Many say that the hardest thing to do in sports is hit a baseball. Of course, the baseball is thrown by a pitcher, so it’s not just that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to in sports, but hitting a ball pitched by a Major League Baseball pitcher is the hardest thing to do in sports.
Below, you will find the best pitching teams in MLB The Show 22 to shut down your foe’s offense. Importantly, these rankings are from the April 20 live MLB rosters. As with any live roster, the ranking is subject to change throughout the season based on performance, injuries, and roster moves.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Division: National League West
Notable Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw (93 OVR), Walker Buehler (92 OVR), Julio Urias (90 OVR)
The Dodgers will be a familiar face in these rankings articles as they’re top five in all of the team categories. After ranking first in hitting, the Dodgers also rank first in pitching. Not only can they shut you down on the mound, but they can score runs aplenty with the stacked lineup.
Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw still helms the rotation, favoring the slider over his four seamer while still including that wicked curveball and sharp changeup. Future ace of the rotation Walker Buehler brings the heat with a fastball in the 95 mph range and a five-pitch repertoire. Julio Urias, a breakout from the 2021 playoffs, looks to be the 1A to Buehler once Kershaw retires. The trio gives the Dodgers a nice lefty-righty-lefty top three in the rotation. Blake Treinen (84 OVR) and Craig Kimbrel (80 OVR) lead the bullpen after the departure of their longtime closer.
2. Milwaukee Brewers
Division: National League Central
Notable Pitchers: Corbin Burnes (94 OVR), Brandon Woodruff (92 OVR), Freddy Peralta (89 OVR)
A team that rode another trio of starters to the playoffs in 2021, those same three Milwaukee starters all were legitimate Cy Young candidates throughout much of 2021, with Corbin Burnes ultimately winning the award. Unlike the Dodgers, the trio of Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta are all righties. They’re aided in the bullpen by Devin Williams (87 OVR), who had a breakout 2021 season, and longtime (four years, but it feels longer!) lefty reliever Josh Hader (85 OVR). Hader’s release point and velocity make him a tough pitcher to hit, while Williams has one of the most effective changeups (circle change) in all of baseball.
3. Houston Astros
Division: American League West
Notable Pitchers: Ryan Pressley (89 OVR), Justin Verlander (88 OVR), Lance McCullers, Jr. (86 OVR)
The 2021 American League champion did lose Zack Greinke in free agency, but still retain strong pitching that can get better if players like Framber Valdez (83 OVR), Luis Garcia (82 OVR) and José Urquidy (80 OVR) can tap into their potential. Led by future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander, the Astros also trot out Lance McCullers, Jr., who possesses five pitches that all have movement. Ryan Pressley is one of the best closers in the game and throws an extremely effective slider, a great strikeout pitch. Phil Maton (81 OVR) and Pedro Báez (78) round out the middle relief.
Division: National League East
Notable Pitchers: Charlie Morton (87 OVR), Max Fried (86 OVR), Kirby Yates (86 OVR)
Atlanta hopes to continue the momentum of winning the 2021 World Series rather than suffer from the dreaded championship hangover, and they at least have good pitching to (at worst) tread water until the return of their superstar, Ronald Acuña, Jr., from his torn ACL.
Led by Charlie Morton, who revitalized his career in Houston by favoring his curveball after some bad years in Pittsburgh and a forgettable season with Philadelphia, Atlanta also has Max Fried and Ian Anderson (81 OVR) in the rotation. Huascar Ynoa (78 OVR) is still young, though he seems to have found something in the early parts of 2022. While Mike Soroka is unlikely to play this year after re-tearing his Achilles, you can add him to the team in The Show, adding an 83 OVR player to the rotation. Kirby Yates is the best reliver or closer on the team, followed by Collin McHugh (84 OVR) and new addition in former Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen (83 OVR), whose cutter remains an effective pitch.
5. New York Yankees
Division: American League East
Notable Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (92 OVR), Chad Green (82 OVR), Aroldis Chapman (82 OVR)
While the “Bronx Bombers” are known more now for the towering home runs of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton (and others), their pitching is also stout. Led by ace Gerrit Cole, the Yankees don’t have as much top end talent as others on this list, but carry a solid group of pitchers. Cole is joined in the rotation by Luis Severino (81 OVR), Jameson Taillon (81 OVR), and lefty Jordan Montgomery (80 OVR). Chad Green helms the middle relief which also includes lefty Lucas Luetge (80 OVR) and Jonathan Loaisiga (78 OVR). While Aroldis Chapman isn’t at his peak, he still pumps fastballs at or over 100 mph with a good slider and splitter. He’s also one of the few lefty closers in baseball.
6. Toronto Blue Jays
Division: A.L. East
Notable Pitchers: Kevin Gausman (89 OVR), Alek Manoah (87 OVR), José Berrios (85 OVR)
A team that just missed the playoffs in 2021 thanks in part to being in the same division as the Yankees and the Red Sox, Toronto is a young and exciting team whose pitching strength lies in its rotation.
Newly signed Kevin Gausman is the ace of the rotation, coming off of a career year in San Francisco. Alek Manoah, who many experts have pegged as a future ace, slots in behind him with former Twin José Berrios as well. Hyun-Jin Ryu (84 OVR) and former Mariner Yusei Kikuchi (76 OVR) bring some much needed lefty balance to the rotation, potentially allowing for a R-L-R-L-R starting five. The bullpen isn’t as strong, but suffices with closer Jordan Romano (78 OVR) and reliever Tim Mayza (77 OVR) as anchors.
7. Philadelphia Phillies
Division: N.L. East
Notable Pitchers: Zack Wheeler (92 OVR), Aaron Nola (88 OVR), Ranger Suárez (87 OVR)
A team with one of the best offenses in baseball, Philadelphia also trots out a top ten pitching staff thanks in large part to their rotation. Former Met Zack Wheeler, Cy Young candidate, helms the rotation with incredible velocity. Aaron Nola is the number two and could take over as the ace should Wheeler falter or become injured. Ranger Suárez adds a lefty to the mix with extremely effective downward pitches in the sinker and changeup. Kyle Gibson (80 OVR) and Zach Eflin (77 OVR) round out the rotation. Closer Cory Knebel (80 OVR) anchors a bullpen that also has lefty Brad Hand (77 OVR) and Seranthony Dominguez (74 OVR).
8. New York Mets
Division: N.L. East
Notable Pitchers: Max Scherzer (97 OVR), Chris Bassitt (83 OVR) Edwin Díaz (82 OVR)
The New York Mets rank eighth only because of one reason: the injury and subsequent setback for Jacob deGrom (99 OVR). In The Show, you’re able to move deGrom from AAA to the Major Leagues, which would probably place the Mets at the top of the list.
While deGrom is out, Max Scherzer assumes the role of the ace and even at 37-years-old, he is still one of the best pitchers in the game and carries an A grade in Potential in The Show 22! Another new signee, Chris Bassitt, helps form arguably the best starting pitching trio in baseball – when healthy. Like with deGrom, adding an injured Taijuan Walker (80 OVR) to the rotation will bump up the ranking. Edwin Díaz (82 OVR), as adventurous as his outings may be, is a solid closer and is joined by Seth Lugo (79 OVR), Trevor May (79 OVR), and Adam Ottavino (77 OVR) in the bullpen. However, one negative is the Mets lean significantly toward righty pitchers, so keep that in mind.
9. San Diego Padres
Division: N.L. West
Notable Pitchers: Taylor Rogers (86 OVR), Yu Darvish (85 OVR), Joe Musgrove (84 OVR)
A team that has invested heavily into the starting rotation – including a trade just before the 2022 season started for now former Oakland pitcher Sean Manea (83 OVR) – San Diego hopes to rebound from what many consider the most disappointing performance of 2021 with a run to the playoffs, even if their star, Fernando Tatis, Jr., remains hurt.
Yu Darvish currently helms the rotation that also includes Joe Musgrove, former Cy Young winner Blake Snell (84 OVR), and the aforementioned Manea. Mike Clevinger (85 OVR) is injured, but adding him to the rotation will help the ranking as well. Taylor Rogers, acquired from the Minnesota Twins, is a fantastic closer and a lefty. Austin Adams (79 OVR), Craig Stammen (78 OVR), Dinelson Lamet (77 OVR), and lefty Tim Hill (72 OVR) round out the bullpen, but adding the injured lefty Drew Pomeranz (80 OVR) will provide a much needed boon.
10. Los Angeles Angels
Division: American League West
Notable Pitchers: Shohei Ohtani (95 OVR), Raisel Iglesias (85 OVR), Noah Syndergaard (84 OVR)
The Los Angeles Angels round out the top ten thanks to the presence of two-way phenom, unanimous 2021 American League Most Valuable Player, and cover athlete for MLB The Show 22 Shohei Ohtani, fresh off of a 12-strikeout performance against Houston on April 20. Ohtani, who is also a fearsome hitter, carries a five-pitch repertoire including that fantastic splitter. Raisel Iglesias, newly re-signed, is a stout closer with a great slider because of his delivery. Noah Syndergaard joined on a one-year deal and if he can stay healthy, will provide nice support to Ohtani. Michael Lorenzen (76 OVR) and Patrick Sandoval (76 OVR) round out the rotation while former Cub Ryan Tepera (82 OVR) and lefty Aaron Loup (81) round out the bullpen.
Now you know which teams have the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. Which team, and which pitcher, will you choose to display your (virtual) Cy Young talents?