The 30 greatest left-handed pitchers in MLB history

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) – MLB history
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) – MLB history /

Left-handed pitchers are always the cool kids growing up in Little League and throughout MLB history, there have been countless great southpaws that frustrated opposing hitters.

But who can stake claim to being the all-time great? There have been so many great left-handed pitchers that it is not an easy question to answer, especially when put on the spot.

That is why we have put together this list of the top-30 left-handed pitchers in the live-ball era (starting in 1920) to reference if you are ever debating about who is the true southpaw GOAT.

Greatest LHPs in MLB history: 30. Al Leiter

  • 1,974 strikeouts
  • 3.80 career ERA
  • 40.0 career WAR

Al Leiter narrowly makes the cut because of his longevity in the league. Leiter broke into the Majors in 1987 and threw his last pitch in 2005.

Leiter is a two-time all-star and two-time World Series Champion, both coming with the Toronto Blue Jays early in his career.

While he was far from being the best pitcher in the league and definitely is the odd one out on this list, Leiter was as consistent and reliable as they come. In the 11-season span from 1995 through 2005, Leiter started 327 games and pitched 2,052 innings with 1,688 strikeouts.

Leiter had the seventh-most innings pitched by a southpaw in that span with the fifth-most starts and second-most strikeouts. This was in the heart of the steroid area as well, which definitely is worth mentioning when you compare Leiter’s numbers to others on this list.

Two all-star nods and no individual accolades might not seem great, but it is enough to make Leiter the 30th-best southpaw of all-time.