If we were to pitch a show about Major League Baseball’s best starting pitchers to HBO, it would obviously be called True Aces. That’s the easy part.

But we’re here to consider what would be the hard part: casting it.

In a landscape so densely populated with dominant starting pitchers, it’s hard to separate the regular aces from the true aces. Lest we water down what should be an exclusive club, we need ground rules.

  • A good start is defining a “true ace” as a pitcher who is a virtual lock for at least 200 dominant innings in 2016.
  • To help narrow the field, let’s consider only pitchers with at least two straight years of ace-like pitching in their wake.
  • Said ace-like pitching also has to be believable, to the extent that it’s featured plenty of strikeouts, few walks and/or strong contact management.
  • And though postseason excellence isn’t a requirement, it’s definitely a bonus.

In normal circumstances, we’d have a list with 10 names on it. But this list goes to 11, ranked from least-best to best-best, plus we have a whole bunch of honorable mentions. Let’s get to it.

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