, World Series champion, NL MVP, All-MLB Second Team, NL wins leader three times.

Similarly, Kershaw is also the winner of Cy Young Awards three times, Gold Glove Award, Roberto Clemente Award, five times NL ERA leader, three NL strikeout leaders, and a pitched no-hitter.

Kershaw’s 2021 MLB statistics read 185-84 win-loss records, 2.49 earned run averages and 2,670 strikeouts.

5. Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer is a professional baseball pitcher for the New York Mets. The Arizona Diamondbacks drafted him as the 11th overall pick in the 2006 MLB draft and made his MLB debut in 2008.

In his debut game, Scherzer made his debut as a reliever. Since then, he has played with various teams like the Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals, and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Similarly, he has the MLB record tied for the most strikeout in a 9-inning game, tied for most consecutive seasons with 250 strikeouts. Likewise, Scherzer also has the record for most immaculate innings pitched.

Max Scherzer
Top MLB Players 2021 Max Scherzer (Source: Sportsnet)

Nicknamed “Mad Max” for his intensity and competitiveness, he was the fifth pitcher to start an All-Star Game for both the American and National Leagues.

Additional to his records, Scherzer is an All-Star eight-times, World Series champion, All-MLB First Team two times, etc.

The Mets signed this three times Cy Young Award holder in 2021 on a three-year, $130 million contract. This has an average annual value of $43.3 million, the largest in MLB history.

Scherzer’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read 190-97 win-loss record, 3.16 earned run average, and 3,020 strikeouts.

4. Trevor Bauer

On our number 4 of the best pitchers in MLB right now is Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer. The Arizona Diamondbacks chose him in the third overall in the 2011 MLB draft and he debuted the following year.

After his debut in MLB, Bauer played for Cleveland Indian and Cincinnati Reds. Before signing with the Dodgers, Bauer was a free agent. He had turned down a deal from the New York Mets to sign with the Dodgers in a three-year, $102 million contract.

Trevor Bauer 
Trevor Bauer 

Some of his extraordinary achievements and awards include an All-Star, All-MLB First Team, NL Cy Young Award, NL ERA leader, Golden Spikes Award, and National Pitcher of the Year Award.

In 2021, Bauer’s MLB statistics read 83-69 win-loss records, 3.79 earned run average, and 1,416 strikeouts.

3. Gerrit Cole

We are heading to the end of our list. On our number 3, we have Gerrit Cole, who plays professionally for the New York Yankees. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted him in the first overall selection in the 2011 MLB draft.

After his draft, Cole made his debut in 2013. In his debut season, he won the NL Rookie and NL Pitcher of the Month.

He played for the Pirates until 2017, after which he played for the Houston Astros. In 2019, Cole signed a nine-year contract worth $324 million with the Yankees, which is the largest deal signed by a pitcher.

Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole (Source: Pinstripe Alley)

Some of his notable career highlight wins and awards include All-Star four times, All-MLB First Team two times, All-MLB Second Team, AL ERA leader, MLB strikeout leader, and AL wins leader.

Similarly, this power pitcher has the MLB record for most consecutive strikeouts without issuing a walk. Cole’s MLB record through the 2021 statistics read 117-63 win-loss record, 3.20 earned run average and 1,673 strikeouts.

2. Shane Bieber

Shane Bieber is the professional pitcher for the Cleveland Guardians/Indians. The Indians picked him in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB draft and made his debut in 2018.

After his draft by the Indians, Bieber was added to the major league roster in 2018 and made his debut. 

Shane_Bieber_pitching
Shane Bieber pitching (Source: Wikimedia)

Some of his notable highlights win and awards include All-Star two times, All-MLB First Team, AL CY Young Award, Triple Crown, AL wins leader, AL ERA leader, and AL Strikeout leader.

Bieber’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read 41-18 win-loss record, 3.29 earned run average, and 633 strikeouts.

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1. Jacob DeGrom

And our number 1 on our list of the best pitchers in the MLB right now goes to “The deGrominator,” Jacob DeGrom. He plays for the New York Mets, which drafted him in the ninth round of the  MLB draft.

DeGrommade his MLB debut in 2014 and proved to be a super rookie. He was named the NL Rookie of the month twice and named the Rookie of the year in 2014. He became the first Met to receive the honor since Dwight Gooden in 1984.

Some of his notable career wins and highlights include All-Star four times, NL Cy Young Award two times, NL ERA leader, and NL strikeout leader two times. 

Jacob deGrom in action
Jacob deGrom pitching

DeGrom is widely regarded as one of the best current pitchers in baseball. In 2021, he set an MLB record for most strikeouts in the first four starts of a season with 50.

DeGrom’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read 77-53 win-loss record, 2.50 earned run average, and 1,505 strikeouts.

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Conclusion

MLB has always boasted of great players. These pitchers we have mentioned on the list are also the best ones among many.

Eagle-eyed fans and critics all have their sharp eyes on them. Therefore, we can only hope that these players will continue to perform their best. 

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