Baseball is a game defined by peaks and valleys, with the goal always being to maximize the peaks while minimizing the valleys as much as humanly possible. Plenty had an opportunity to make an impact this year, but some took more advantage of it than others, which was clearly noticed by ca online sports betting locations. The following five starting pitchers have managed to separate themselves from the pack in the best way possible throughout their respective 162-game schedules.

It seems like pitchers are always evaluated by the same traditional metrics, such as win-loss record, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts per nine innings, and walks allowed per nine innings. We typically use SIERA to rank hurlers but opted for fWAR as a way to get a sense of a player’s overall value here.

Here’s the group that distinguished themselves on the bump this year.

Once the playoffs are complete, Gerrit Cole will become a very rich dude and may also have an AL Cy Young award to put up on his mantle. Of the four pitches he threw at least 200 times in 2019 (four-seamer, slider, curveball, changeup), none led to an opponent wRC+ higher than 75 and three of them (four-seamer, slider, curveball) produced a strikeout rate of at least 36.0%.

Speaking of Cy Young awards, Jacob deGrom may end up with those honors for a second straight year thanks to a ridiculous second-half surge. Entering the All-Star break, he owned a 3.27 ERA but finished the latter portion of the year with a 1.44 mark. This was accomplished by leaning heavily on his slider, which he threw 37.2% of the time. Over the course of the entire year, opposing hitters managed just a 39 wRC+ with a 33.7% strikeout rate and 18.7% swinging-strike rate against that offering.

If there’s anyone on this list that’s a surprise, it’d be Lance Lynn. The 6.8 fWAR he produced in 208.1 innings for the Texas Rangers is nearly as much as what he did in the three years prior (7.0 fWAR in 518.1 frames). After struggling to a 5.45 ERA through his first 34.2 innings in March/April, he stayed very consistent — he never finished another month with an ERA higher than 3.82 or lower than 2.90.

Max Scherzer gets some extra distinction here because he’s the only hurler in the above list to not crack the 200-inning mark, and he didn’t come close. This actually broke a streak of six straight years where he hit that particular mark, too. Scherzer has been with the Washington Nationals for five years now and has never finished a season with a strikeout rate below 30.0%. He’s also improved that number each year he’s been with the club, culminating with a single-season career-high 35.1% mark in 2019.

Gerrit Cole’s main Cy Young competition in the American League? That’d be his teammate, the age-less Justin Verlander. Outside of seeing a spike in homers allowed, his last two full season’s with the Astros have look awfully identical, and they’ve both been dominant. The righty had his own second-half surge that’s worth noting. After posting a 2.98 ERA, 31.5% strikeout rate, and 5.6% walk rate prior to the All-Star break, he came back and finished the year with a 2.06 ERA, 40.7% strikeout rate, and 4.2% walk rate over his final 96.1 innings.