2023 MLB playoffs: Ranking the top starting pitchers

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Now that we're just a few days away from the start of the 2023 MLB playoffs, it's time for a postseason update to my in-season ace rankings.

This edition is a projection of who I'd want most for this year's playoffs, with career postseason performances as a tiebreaker (here's last year's list). Only healthy starters from teams projected to make the playoffs -- sorry, Cubs and Mariners -- qualify for this list.

That means that pitchers who just miss due to these two conditions include (deep breath) Justin Steele, Max Fried, Luis Castillo, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, Shane McClanahan, Jacob deGrom, Walker Buehler, Eury Perez, Sandy Alcantara, Max Scherzer and Dustin May. All of those players would fit on this list if healthy and/or in the playoffs.

After removing starting pitchers for teams that aren't in the playoff race, only three of the 10 preseason aces are alive for this exercise, beginning with the two top pitchers from the same division.