Who Are the MLB 30-Game Winners?

Jack Chesbro, Ed Walsh, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Joe McGinnity, Smoky Joe Wood, Pete Alexander, Cy Young, Jim Bagby, Jack Coombs, Lefty Grove, Denny McLain and Dizzy Dean are the 13 MLB pitchers who have won 30 games in a season as of 2014. McLain, the most recent 30-game winner, accomplished the feat in 1968. McLain had a record of 31-6 and led the Detroit Tigers to the World Series.

Many believe that Major League Baseball may never see another 30-game winner again. One of the reasons is that pitchers are now so highly paid that teams are less willing to send a pitcher out often enough to be able to have a realistic chance to win 30 games in a season. Teams want to protect their multimillion dollar investments. In today’s game, a 20-win season denotes a very successful campaign.

Batters today are now more highly trained than they were in the early days of the Major Leagues, meaning that pitchers don’t have as much of an advantage as they once did. Because a batter is able to study the trajectory, velocity and frequency of a pitcher’s pitches from different angles, it is rare that a batter is surprised by a pitch.