MLB Top 10 Right Now: The Shredder Ranks Dodgers’ Walker Buehler Among Best Starting Pitchers For 2020 Season

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MLB Network’s The Shredder put out its list of the top 10 starting pitchers going into the 2020 season, and rising Los Angeles Dodgers star Walker Buehler made his debut, coming in at No. 10.

Ahead of Buehler, in order of Nos. 1-9 are New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom, Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander, New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer, former member of the Dodgers and current Toronto Blue Jays’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, Astros’ Zack Greinke, St. Louis Cardinals’ Jack Flaherty, Nationals’ Patrick Corbin and Cleveland Indians’ Mike Clevinger.

The three MLB Network analysts, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs and Ben Lindbergh were all higher on Buehler, ranking him seventh, sixth and sixth, respectively.

The 2019 season was just Buehler’s second full year in the big leagues, and he was named an All-Star for the first time while finishing ninth in the National League Cy Young voting.

In 30 starts, the 25-year-old went 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA, 3.01 FIP and 1.04 WHIP with 215 strikeouts and 37 walks in 182.1 innings. He has also proven to be an outstanding postseason pitcher over the last two years, posting a 2.72 ERA in six career October starts.

Falling off?

Dodgers longtime ace Clayton Kershaw is coming off another All-Star season in 2019 although he did not makes anyone’s list, being mentioned as one of the pitchers to just miss the cut by The Shredder.

Kershaw didn’t meet his standards last year but still had a strong season by several measures. He, along with the Dodgers, were ripe with anticipation for what 2020 will hold. That’s going to be delayed, however, as Kershaw began the season on the injured list due to back stiffness.

Buehler behind other starts but ready for 2020 season

Buehler reported to Summer Camp a bit behind the other starters in the organization as far as pitch count goes, which is why he’ll be fifth in the rotation to begin the year.

He likely won’t carry a full workload in his first couple of starts, although he’s confident he is ready to go for the season despite the difficult circumstances that were brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I think obviously it’s kind of affecting everyone and it’s a tough situation for everyone, especially and including us,” Buehler said. “I think there’s a lot bigger problem with this than us but at the end of the day, we all are on the same time frame and trying to get ready. Been down here a little while trying to get there and I feel good about where I’m at.”

Buehler is widely viewed as one of the bright young pitchers in all of baseball, so if he can have another strong campaign in 2020 then he will likely vault up The Shredder’s list going into 2021.

Rank The Shredder Mike Petriello Sarah Langs Ben Lindbergh
1 Jacob deGrom (Mets) Gerrit Cole (Yankees) Gerrit Cole (Yankees) Gerrit Cole (Yankees)
2 Justin Verlander (Astros) Jacob deGrom (Mets) Jacob deGrom (Mets) Jacob deGrom (Mets)
3 Gerrit Cole (Yankees) Max Scherzer (Nationals) Max Scherzer (Nationals) Justin Verlander (Astros)
4 Max Scherzer (Nationals) Justin Verlander (Astros) Justin Verlander (Astros) Max Scherzer (Nationals)
5 Hyun-Jin Ryu (Blue Jays) Stephen Strasburg (Nationals) Stephen Strasburg (Nationals) Stephen Strasburg (Nationals)
6 Zack Greinke (Astros) Mike Clevinger (Indians) Walker Buehler (Dodgers) Walker Buehler (Dodgers)
7 Jack Flaherty (Cardinals) Walker Buehler (Dodgers) Charlie Morton (Rays) Chris Sale (Red Sox)
8 Patrick Corbin (Nationals) Jack Flaherty (Cardinals) Jack Flaherty (Cardinals) Charlie Morton (Rays)
9 Mike Clevinger (Indians) Charlie Morton (Rays) Mike Soroka (Braves) Jack Flaherty (Cardinals)
10 Walker Buehler (Dodgers) Chris Sale (Red Sox) Mike Clevinger (Indians) Mike Clevinger (Indians)

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