Baseball The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
37.8k votes 2.4k voters 24.6k views 284 items

List Rules Only starting pitchers. No closers or middle relievers

The best starting pitchers in baseball history have one vital quality in common: their ability to win. There are so many different ways to define a great pitcher: pitch velocity, outstanding command of their pitch locations and can have ridiculous movement on their breaking stuff. The best starting pitchers have a special quality that makes them more dominant than their contemporaries. They have the rare ability to reach back and get a key out when it's absolutely necessary.

Many baseball fans love a starting pitcher who can throw in the high-90s and even low-100s. Throughout his 27-year career, Nolan Ryan hit those high-water marks. The pitcher nicknamed the Ryan Express is widely considered one of the best power pitchers of all time alongside Bob Gibson, Pedro Martinez and a few others. On the opposite side sits pitchers like Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine from the successful Atlanta Braves teams from the '90s. These pitchers were able to make up for their lack of pitch power by having arguably the best pitch placement in baseball history.

Here is your opportunity to vote on which starting pitcher can be considered the best in baseball history.This Ultimate List will determine by your vote who can be considered the best starting pitcher of all time.

list ordered by

1
947 162
Cy Young is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1867

2
916 184
Walter Johnson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

3
807 128
Christy Mathewson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

4
714 87
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

5
623 62
Grover Cleveland Alexander is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1887

6
595 309
Bob Feller is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1918

7
597 224
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

8
600 349
Steve Carlton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

9
579 262
Jim Palmer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1945

10
655 665
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

11
519 191
Catfish Hunter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

12
515 462
Tom Seaver is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1944

13
659 673
Nolan Ryan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1947

14
598 132
Whitey Ford is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

15
534 116
Carl Hubbell is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

16
504 685
Greg Maddux is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

17
500 671
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

18
363 225
Gaylord Perry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

19
497 66
Lefty Gomez is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

20
497 77
Don Drysdale is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1936

21
410 612
Bob Gibson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1935

22
393 625
Pedro Martínez is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

23
309 374
Tom Glavine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

24
313 378
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

25
588 78
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1895

26
453 102
Ed Walsh is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1881

27
469 98
Dizzy Dean is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
joe-scott added 1910

28
384 63
Mordecai Brown is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

29
277 645
Roger Clemens is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

30
308 110
Phil Niekro is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1939

31
195 42
Bob Lemon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
joe-scott added 1920

32
204 88
Bert Blyleven is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1951

33
164 391
Juan Marichal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

34
151 54
Kid Nichols is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

35
282 453
Clayton Kershaw is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

36
141 41
Rube Waddell is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

37
119 281
Ron Guidry is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1950

38
138 70
Don Sutton is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1945

39
97 48
Jim Kaat is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
RobLein added 1938

40
193 261
Satchel Paige is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

41
173 136
Orel Hershiser is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

42
97 54
Eddie Plank is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1875

43
101 64
Robin Roberts is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1926

44
119 211
Curt Schilling is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1966

45
124 140
Roy Halladay is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1977

46
70 93
Mike Mussina is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1968

47
105 113
Ferguson Jenkins is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1942

48
58 40
Waite Hoyt is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1899

49
63 24
Mickey Lolich is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

50
97 76
Justin Verlander is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
ebelkids added 1983