Batting Around: Is Gerrit Cole the best pitcher in baseball? Depends on how you measure it

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Gerrit Cole has been nothing short of dominant in recent years, establishing himself as one of the most consistent and reliable pitchers in all of baseball. But is he the best pitcher in the game right now? That depends on how you measure it.

By most conventional measures, Cole stands out as one of the top performers in the league. Over the past three seasons, he has posted a 2.68 ERA and a jaw-dropping 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He has also been a workhorse for the Houston Astros, logging over 200 innings pitched in each of the past two seasons.

What’s more, Cole has shown that he can perform in high-pressure situations. In last year’s playoffs, he helped the Astros make a deep run by going 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 41.2 innings. He was absolutely dominant in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, striking out 25 batters over two starts and outdueling Yankees ace Luis Severino in the process.

But if you look at other metrics, Cole might not stand alone as the best pitcher in the game. For example, Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals has been a consistently elite performer for years, racking up three Cy Young Awards and boasting a career ERA of 3.20. Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets has been untouchable in recent years, posting a 2.05 ERA over the past two seasons and winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards.

Then there’s Clayton Kershaw, who might not be the dominant force he once was but still remains one of the most talented pitchers in baseball. He has won three Cy Young Awards of his own and has a career ERA of 2.44. And let’s not forget about Justin Verlander, Cole’s teammate in Houston, who has a 3.33 career ERA and has been an elite performer for years.

So, is Gerrit Cole the best pitcher in baseball right now? It’s certainly arguable. By some measures, he absolutely stands out as the cream of the crop. But there are other pitchers who have been equally dominant and consistent over the years, and it’s hard to say that any one of them definitively stands above the rest.

Ultimately, the question of who is the best pitcher in baseball right now might not have a clear-cut answer. Each of these pitchers brings his own unique strengths and talents to the mound, and it’s up to fans and analysts to decide which factors matter most when evaluating their performance. One thing is for sure, though: any team would be lucky to have Gerrit Cole, regardless of whether or not he is the best pitcher in baseball.

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