The 2023 MLB All-Star Game is scheduled for Tuesday, July 11 at 8 p.m. ET. This year’s All-Star Game is being held at T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have had the honor of hosting the mid-summer classic three times, with their previous games played in Seattle in 1979 (Kingdome) and 2001 (Safeco Field).
Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is an important metric that showcases a pitcher's true skill level, as it only accounts for elements within their control such as home runs, walks, and strikeouts. We have compiled a list of the top 10 starting pitchers with the lowest FIP since 2018's All-Star break up until 2022. These pitchers have consistently dominated opposing lineups during the second half of MLB seasons.
1. Jacob deGrom (Texas Rangers) - FIP: 1.96
After the 2018 All-Star break, Jacob deGrom continued his reign as one of the best pitchers in baseball. From 2018 to 2022, deGrom maintained an impressive FIP of 1.96 in the second half of MLB seasons. The 35-year-old right-hander will miss the remainder of the 2023 season and at least the first few months of the 2024 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He has already come back from the procedure stronger and better than ever once, and if there's anyone who can do it again it's certainly Jacob deGrom. He finished his first season with the Rangers posting a 2.67 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and a 45/4 K/BB ratio over 30 1/3 innings in six starts.
2. Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals/Los Angeles Dodgers/NY Mets) - FIP: 2.20
Max Scherzer, one of the most dominant pitchers in Major League Baseball, has shown impressive consistency in maintaining a low Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) throughout his illustrious career. Scherzer's steady FIP has been a testament to his skills on the mound, which have earned him numerous accolades including three Cy Young Awards. In recent years, Scherzer has continued to impress with his remarkable performance on the field. Since the All-Star break in 2018 through 2022, he has held an outstanding FIP of 2.20, indicating that he continues to be one of the top pitchers in the league. It is worth noting that Scherzer's success can be attributed to many factors such as his exceptional fastball velocity and ability to strike out batters consistently. Additionally, his dedication to constantly improving his mechanics and approach to pitching have helped him maintain a consistent level of excellence over time.
3. Gerrit Cole (Houston Astros/New York Yankees) - FIP: 2.34
Gerrit Cole reached new heights in his career after joining the Houston Astros in late 2017. During his tenure with the Astros and later with the New York Yankees, Cole has proven himself to be one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, posting an outstanding FIP (fielding independent pitching) of 2.34 post-All-Star break from 2018 to 2022. Cole has demonstrated remarkable pitching skills that are both efficient and effective, even when contending with external factors like defensive errors or the conditions of the ballpark. His impressive statistics speak volumes about his abilities on the mound. Given his exceptional performance on the mound during his first seven big-league seasons, many teams were interested in the former Pirates ace.
4. Justin Verlander (Houston Astros/New York Mets) - FIP: 2.47
The timeless talent of Justin Verlander has been a remarkable sight to behold in the world of baseball. Despite his increasing age, the former MVP and Cy Young award winner remained effective as an elite pitcher from 2018 until his unfortunate injury in 2020. Throughout these years, Verlander was able to maintain his exceptional performance on the mound, displaying impressive consistency both on and off the field. His remarkable Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) of 2.47 is an outstanding achievement for any pitcher at any stage of their career. After starting only one game in 2020 and missing the entire 2021 campaign, Verlander bounced back in 2022 with an impressive record of 18-4 and a 2.49 FIP.
5. Walker Buehler (Los Angeles Dodgers) - FIP: 2.59
Walker Buehler has solidified his place as one of MLB's premier young pitchers from All-Star break in 2018 through the present day. Over this span, Buehler has maintained an impressive FIP of 2.59. There is encouraging news for the blue crew. Walker threw a bullpen session. It was Buehler's first bullpen session since undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. The hard-throwing 28-year-old ace is targeting a September return to the Dodgers' bullpen and might be able to hit that goal, barring any setbacks. It can be assumed that he will be on a strict pitch count. Walker Buehler is expected to return to the starting rotation in 2024.
6. Shane Bieber (Cleveland Guardians) - FIP: 2.62
Shane Bieber burst onto the scene around the All-Star break in 2018 and has been nothing short of sensational ever since. With his impressive performance on the mound, he secured a place among the elite pitchers in baseball. Through 2022, Bieber held an admirable FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) of 2.62, which is significantly lower than league average and underscores his ability to control the game's pace and keep opposing hitters off balance. His remarkable consistency is one of the main reasons why he's regarded as one of the best young talents in baseball today. Despite having a fastball average of 91.3 MPH, his four-pitch mix of two-seam fastball, slider, cutter, and curveball all grade out above average. His pitches have a lot of movement and his ground-ball rate is high.
7. Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies) - FIP: 2.74
Aaron Nola, the talented pitcher from the Philadelphia Phillies, has been putting up some impressive numbers in nine big-league seasons. His FIP stands at an impressive 2.74, which is a testament to his skills on the mound. A lower FIP signifies better performance on the part of the pitcher, and Aaron Nola's FIP certainly speaks volumes about his abilities as a top-notch pitcher in Major League Baseball. He has struggled a bit adjusting to the new pitch clock. Nola has shown signs of improvement despite initial difficulties and is poised for a better second half.
8. Zack Greinke (Arizona/Houston/Kansas City Royals) - FIP: 2.82
Zack Greinke is one of the most polished and consistent pitchers in baseball. His cerebral approach and precise command make him a true artist on the mound. Despite not having the overpowering stuff of some other pitchers, he has managed to carve out a long and successful career due to his tremendous control and competitive nature. Greinke's approach to pitching is extremely calculated and precise. He has an incredible ability to hit his spots consistently and work the corners of the strike zone. Greinke's impeccable control is often cited as one of his greatest strengths. His approach on the mound is cerebral and he seems to always be one step ahead of the hitters. It's no surprise that he made it to this prestigious list with a solid 2.82 FIP.
9. Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals) - FIP: 2.90
The 34-year-old right-hander, who remains under contract with the Nationals through 2026, has been dealing with nerve-related issues during his recovery from last year's surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome and hasn't come close to starting a throwing program this year. It's possible that his career is over. I wish him all the best!
10. Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers) - FIP: 2.94
Clayton Kershaw consistently produces dominant performances throughout his career and remained a force to be reckoned with post-All-Star break from 2018 to 2022, securing a FIP of 2.94 over that stretch. I was a little surprised to see that Clayton is not ranked higher on this list. His ability to maintain an impressive FIP score for such a prolonged period has earned him recognition among fellow players and fans alike. It is evident that his dedication to improving his game, both physically and mentally, has paid off in the form of outstanding statistical achievements. Due to his consistent and impressive pitching performances, Kershaw has proven to be an invaluable addition to the LA Dodgers. It is no surprise that he is slated to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot, an honor typically reserved for only the most exceptional players, just five years after retiring from the sport.