Top 5 MLB pitching staffs of the 2022 postseason
With the Wild Card Series completed, the MLB 2022 postseason is down to eight teams. The Division Series will determine which teams will advance and have a shot at this year's World Series title.
With the best of the best and the cream of the crop left, let's take a look at the best pitching staff from this year's postseason.
#5 New York Yankees
The New York Yankees posted the second-best ERA of all American League teams during the regular season with 3.30. The bullpen also owns the same distinction with a 2.97 ERA. Manager Aaron Boone has confirmed that Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, and Luis Severino will be the primary starters for this year's postseason.
Michael King, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman will not be a part of the Yankees' postseason roster. However, with the emergence of Clay Holmes and the addition of Scott Effross and Lou Trivino, the Yankees will look to utilize what they have left in the tank to make a deep playoff run.
#4 Cleveland Guardians
Nobody expected the Cleveland Guardians to make the MLB postseason this year. However, the youngest team in the league will have their work cut out for them in their matchup against the formidable Yankees.
Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie, and Cal Quantrill will have their hands full against the Bombers' high-octane offense. Mercurial closer Emmanuel Clase will have a chance on the big stage to prove his case as the best closer in the AL.
With the power of youth on their side, it would be interesting to see how the Guardians pitching staff, who had the best ERA during the second half of the season, maneuver around one of the best ball clubs in the league.
#3 Atlanta Braves
The reigning MLB champions' pitching crew posted the second-best ERA in the National League this season, at 3.46. Their bullpen was also stellar, ending the regular season with a 3.03 ERA.
Rookie sensation Spencer Strider is out with an oblique injury, but his absence won't make a dent in the stacked Braves rotation. The team still has Max Fried, Kyle Wright, and Charlie Morton who could be formidable on the mound to start the game.
The mid-season acquisition of Raisiel Iglesias and the playoff experience of Kenley Jansen will also surely solidify the pitching lineup for the Braves as they face an all-out offensive approach from the Philadelphia Phillies.
#2 Los Angeles Dodgers
Statistically speaking, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the best pitching crew in the MLB. The team tops the regular-season charts in ERA with 2.80, WHIP with 1.05, ERA+ with 150, and are second when it comes to strikeout-to-walk ratios with 3.60.
With Walker Buehler gone due to injury, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, and Tyler Anderson will be the main starters for the postseason.
All-Star Tony Gonsolin also just came back from the shelf. But the biggest concern for the Dodgers is their lack of a permanent closer.
Craig Kimbrel has been wildly inconsistent and it's still undecided whether or not he will be a part of the division series squad. For now, Brusdar Graterol, Evan Phillips, and Alex Vesia will serve as suitable options to close out the games for the Dodgers.
#1 Houston Astros
The best MLB pitching staff this postseason goes to none other than the Houston Astros. Their pitching crew ended the regular season with an MLB-second-best 2.90 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 134 ERA+.
Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, and Jose Urquidy—you read that correctly, they have six prolific starters—who will be at the disposal of manager Dusty Baker.
What ultimately sets them apart from the rest, though, is the proficiency of their bullpen. The Astros' bullpen, led by two-time All-Star closer Ryan Pressly, finished the regular season with the lowest ERA at 2.80 and the fewest hits given up with 378, 28 less than their closest competition.