Baseball Insider Names Top 5 Starting Pitchers for 2022

Buster Olney of ESPN is one of the elite baseball insiders in the game. His coverage of the MLB is second to none and the senior writer recently opened up about who he felt were the best starting pitchers in all of baseball. 

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

No surprise here, deGrom gets the nod as the best pitcher in baseball. The Mets ace is under contract for the next couple of seasons and then is in line for one of the richest deals in baseball history. Olney mentioned via Sarah Langs regarding deGrom's precision to the outside corner:
He allowed an .053 batting average in right-handed opponent plate appearances ending on the outside corner (defined as the edge of zone and outside zone), lowest among all pitchers with at least 75 plate appearances ending in that spot. He threw 104 two-strike pitches to righties on the outside corner -- 45 of them resulted in a strikeout. That's 43.3% -- highest such rate of anyone to throw at least 50 two-strike pitches in that area to right-handed batters

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers

One of my personal favorites, Burnes is a gamer and loves to pitch in high pressure situations. The NL Cy Young award winner is in line for another massive season in 2022 and is a part of a Brewers rotation that finished third in the majors in ERA last season. His stuff is electric and his ability to keep the ball in the ball park is a gift. Hitters only took Burnes deep seven times in 2021, over 167 innings of work. Impressive stuff that should continue in 2022.

Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies

Crazy to think the Phillies were trying to trade their starter before the season last year but that's certainly changed. His command may be his most impressive attribute and expect a massive season out of him and the Phillies for that matter in 2022. As per Olney, Wheeler has allowed only 19 HR in his past 41 starts. 

Max Scherzer, New York Mets

deGrom and Scherzer is going to be special in the Big Apple. No surprise Mad Max makes this list as year in and year out he takes the bump and gets the job done better than most pitchers in the majors. If Scherzer can stay healthy expect to see him climb the history books in 2022. He's in line to put himself into the top-12 all-time for strikeouts, leap frogging some big names including John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and others.

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

The Yankees ace didn't have his best season in 2021 but he was solid and looks to bounce back easily in 2022. He was a focus of the sticky substance enforcement and many felt his numbers dipped because of the new rules. Olney highlights the following:
The numbers are the numbers: Cole had a 3.92 ERA in the 18 starts after the news of the crackdown broke, surrendering 19 homers and 30 walks in 105⅔ innings. Before that, he had a 2.26 ERA, with only 11 walks and 6 homers allowed in 75⅔ innings.

These are expected to be the best starting pitchers of 2022. Anyone you surprised made the list? Who is missing? Let us know in the comments, we would love to hear from you.

Photo credit:   Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

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