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Appointment Television: Baseball’s Must Watch Starting Pitchers

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth


The following post is something I’ve been toying with in one form or another for a long time and finally got around to crystallizing this afternoon. I’ve often made reference to pitchers being “Appointment Television” in various Morning Edition and other posts and I thought I’d take that a little further and outline exactly who I’m talking about.

The methodology is simple but also subjective. To be classified as Appointment TV you have to have a high likelihood of pitching a gem. There is no set definition of gem or likelihood, but the idea is that to make this list, you have to be likely enough to throw a game worth clearing your schedule for. I think a number of pitchers qualify. Most are high strikeout guys, but that isn’t a requirement. If you are good enough to dominate on a semi-regular basis you’re in. If on your day to pitch, I make sure I’m aware of the start time so that I can check in, you’re Appointment TV.

This is a rolling list and pitchers will be added and subtracted throughout the season and it will be updated as necessary. There is no order other than that pitchers lower on the list in italics are recent additions, so if you’re wondering if Jordan Zimmermann really qualifies, know that he’s earned his way onto the list in his last few starts. Remember, this is a list of pitchers who on this date are can’t miss TV. These are not necessarily the best pitchers and plenty of good pitchers aren’t on the list.

Appointment Television Starting Pitchers:

  1. Justin Verlander
  2. Adam Wainwright
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Felix Hernandez
  5. Yu Darvish
  6. Stephen Strasburg
  7. Matt Harvey
  8. Cliff Lee
  9. Matt Moore
  10. Clay Buchholz
  11. Max Scherzer
  12. Jordan Zimmermann
  13. Anibal Sanchez
  14. Jon Lester

Feel free to make a case for other starting pitchers who are must watch guys and we’ll consider adding them to the list.



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