Baseball The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
25k votes 1.8k voters 23.1k 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
568 141
Cy Young is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1867

2
543 164
Walter Johnson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

3
440 109
Christy Mathewson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

4
372 112
Bob Feller is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1918

5
403 142
Steve Carlton is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

6
557 352
Sandy Koufax is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

7
562 408
Nolan Ryan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1947

8
344 73
Lefty Grove is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

9
462 368
Greg Maddux is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

10
320 132
Jim Palmer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1945

11
354 271
Tom Seaver is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1944

12
465 359
Randy Johnson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

13
325 136
Warren Spahn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

14
270 50
Grover Cleveland Alexander is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1887

15
354 303
Bob Gibson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1935

16
306 89
Whitey Ford is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

17
251 72
Carl Hubbell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

18
241 125
Catfish Hunter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

19
357 310
Pedro Martínez is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

20
251 350
Roger Clemens is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

21
167 145
Gaylord Perry is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

22
203 205
Tom Glavine is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

23
219 57
Lefty Gomez is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

24
214 63
Don Drysdale is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1936

25
195 216
John Smoltz is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

26
208 48
Dizzy Dean is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
joe-scott added 1910

27
176 52
Ed Walsh is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1881

28
259 61
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1895

29
150 220
Juan Marichal is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

30
264 267
Clayton Kershaw is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

31
159 48
Mordecai Brown is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

32
105 182
Ron Guidry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1950

33
143 87
Phil Niekro is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1939

34
92 60
Bert Blyleven is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1951

35
128 80
Orel Hershiser is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

36
173 184
Satchel Paige is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

37
112 91
Roy Halladay is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1977

38
83 49
Don Sutton is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
1945

39
59 32
Bob Lemon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
joe-scott added 1920

40
111 151
Curt Schilling is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1966

41
66 35
Rube Waddell is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

42
94 75
Ferguson Jenkins is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1942

43
53 36
Jim Kaat is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
RobLein added 1938

44
73 47
Robin Roberts is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1926

45
61 65
Mike Mussina is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1968

46
59 50
Kid Nichols is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

47
58 43
Eddie Plank is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1875

48
88 55
Justin Verlander is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
ebelkids added 1983

49
58 62
Dwight Gooden is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

50
35 26
Waite Hoyt is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time
slaft added 1899