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The 20 Best Seasons for a Pitcher in History (Best W-L Percentages)

STARTING PITCHERS, MINIMUM 20 DECISIONS

PITCHER W L W-L PCT. ARM SEASON TEAM G GS IP
1. Greg Maddux 19 2 0.9048 R 1995 Atlanta Braves 28 28 209.2
2. Randy Johnson 18 2 0.9000 L 1995 Seattle Mariners 30 30 214.1
3. Ron Guidry 25 3 0.8929 L 1978 New York Yankees 35 35 273.2
4. Lefty Grove 31 4 0.8857 L 1931 Philadelphia Athletics 41 30 288.2
5. Cliff Lee 22 3 0.8800 L 2008 Cleveland Indians 31 31 223.1
5. Preacher Roe 22 3 0.8800 L 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers 34 33 257.2
7. Max Scherzer 21 3 0.8750 R 2013 Detroit Tigers 32 32 214.1
8. Smoky Joe Wood 34 5 0.8718 R 1912 Boston Red Sox 43 38 344.0
9. Roger Clemens 20 3 0.8696 R 2001 New York Yankees 33 33 220.1
9. David Cone 20 3 0.8696 R 1988 New York Mets 35 28 231.1
11. Orel Hershiser 19 3 0.8636 R 1985 Los Angeles Dodgers 36 34 239.2
12. Bill Donovan 25 4 0.8621 R 1907 Detroit Tigers 32 28 271.0
12. Whitey Ford 25 4 0.8621 L 1961 New York Yankees 39 39 283.0
14. Roger Clemens 24 4 0.8571 R 1986 Boston Red Sox 33 33 254.0
14. Dwight Gooden 24 4 0.8571 R 1985 New York Mets 35 35 276.2
14. Daisuke Matsuzaka 18 3 0.8571 R 2008 Boston Red Sox 29 29 167.2
17. Pedro Martinez 23 4 0.8519 R 1999 Boston Red Sox 31 29 213.1
18. Chief Bender 17 3 0.8500 R 1914 Philadelphia Athletics 28 23 179.0
18. John Smoltz 17 3 0.8500 R 1998 Atlanta Braves 26 26 167.2
20. Lefty Grove 28 5 0.8485 L 1930 Philadelphia Athletics 50 32 291.0

ALL-TIME

PITCHER W L W-L PCT. ARM SEASON TEAM G GS IP
1. Roy Face 18 1 0.9474 R 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates 57 0 93.1
2. Johnny Allen 15 1 0.9375 R 1937 Cleveland Indians 24 20 173.0
3. Chris Sale* 10 1 0.9091 L 2014 Chicago White Sox 16 16 110.0
4. Greg Maddux 19 2 0.9048 R 1995 Atlanta Braves 28 28 209.2
5. Randy Johnson 18 2 0.9000 L 1995 Seattle Mariners 30 30 214.1
6. Ron Guidry 25 3 0.8929 L 1978 New York Yankees 35 35 273.2
7. Freddie Fitzsimmons 16 2 0.8889 R 1940 Brooklyn Dodgers 20 18 134.1
8. Lefty Grove 31 4 0.8857 L 1931 Philadelphia Athletics 41 30 288.2
9. Bob Stanley 15 2 0.8824 R 1978 Boston Red Sox 52 3 141.2
10. Cliff Lee 22 3 0.8800 L 2008 Cleveland Indians 31 31 223.1
10. Preacher Roe 22 3 0.8800 L 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers 34 33 257.2
12. Ron Davis 14 2 0.8750 R 1979 New York Yankees 44 0 85.1
12. Deacon Phillippe 14 2 0.8750 R 1910 Pittsburgh Pirates 31 8 121.2
12. Max Scherzer 21 3 0.8750 R 2013 Detroit Tigers 32 32 214.1
12. Tom Seaver 14 2 0.8750 R 1981 Cincinnati Reds 23 23 166.1
16. Smoky Joe Wood 34 5 0.8718 R 1912 Boston Red Sox 43 38 344.0
17. Roger Clemens 20 3 0.8696 R 2001 New York Yankees 33 33 220.1
17. David Cone 20 3 0.8696 R 1988 New York Mets 35 28 231.1
19. Orel Hershiser 19 3 0.8636 R 1985 Los Angeles Dodgers 36 34 239.2
20. Bill Donovan 25 4 0.8621 R 1907 Detroit Tigers 32 28 271.0
20. Whitey Ford 25 4 0.8621 L 1961 New York Yankees 39 39 283.0

Photo:

The 20 Best Pitchers in Baseball History (Highest Career W-L Percentages)

Whitey Ford Has The Best W-L Percentage Of Any Pitcher With At Least 300 Decisions, 6.9 Wins Out Of Every 10

Whitey Ford Has The Best W-L Percentage Of Any Pitcher With At Least 300 Decisions, 6.9 Wins Out Of Every 10

So many ways to grade the best pitchers of all time.

And here’s another – when it comes down to it, it’s about wins, right? But more than that – it’s about not many losses, either.

These guys – and let’s go for the cream of the crop with a minimum of 300 decisions – have the best career W-L percentages of all time.

Whitey Ford rules the roost with an unbelievable .690 winning percentage – and he did it all with one team – but he’s followed closely by Pedro Martinez (.687). Check out Martinez’ outrageous 117-37 (.760) record during his years with the Boston Red Sox.

Just about every pitcher on this list is a Hall of Famer, will be or would’ve been (Roger Clemens).

But there are a couple of surprises. We all knew Dwight Gooden was preposterously dominant in his early years – but look at this, Doc actually finished up, despite all those ups and downs, with the 15th best record of any pitcher (again, minimum 300 decisions). It’s doubtful he’ll make the Hall, though.

What about 10th best, and active, Tim Hudson? Drumbeats from ESPN and NBC Sports say maaaybe, or at least ask the question.

Carl Mays is oh so close.

Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte are really on the bubble, but so far it doesn’t look good.

And I think CC Sabathia gets in.

Just look at these amazing lifetime records below.

I had to include Bob Feller at No. 21. It was just too close (.0001).

  PITCHER W-L PCT. W L ARM SEASONS TEAM(S)  
1. Whitey Ford .690 236 106 L 1950, 1953-1967 New York Yankees 236-106
                 
2. Pedro Martinez .687 219 100 R 1992, 1993 Los Angeles Dodgers 10-6
            1994-1997 Montreal Expos 55-33
            1998-2004 Boston Red Sox 117-37
            2005-2008 New York Mets 32-23
            2009 Philadelphia Phillies 5-1
                 
3. Lefty Grove .680 300 141 L 1925-1933 Philadelphia Athletics 195-79
            1934-1941 Boston Red Sox 105-62
                 
4. Christy Mathewson .668 373 185* R 1901-1916 New York Giants 372-185
            1916 Cincinnati Reds 1-0
                 
5. Roy Halladay .659 203 105 R 1998-2009 Toronto Blue Jays 148-76
            2010-2013 Philadelphia Phillies 55-29
                 
6. Roger Clemens .658 354 184 R 1984-1996 Boston Red Sox 192-111
            1997, 1998 Toronto Blue Jays 41-13
            1999-2003, 2007 New York Yankees 83-42
            2004-2006 Houston Astros 38-18
                 
7. Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown .652 208^ 111^ R 1903 St. Louis Cardinals 9-13
            1904-1912, 1916 Chicago Cubs 188-86
            1913 Cincinnati Reds 11-12
                 
7. Chief Bender .652 208# 111# R 1903-1914 Philadelphia Athletics 193-102
            1916, 1917 Philadelphia Phillies 15-9
            1925 Chicago White Sox 0-0
                 
9. Randy Johnson .646 303 166 L 1988-1989 Montreal Expos 3-4
            1989-1998 Seattle Mariners 130-74
            1998 Houston Astros 10-1
            1999-2004, 2007, 2008 Arizona Diamondbacks 118-62
            2005, 2006 New York Yankees 34-19
            2009 San Francisco Giants 8-6
                 
10. Tim Hudson** .644 213 118 R 1999-2004 Oakland A’s 92-39
            2005-2013 Atlanta Braves 113-72
            2014 San Francisco Giants 8-7
                 
11. Pete “Grover Cleveland” Alexander .642 373 208 R 1911-1917, 1930 Philadelphia Phillies 190-91
            1918-1926 Chicago Cubs 128-83
            1926-1929 St. Louis Cardinals 55-34
                 
12. Mike Mussina .638 (.6383) 270 153 R 1991-2000 Baltimore Orioles 147-81
            2001-2008 New York Yankees 123-72
                 
13. Jim Palmer .638 (.6381) 268 152 R 1965-1967, 1969-1984 Baltimore Orioles 268-152
                 
14. CC Sabathia** .636 208 119 L 2001-2008 Cleveland Indians 106-71
            2008 Milwaukee Brewers 11-2
            2009-2014 New York Yankees 91-46
                 
15. Dwight Gooden .634 194 112 R 1984-1994 New York Mets 157-85
            1996, 1997, 2000 New York Yankees 24-14
            1998, 1999 Cleveland Indians 11-10
            2000 Houston Astros 0-0
            2000 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2-3
                 
16. Juan Marichal .631 243 142 R 1960-1973 San Francisco Giants 238-140
            1974 Boston Red Sox 5-1
            1975 Los Angeles Dodgers 0-1
                 
17. Andy Pettitte .626 256 153 L 1995-2003, 2007-2010, 2012, 2013 New York Yankees 219-127
            2004-2006 Houston Astros 37-26
                 
18. Eddie Plank .625 305+ 183+ L 1901-1914 Philadelphia Athletics 284-162
            1916, 1917 St. Louis Browns 21-21
                 
19. Carl Hubbell .622 (.6216) 253 154 L 1928-1943 New York Giants 253-154
                 
19. Carl Mays .622 (.6216) 207 126 R 1915-1919 Boston Red Sox 72-51
            1919-1923 New York Yankees 80-39
            1924-1928 Cincinnati Reds 49-34
            1929 New York Giants 6-2
                 
21. Bob Feller .622 (.6215) 266 162 R 1936-1941, 1945-1956 Cleveland Indians 266-162

* Christy Mathewson was 0-3 for the New York Giants in 1900, not included. Rankings are from 1901-present, the NL-AL unified era.

^ Mordecai Brown was 31-19 for the St. Louis Terriers, Brooklyn Tip-Tops and Chicago Whales of the Federal League in 1914 and 1915. Not included here.

# Chief Bender was 4-16 for the Baltimore Terrapins of the Federal League in 1915. Not included here.

+ Eddie Plank was 21-11 for the St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League in 1915. Not included here.

** Active in 2014

Photo: espn.com

The Best Switch Hitters in Baseball History, Part 2 of 2: Tops in Doubles, Triples, Total Bases, OBP, OPS and Slugging

The Mick, Charlie Hustle, Chipper And Steady Eddie, In Their Early Days

The Mick, Charlie Hustle, Chipper And Steady Eddie, In Their Early Days

Let’s wrap up our look at the best switch hitters in baseball history. Yesterday, we looked at the all-time switch-hitting leaders in those all important primary statistical categories – hits, home runs, batting average, RBI and runs scored.

Based on those numbers, it’s pretty clear the kings of switch hitting are Pete Rose, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray and Chipper Jones.

More evidence here.

Pete Rose, not only the overall all-time hits leader, ranks first among switchies again in doubles (he’s second all-time behind Tris Speaker) and total bases. He’s also the only of the top four to make the triples rankings.

Mickey Mantle proves beyond any doubt he’s the greatest slugging switch hitter ever, adding leaderships in on-base percentage (he’s eighth all time in walks), OPS and slugging average to one in home runs.

Murray and Jones feature again, this time with a tilt in Jones’ favor.

DOUBLES

1. Pete Rose 746
2. Eddie Murray 560
3. Chipper Jones 549
4. Roberto Alomar 504
5. Ted Simmons 483
6. Jimmy Rollins 472
7. Frankie Frisch 466
8. Carlos Beltran 463
9. Omar Vizquel 456
10. Bernie Williams 449

*

TRIPLES

1. Max Carey 159
2. Willie Wilson 147
3. Frankie Frisch 138
4. Pete Rose 135
5. Jose Reyes 114
6. Tim Raines 113
7. Lu Blue 109
7. Jimmy Rollins 109
9. Garry Templeton 106
10. Larry Bowa 99

*

TOTAL BASES

1. Pete Rose 5,752
2. Eddie Murray 5,397
3. Chipper Jones 4,755
4. Mickey Mantle 4,511
5. Roberto Alomar 4,018
6. Carlos Beltran 4,005
7. Frankie Frisch 3,937
8. Chili Davis 3,914
9. Ted Simmons 3,793
10. Tim Raines 3,771

*

ON-BASE PERCENTAGE (OPS)

1. Mickey Mantle .421
2. Roy Cullenbine .408
3. Lance Berkman .406
4. Lu Blue .402
5. Chipper Jones .401
6. Wally Schang .393
7. Augie Galan .390
8. Ken Singleton .388
9. Tim Raines .385
10. Miller Huggins .382

*

ON-BASE PLUS SLUGGING (OPS)

1. Mickey Mantle .977
2. Lance Berkman .943
3. Chipper Jones .930
4. Mark Teixeira .888
5. Bernie Williams .858
6. Reggie Smith .855
7. Carlos Beltran .849
8. Jorge Posada .848
9. Victor Martinez .841
10. Roy Cullenbine .840
10. Eddie Murray .836

*

SLUGGING AVERAGE

1. Mickey Mantle .557
2. Lance Berkman .537
3. Chipper Jones .529
4. Mark Teixeira .522
5. Carlos Beltran .493
6. Reggie Smith .489
7. Tony Clark .485
8. Bernie Williams .477
9. Eddie Murray .476
10. Dmitri Young .4745

Photos: sports.yahoo.com / cleveland.com / Jonathan Newton (AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution) via mlgu.wordpress.com / thefullcount1544.blogspot.com

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