Discussion

Debating baseball's best pitcher

Updated: March 15, 2012, 10:30 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Clayton Kershaw was dominant in his latest exhibition outing, and he seems poised for another overpowering year after ascending in his level of dominance last year.

Kershaw, who turns 24 in four days, reduced hitters' OPS against him from .615 to .554 from 2010 to 2011. Last season, the opposing batting average went from .215 in the first half to .196 in the second half. The OPS against him in the second half was .525, the best in the majors.

We mention all of this to set up a beer-over-the-bar debate: Who is the best pitcher on the planet?

The criterion has nothing to do with track record. It's about who is the best pitcher right now -- based on stuff, on dominance right now.

My own top three:

1. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

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