The National League East is built around pitching and features three of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball, with the Washington Nationals being the best. The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets have built strong rotations, but are very young. Here are my 2015 top 10 NL East Pitchers.
10. Henderson Alvarez – Miami Marlins
12-7, 2.65 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 111 SO, 33 BB
Alvarez stepped up last season after Marlins ace Jose Fernandez went down with an injury. Alvarez achieved career highs in wins, ERA, and strikeouts and also made his first All-Star Game appearance. He doesn’t turn 25 until April and still has plenty of upside to become a dominant major league pitcher.
13-10, 3.07 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 97 SO, 36 BB
9. Jacob deGrom – New York Mets
9-6, 2.69 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 144 SO, 43 BB
Jacob deGrom definitely deserved the 2014 Rookie of the Year, with a stellar performance throughout the year. deGrom looked even better down the stretch, striking out 32 batters in his final three starts of the season.
12-10, 2.99 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 171 SO, 50 BB
8. Matt Harvey – New York Mets
2013 Stats (Did Not Play in 2014)
9-5, 2.27 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 191 SO, 31 BB
Harvey missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2013. If healthy Harvey is one of the best pitchers in the game, but we still haven’t seen what he will look like post-surgery.
13-8, 2.98 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 185 SO, 36 BB
7. Doug Fister – Washington Nationals
16-6, 2.41 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 98 SO, 24 BB
Fister is coming off the best season of his career and finished eighth in the Cy Young race last season. He has great command and has never walked more than 44 batter in a season. I think he will use that great command to have anther successful season, but I think it will be hard for the 6’8″ righty to repeat what he did last year.
13-9, 3.15 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 126 SO, 32 BB
6. Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies
9-9, 2.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 198 SO, 59 BB
Hamels wants out of Philadelphia and for good reason, the Phillies are expected to be one of the worst teams in all of baseball. Hamels isn’t getting any younger and he knows if he wants a chance to win he needs to skip town. He’s still a very good pitcher and was great down the stretch last season. There’s a good chance that Hamels won’t start the season in Philadelphia, but if he does I expect him to have a below-average year.
7-10, 3.02 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 201 SO, 54 BB
5. Alex Wood – Atlanta Braves
11-11, 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 170 SO, 45 BB
Alex Wood was great last season, he just couldn’t get any run support. Wood stats resemble that of Madison Bumgarner when he was his age. Bumgarner won 13 games, had a 2.77 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 199 strikeouts. The Braves will have one of the best one two punches in all of baseball, if Wood continues to pitch like he did last season.
18-7, 2.90 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 202 SO, 53 BB
4. Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals
14-11, 3.14, 1.12 WHIP, 242 SO, 43 BB
Strasburg got off to a shaky start last season, but rebound by posting a 1.13 ERA in his last six starts and an eye popping 40/3 K-BB ratio. If he can stay healthy I think this could be the breakout season that we’ve been patiently waiting for.
15-8, 3.12, 1.17 WHIP, 232, 46 BB
3. Julio Teheran – Atlanta Braves
14-13, 2.89 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 186 SO, 51 BB
Teheran was a dominant presence on the mound last season, allowing two or fewer runs in 22 of his 33 starts. If the Braves want to contend this season, they’ll have to rely on their pitching and it all starts with Teheran, who I expect to have his best season of his young career.
16-9, 2.78 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 191 SO, 48 BB
2. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
18-5, 3.15 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 252 SO, 63 BB
The Nationals went out and added another ace to their already loaded rotation. This move has given them leverage to go out and find another bat for their lineup. Scherzer is coming off of his second straight season with 18 wins or more. The 2013 AL Cy Young winner should provide extra excitement for Washington fans this season.
16-7, 3.32, 1.25 WHIP, 247 SO, 67 BB
1. Jordan Zimmermann – Washington Nationals
14-5, 2.66 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 182 SO, 29 BB
Zimmermann is entering his final season before he hits free agency and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nationals trade him before the deadline to add some bats to the lineup. But for now he’s one of the best pitchers in the game and I think the best in the NL East. Zimmermann has excellent control and only walked three or more batter in a game just once last season.
17-6, 3.05, 1.17, 181 SO, 39 BB