3 Pitchers Who Will Be True Aces by the End of the 2020 MLB Season

Tristan Jung
Tyler Glasnow is set for a big year for the Rays and could become an ace in 2020.
Tyler Glasnow is set for a big year for the Rays and could become an ace in 2020. / Tim Warner/Getty Images
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We seem to get a new group of pitchers making the leap in every MLB season. In 2019 we saw Walker Buehler, Jack Flaherty, and Shane Bieber solidify their status as aces.

All three of these stars had shown signs of breakout in the previous season, but their true leaps came in 2019. Here are three pitchers that could follow a similar path in 2020.

1. Tyler Glasnow, Tampa Bay Rays

Tyler Glasnow is expected to be fully healthy to start the year for the Rays.
Tyler Glasnow is expected to be fully healthy to start the year for the Rays. / Bob Levey/Getty Images

Tyler Glasnow may have only pitched 60.2 innings last season, but his outstanding numbers and electric stuff are enough to put him on this list. Glasnow had a 5.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio (K/BB) last year to go with a 1.78 ERA. His pitch arsenal is already excellent: he has a strong high-90s fastball to go along with a nasty curveball and changeup. Standing at 6-foot-8, Glasnow is unhittable when he has full command of his pitches. As long as he's healthy, Glasnow should be on course for a great season. One concern: 26-year-old must learn to avoid tipping his pitches after the Astros took advantage of his tendencies in Game Five of the ALDS.

2. Mike Clevinger, Cleveland Indians

Mike Clevinger has battled injuries, but is a great pitcher when healthy.
Mike Clevinger has battled injuries, but is a great pitcher when healthy. / G Fiume/Getty Images

In terms of raw performance, Mike Clevinger is already an ace. After a strong 200-inning season with a 3.02 ERA in 2018, Clevinger battled a back injury in 2019 that limited him to 126 innings. However, those innings were the best of his entire career as Clevinger added even more velocity and saw a huge increase in strikeout numbers from 9.32 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) to 12.07. A 2.41 FIP with those strikeout numbers is an elite combination, and his style and long hair are reminiscent of Jacob deGrom. Health is an issue for Clevinger, who will miss most of spring training and a few early starts due to a partially torn meniscus. However, if Clevinger can still make between 26-28 starts, he could be a household name by the end of the season.

3. Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers

Brandon Woodruff was the leader of the Brewers' staff in 2019.
Brandon Woodruff was the leader of the Brewers' staff in 2019. / Rob Carr/Getty Images

Brandon Woodruff's season went under the radar for national audiences, but the 27-year-old righty is poised to become an ace in 2020. Woodruff had a 3.01 FIP and a 4.77 K/BB in 121.2 innings last season in his first year as a full-time starter. After easing Woodruff into a starting role, the Brewers relied on him heavily in 2019, finally letting him blossom into the best starter on their staff. Woodruff has a great fastball/slider combination and two years of ace-caliber numbers.


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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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