The Baseball season is still young, but as we’re approaching late May, four pitchers remain undefeated through at least seven starts and 40 innings pitched: Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox, Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals, Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs and Josh Tomlin of the Cleveland Indians.
Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
Sale carries on with his astonishing start to the season, going 9-0 through 9 starts. He has played more innings than anyone (68.1 innings), has the best WHIP (0.717) and is on pace to lead baseball again with a 6.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has three complete games, one nine inning shutout and has a 1.58 ERA so far, looking focused on pushing the White Sox through the AL Central, and maybe win the Cy Young award for the first time in his career.
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
In nine starts this season, Strasburg is 7-0 with a 2.80 ERA. He’s walking more batters than usual (4.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio) but through 61 innings is also striking out more than before, currently at 11.1 per nine innings, his best since 2010. His best game was an 8-inning, 10 strikeout performance against the Marlins, allowing only three hits. The Nationals haven’t lost any of his starts, even when he didn’t get a decision.
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs
Coming off winning the Cy Young award in 2015, Arrieta is scorching this season, going 7-0 through eight starts. He has a major league best 1.29 ERA, giving up only . He’s allowing only 4.7 hits per nine innings while posting an ERA+ of 314. He has thrown one no-hitter this season (nine innings, four walks) and hasn’t allowed any runs in three games, playing a total of 56 innings so far.
Josh Tomlin, Cleveland Indians
Tomlin is 6-0 through seven starts, posting a 3.56 ERA, pitching 43 innings. He has a terrific 6.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio, averaging an MLB best 1 walk per nine innings so far. The Indians aren’t overworking him, as he’s gone past 100 pitches in a game only twice this season, only once spending more than seven innings on the mound. His career high is 165.1 pitches in a season, something he should eclipse this season unless he has another injury.
Two other starting pitchers with more than 40 innings of work this season who are still undefeated, both from the Texas Rangers: Colby Lewis and Cole Hamels. Lewis has eight starts but only two decisions (2-0, 3.12 ERA). Hamels is 4-0 through his eight starts with a 3.10 ERA. Hamels is still striking out a lot of players (9.3 per nine innings), but his strikeout-to-walk ratio is just 2.68, on pace to be the worst of his career by far.