By: Josh Clark
It’s September, and you know what that means… It’s about to be playoff baseball time.
With around 30 games remaining in the 2015 season, we decided to compile the top five starting pitchers under the age of 26 that could pitch in the post-season.
5. Noah Syndergaard (23)
The rookie they call Thor has been hard to ignore this season. The Mets young right-hander has an 8-6 record over 20 starts, to go along with a 1.14 whip and 129 k’s over 122 1/3 innings. Syndergaard has been absolutely dominate at times… Firing away his 98 mph fastball and changing it up with what he calls a hammer curve ball. What remains to be seen is how many innings the Mets are willing to let him pitch this season. Terry Collins announced on Wednesday that they will skip Syndergaard’s start this weekend in Miami. If he does get into the playoff rotation, look for him to get the ball at home where he’s been much more comfortable (2.15 era vs a 4.91 road era).
4. Michael Wacha (24)
Wacha has rebounded nicely after he missed much of the 2014 season with a shoulder injury. Although the Cardinals staff features some solid veterans, Wacha has been the ace of this rotation (with apologies to Carlos Martinez). Wacha sports a 2.69 era with 134 strike outs in 157 1/3 innings. He has 15 wins on the season, which is good enough for a three way tie in the National League. (Greinke & Gerrit Cole)
3. Gerrit Cole (24)
As we just mentioned, Cole is in a three way tie for wins in the National league (15). He’s been everything the Pirates thought he would be when they drafted him first overall in the 2011 MLB draft out of UCLA. Cole has a 2.64 era and 168 strike outs. A 1-2-3 punch of Cole, Burnett and Lirano is what the Pirates are banking on for the post-season.
2. Matt Harvey (26)
The Dark Knight has had an incredible comeback this season just like Wacha. Harvey, who returned from Tommy John surgery in April, has been fantastic for the Amazin’ Mets. Harvey is 12-7 with a 2.60 era and a 1.01 whip. You’d have to wonder what it would be like to be in Terry Collins shoes come October. He has two front line starting pitchers in Harvey and Jacob DeGrom to go along with two budding stars making their way up this season in Syndergaard and Steven Matz. Whatever the decision Collins makes, he can’t go wrong with any of them.
1. Madison Bumgarner (26)
Bumgarner has been one of baseball’s best over the past couple seasons. The only problem is will his San Francisco Giants make the post-season. The reigning World Series Champions sit 6 1/2 games behind the L.A. Dodgers in the NL West and are 7 games back of the Chicago Cubs for the second NL Wildcard spot. What a shame it would be to not see Bumgarner tote the rubber after his dominating 2014 post-season where he went 4-1 with a 1.03 era.
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