Justin Verlander Is The American League’s Best Pitcher

June 19, 2011 – 9:58 pm by Ryan Phillips

Yeah, I said it. And I’m sticking by it. Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander went out yesterday and proved, once again, that he is the best pitcher in the American League.

Verlander didn’t have his best stuff and admitted “This start wasn’t that great,” but he still managed to toss his second straight complete game in a 9-1 win over the Rockies at Coors Field. Verlander improved to 9-3 with the win and notched his fourth complete game of the season (matching his total from all of last season).

Despite not having his best stuff, Verlander allowed just four hits, no walks and one earned run, while striking out five. A solo home run by Ty Wigginton was all that stood between Verlander and a shutout.

The sixth-year pro has now won seven straight decisions and last suffered a defeat on April 27.

Here’s where we get all statistical and prove “Big V” is the AL’s best pitcher. He currently leads the American League in innings (120.2), strikeouts (110), WHIP (0.85) and wins (9, tied with Jon Lester and Max Scherzer). His 2.54 ERA places him fourth, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.23 is also fourth-best. Meanwhile, opponents are hitting just .181 against him (second-best) and he also has two shutouts and a no-hitter on his ledger this season.

Last season Verlander finished the year 18-9 with a 3.37 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 219 strikeouts in 224.1 innings. In 2009 he was 19-9 with a 3.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and led the AL with 269 strikeouts and 240 innings pitched.

While Seattle’s Felix Hernandez is a heck of a pitcher and Tampa Bay’s James Shields is having a great year, there is no one in the American League who is as consistently dominant as Verlander. In fact, other than Roy Halladay we can’t think of a pitcher in either league that even compares to what Verlander has done over the past few years.

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  1. 6 Responses to “Justin Verlander Is The American League’s Best Pitcher”

  2. That 0.85 WHIP is almost impossible for me to wrap my head around. It’s crazy enough for a reliever to do that… but a starter? One who throws as many innings as Verlander? I just can’t fathom it.

    Yes, he’s the best in the AL.

    By Ace on Jun 20, 2011

  3. He is , and will continue to be, one of the best pitchers in baseball, whether he is with the Tigers or not.

    By Phil Hilliker on Jun 21, 2011

  4. Tim Lincecum and Adam Wainwright would like to discuss with you about whether they “even compare to what Verlandr has done over the past few years.” And (though my inner giants’ bias shudders when I say this) Clayton kershaw is not far behind.

    By roach on Jul 10, 2011

  5. Where’s Wainwright right now? What about Tim Lincecum this year and during the second half last year?

    Yeah, Verlander hasn’t struggled like that over the past few years.

    By Ryan Phillips on Jul 11, 2011

  6. Verlander is untouchable this year. Incredible year and his curveball was outstanding yesterday. I just wrote an article about his flawless pitching mechanics.

    By Dan Gazaway on Jul 12, 2011

  7. 20-5 says it all. Enough said.

    By Rob Burg on Aug 27, 2011

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