Starting pitching has always been important in baseball. Starters are active in a game far more than any other player, they are the key to your run prevention, and are the players usually credited with a win or a loss. It takes special talent to register strikeouts against the amazing hitters that litter a lineup, and going deep in games is vital to protect your bullpen and give the less talented arms a breather. If you can find a pitcher that can do all of these things then you have an ace, but not every team has one.
How to choose the best starting pitchers on MLB The Show 19’s Franchise Mode
We are looking for the very best starting pitchers MLB The Show 19 has to offer. These players have a deep repertoire of pitches, the stamina to go long in games, and the movement, control, and velocity to keep hitters off balance. It is very hard to find all these traits in a player at a young age, and if you do you should make sure you hold onto them for dear life. These are the starting pitchers MLB The Show 19 has to offer with an OVR of 85 or above.
*For a full list please see the table below
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (OVR 98)
Contract: 3 years/$93 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, 12-6 Curve, Changeup
Best Stats: Stamina (95), Clutch (89), Break (86), BB/9 (86), H/9 (81)
Clayton Kershaw is widely considered to be the best starting pitcher of his generation. The Dodgers ace has been lighting up opposing hitters for years, regularly logging 200+ strikeouts and league-leading ERA tallies. Kershaw has made 7 All-Star teams, won 5 ERA titles, 3 Cy Young awards, and even the 2014 NL MVP, a rare achievement for a pitcher. In his 11-year career Kershaw has a tiny 2.39 ERA, a mark most pitchers couldn’t dream to hit over a single season at their very best, nevermind over a career. However, injuries have started to catch up to him of late. He has made less than 30 starts in 4 of the last 5 years, but when on the mound he is still as deadly as ever with an elite curveball (break 86) and four strong pitches in his arsenal.
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals (OVR 97)
Contract:3 years/$90 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, Cutter, Curveball
Best Stats: Break (99), K/9 (95), Stamina (94), H/9 (93), Clutch (88), Arm Strength (88), Control (84)
Max Scherzer entered professional baseball as an 11th overall pick for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006. He made his Major League debut with them in 2008 and made 30 starts for them in 2009 before getting a move to the Detroit Tigers for the 2010 season. Scherzer was far from impressive at the start of his career but he soon developed into an elite starting pitcher. In 2013 he claimed the AL Cy Young award with 21 wins, 240 strikeouts, and a 2.90 ERA. He moved to Washington in 2015 and immediately began to dominate the National League, claiming the Cy Young in 2016 and 2017 and has posted a tiny 2.70 ERA in his five years with them. Scherzer’s breaking balls (99) are deadly and with 5 pitches in his repertoire he can keep hitters guessing all game.
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (OVR 96)
Contract: 1 year/$17 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball, Curveball
Best Stats: Break (99), Stamina (95), Velocity (89), K/9 (89), Control (86), H/9 (82)
A 9th round draft pick by the New York Mets in 2010, Jacob deGrom wasn’t meant to be an ace in the Majors, but that is what he has developed into. The Mets star got his Major League debut in 2014, making 22 starts that year with an incredible 2.69 ERA as he struck out more than a batter per inning while winning the NL Rookie of the Year award. In 2015 he was named an All-Star but suffered something of a slump in 2016 and 2017. Last year though he returned to form in a big way. In 32 starts he posted an amazing 1.70 ERA, allowed just 10 homers all year, and had an 11.2 K/9 rate to claim his first Cy Young award. He comes into 2019 having received a huge contract extension from the Mets that I’m sure will be reflected in future roster updates and with a devastating array of pitches that can buckle the knees of any hitter (break 99) and earn him plenty of strikeouts.
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros (OVR 94)
Contract: 2 years/$50 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, 12-6 Curve, Changeup
Best Stats: Break (99), Stamina (92), H/9 (85), K/9 (84), Clutch (81)
Justin Verlander has had an amazing career and the veteran is still going. The second-overall pick in 2004, Verlander had a Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Tigers, winning 183 games in 13 years, claiming AL Rookie of the Year is 2006 as well as the 2011 Cy Young and MVP award. A loss of velocity brought about a three-year slump between 2013 & 2015, but Verlander has since adjusted his game and returned to being as deadly as ever with Houston. He capped off a terrific career with the 2017 World Series title but is still a 200+ inning machine coming into the 2019 season. With a buckling curveball (break 99) and four world class pitches in his arsenal he is a challenge for even the best lineups.
Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians (OVR 94)
Contract: 2 years/$34.6 million
Pitches: Sinker, Cutter, Curveball, 4-Seam Fastball, Changeup
Best Stats: Break (99), Stamina (96), H/9 (82), BB/9 (82), Clutch (82), K/9 (81)
Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 draft by the San Diego Padres, Kluber was part of a three-team trade that sent him to Cleveland in 2010, and there he developed into the ace he is today. The Indians starter is a three-time All-Star, has won two Cy Young awards, and has been the driving force behind Cleveland’s recent success. He had a remarkable 2016 playoffs, posting a 1.83 ERA across the three series as the Indians lost a heart-breaking World Series in 7 games. In the regular season Kluber has been a machine, pitching at least 200 innings in the last 5 straight seasons (stamina 96) and breaks hitters with a devastating sinker/cutter/curveball combination.
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies (OVR 94)
Contract: 5 years/$61 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (96), Stamina (91), Clutch (88), H/9 (81)
At 25 Aaron Nola is remarkably young to be called an ace, but that is what he is. The seventh-overall pick in the 2014 draft, Nola had a quick path to the Majors as the Phillies rebuilt their roster and made his debut in 2015. He had some early struggles and posted a massive 4.78 ERA in 2016, but he has been improving ever since. In 2018 he really came into his own and set career highs in starts (33), innings (212.1), HR/9 (0.7) and H/9 (6.3) all while maintaining at least one strikeout per inning. He came third in the NL Cy Young voting last season and it can’t be long until he wins the award. In The Show 19 he has terrific break (96) on his pitches and the stamina (91) to go deep into games even if his fastball isn’t going to blow hitters away.
Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox (OVR 93)
Contract: 1 year/$15 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (99), Stamina (97), Control (95), K/9 (92), Clutch (83), H/9 (82), Velocity (82)
Chris Sale toiled away on the terrible Chicago White Sox roster for a long time before the Boston Red Sox swooped in and traded for him before the 2017 season. Sale has been one of the most reliable strikeout artists in the Majors since he debuted in 2010. His career mark of 10.9 strikeouts per 9 innings is the best in MLB history but he is yet to win a Cy Young award, finishing in the top 5 of voting in each of the last six seasons. The big leftie has been dominant since moving to Fenway Park, posting a 2.56 ERA with the Red Sox over the last two years and striking out over 13 hitters per 9 innings. Sale’s combination of break (99), stamina (97), and control (95) make him one of the most pin-point pitchers in The Show 19 and can lead to you racking up strikeouts.
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals (OVR 92)
Contract: 5 years/$125 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Changeup, Curveball, Slider, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (91), Stamina (88), K/9 (83), Velocity (81)
The Washington Nationals made Stephen Strasburg the #1 overall pick in 2009 and the cornerstone of their rebuilding project. He made it to the Majors in 2010 and was electric but soon needed Tommy John surgery, which cost him some time and production. He did eventually return to full strength, but it’s safe to say Strasburg’s numbers have never quite lived up to his pre-TJ hype. He’s pitched over 200 innings just once (2014) and has one one season with serious playing time and an ERA under 3 (2017). Still, he has been a strikeout machine for the Nationals and is a very good pitcher. With a 5-pitch arsenal and good break (91) to deceive hitters you should be able to generate plenty of swings-and-misses with him.
Luis Severino, New York Yankees (OVR 91)
Contract: 5 years/$45 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Velocity (91), Break (79), K/9 (79), Stamina (78), Clutch (75)
The Yankees are better known for their fearsome lineups than elite pitchers, but Luis Severino is turning into a star for the Pinstripes. The hard-throwing righty made his debut in 2015 but didn’t fully enter New York’s rotation until 2017, at which point his talent became undeniable. He was named an All-Star in both 2017 & 2018, making 63 starts with an ERA of 3.18 and K/9 of 10.5. At 25 there is a long and productive career ahead of Severino, whose velocity (91) will intimidate hitters and make them early to his slider and changeup if used correctly.
Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros (OVR 90)
Contract: 1 year/$13.5 million
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Knuckle Curve, 2-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Break (94), Velocity (93), Stamina (90), Control (87), K/9 (84)
The #1 draft pick in 2011 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cole was acquired by the Houston Astros ahead of the 2018 season. Cole has never been the most consistent starter, posting a 2.60 ERA in 2015 which was sandwiched between two 3.60+ years. In 2017 he managed a 4.26 ERA, a career-worst total, but in Houston he was a monster, registering a superb 2.88 ERA with his first complete-game shutout and an MLB-best 12.4 K/9. In The Show 19 Cole has a deadly combination of break (94) and velocity (93) that could ruin even the best lineup.
All Starting Pitchers with 85 OVR or more
|Clayton Kershaw||98||31||Los Angeles Dodgers||L||95||74||86||56|
|Max Scherzer||97||34||Washington Nationals||R||94||84||99||78|
|Jacob deGrom||96||30||New York Mets||R||95||86||99||89|
|Justin Verlander||94||36||Houston Astros||R||92||76||99||78|
|Corey Kluber||94||32||Cleveland Indians||R||96||76||99||75|
|Aaron Nola||94||25||Philadelphia Phillies||R||91||76||96||69|
|Chris Sale||93||30||Boston Red Sox||L||97||95||99||82|
|Stephen Strasburg||92||30||Washington Nationals||R||88||65||91||81|
|Luis Severino||91||25||New York Yankees||R||78||69||79||91|
|Gerrit Cole||90||28||Houston Astros||R||90||87||94||93|
|Trevor Bauer||90||28||Cleveland Indians||R||86||68||98||78|
|James Paxton||90||30||New York Yankees||L||84||77||99||82|
|Noah Syndergaard||89||26||New York Mets||R||88||81||76||99|
|Zack Greinke||88||35||Arizona Diamondbacks||R||90||70||87||62|
|Kyle Hendricks||88||29||Chicago Cubs||R||87||76||87||41|
|Carlos Carrasco||88||32||Cleveland Indians||R||87||83||91||76|
|Mike Mikolas||88||30||St. Louis Cardinals||R||90||90||82||79|
|Carlos Martinez||88||27||St. Louis Cardinals||R||86||69||95||81|
|Madison Bumgarner||87||29||San Francisco Giants||L||93||64||89||68|
|Johnny Cueto||87||33||San Francisco Giants||R||91||63||82||58|
|Blake Snell||87||26||Tampa Bay Rays||L||84||65||99||82|
|Charlie Morton||87||35||Tampa Bay Rays||R||82||60||99||88|
|David Price||86||33||Boston Red Sox||L||86||73||94||75|
|Kyle Freeland||86||25||Colorado Rockies||L||88||56||73||65|
|Jon Lester||86||35||Chicago Cubs||L||88||58||79||63|
|Alex Wood||86||28||Cincinnati Reds||L||73||74||70||59|
|Masahiro Tanaka||85||30||New York Yankees||R||87||78||92||67|
|Michael Fulmer||85||26||Detroit Tigers||R||87||68||86||90|
|Yu Darvish||85||32||Chicago Cubs||R||84||71||90||79|
|Chris Archer||85||30||Pittsburgh Pirates||R||85||77||83||86|
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