The newest starting pitcher power rankings

September 4th, 2020

After taking over the top spot in the starting pitcher power rankings, Shane Bieber doesn't want to let it go. The Indians ace is the unanimous No. 1 pitcher in Week 3 of the rankings.

Just like Week 1 and Week 2, these power rankings are based on the selections of a panel of experts, who were asked to rank their top 10 starting pitchers across the Major Leagues right now. This is about ranking the best starters who have been on top of their game to start the 2020 season, not necessarily the ones with the strongest long-term body of work.

Pitchers received 10 points for each first-place vote, nine for each second-place vote and so on. The power rankings were determined by total score.

Here are the top 10 starters in this week's power rankings. Who's your No. 1?

1) Shane Bieber, Indians (Previous rank: 1)
Bieber could win a pitching Triple Crown in 2020. He's leading the Majors in ERA (1.20) and strikeouts (84), is tied for the lead in wins (6-0) and second in innings pitched (52 2/3). The Indians ace was just named the American League Pitcher of the Month for August, he has five games with double-digit strikeouts this year and he just set an MLB record for a starting pitcher by collecting 82 strikeouts through his first 50 innings of the season. Every time Bieber goes out there, he deals.

2) Jacob deGrom, Mets (Previous rank: 2)
Since the last edition of the power rankings, deGrom tied his career high with a 14-strikeout game against the Marlins. Even with a slight hiccup in his last start -- also against Miami, a game in which he still managed to become the first starter since pitch tracking began in 2008 to rack up 30 swings-and-misses through six innings of a game -- deGrom has a 1.76 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 41 innings this season. As he looks for an NL Cy Young Award three-peat, deGrom is at the forefront of the conversation once again. But the Mets ace is facing some tough challengers.

3) Yu Darvish, Cubs (Previous rank: 5)
While Bieber was the AL Pitcher of the Month for August, Darvish was the NL Pitcher of the Month. He's leading the NL with a 1.47 ERA, even better than deGrom, and he's 6-1 with 52 strikeouts, making him a Triple Crown contender in the NL. Darvish led all qualified starters with a 1.09 ERA in August, and he's emerged as a true ace for the NL Central-leading Cubs.

4) Max Fried, Braves (Previous rank: NR)
The 26-year-old Fried is having the breakout season the Braves were hoping for, leading a staff that lost Mike Soroka to injury to first place in the NL East. Fried ranks second in the NL ERA race at 1.60, right between Darvish and deGrom, and his record is a perfect 6-0. The young lefty hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of his eight starts, and maybe most impressively, he hasn't allowed a single home run all year.

5) Aaron Nola, Phillies (Previous rank: 8)
Nola was an NL Cy Young Award finalist two years ago, but after dropping out of the mix in 2019, he's back in the award conversation again in 2020. The Phillies ace, with his signature swooping knuckle-curve, has 57 strikeouts in 44 innings and a 2.45 ERA. Nola also just pitched arguably his best game of the season -- eight shutout innings with nine strikeouts against the Nationals in a win that pushed the second-place Phillies back above .500.

6) Trevor Bauer, Reds (Previous rank: 7)
Though he's lost a couple of games since the last edition of these rankings, Bauer's 2.13 ERA still has him in line for the best mark of his career (he finished at 2.21 in 2018), and it's lower than half of his ERA from last season (4.48). On a high-strikeout Reds staff, Bauer has racked up 54 K's in 38 innings, and he's also pitched a pair of (seven-inning) shutouts.

7) Lance Lynn, Rangers (Previous rank: 4)
The voting for these rankings took place before Thursday, so Lynn was slotted here despite allowing six runs against the Astros. His ERA went up to 2.67 after that start, sliding him to sixth in the AL ERA race. The big right-hander recorded quality starts in five of his six games in August, including three straight to close the month against strong opponents in the Padres, A's and Dodgers. Building on his 246-strikeout 2019 season, Lynn now has 63 K's in 57 1/3 innings this year.

8) Lucas Giolito, White Sox (Previous rank: NR)
You throw a no-hitter, you get into the starting pitcher power rankings. Giolito was absolutely dominant in firing the 2020 season's first no-no against the Pirates in Chicago, striking out 13, getting 30 swinging strikes and needing just 101 pitches to get the whole thing done. Giolito's no-hitter was actually the second straight 13-strikeout start for the White Sox right-hander, who now has 66 K's in 48 2/3 innings this season with a 3.14 ERA.

9) Zac Gallen, D-backs (Previous rank: NR)
Gallen might be flying under the radar compared to some of the bigger names in the NL, but make no mistake: the D-backs righty has been lights-out this season. Gallen is the other remaining qualified starter with a sub-2 ERA, along with Bieber, Darvish, Fried and deGrom -- he's at 1.80 after pitching seven shutout innings of one-hit ball against the powerhouse Dodgers in his first start of September. The 25-year-old also leads the NL in innings pitched (50) and hasn't allowed more than one run in his last four starts.

10) Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (Previous rank: NR)
Kershaw is back. The veteran southpaw is leading the first-place Dodgers' pitching staff with a 1.50 ERA since his season debut on Aug. 2. Kershaw has allowed no more than one run in five of his six starts, including an 11-strikeout game against the Mariners. He also became the third-youngest pitcher to reach 2,500 strikeouts in a victory over the D-backs on Thursday.

Other pitchers receiving votes
Sonny Gray, Reds
Hyun Jin Ryu, Blue Jays
Kenta Maeda, Twins
Tyler Glasnow, Rays
Gerrit Cole, Yankees
Max Scherzer, Nationals
Sixto Sánchez, Marlins