Year by Year Leaders for Earned Run Average

Ever wonder who had the lowest ERA the year you were born? How about pitchers from you favorite team — have they ever led the league in earned run average? Baseball Almanac is pleased to present a year-by-year leaderboard in Major League earned run average for every season since 1876. Note: A bold faced entry denotes that the player was active during the previous Major League season.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"But with a screwball, it isn't the break that fools the hitter, it's the change of speed." - Earned Run Average Leader (1933-1934, & 1936) / Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell

Earned Run Average
Year-by-Year Leaders

'1876 - 2020'

1876 - - - 1876

George Bradley

1.23

St. Louis

1877 - - - 1877

Tommy Bond

2.11

Boston

1878 - - - 1878

John Ward

1.51

Providence

1879 - - - 1879

Tommy Bond

1.96

Boston

1880 - - - 1880

George Bradley

1.38

Providence

1881 - - - 1881

John Ward

2.13

Providence

1882 - - - 1882

Larry Corcoran

1.95

Chicago

1883 - - - 1883

Jim McCormick

1.84

Cleveland

1884 - - - 1884

Old Hoss Radbourn

1.38

Providence

1885 - - - 1885

Tim Keefe

1.58

New York

1886 - - - 1886

Henry Boyle

1.76

St. Louis

1887 - - - 1887

Dan Casey

2.86

Philadelphia

1888 - - - 1888

Tim Keefe

1.74

New York

1889 - - - 1889

John Clarkson

2.73

Boston

1890 - - - 1890

Billy Rhines

1.95

Cincinnati

1891 - - - 1891

John Ewing

2.27

New York

1892 - - - 1892

Cy Young

1.93

Cleveland

1893 - - - 1893

Theodore Breitenstein

3.18

St. Louis

1894 - - - 1894

Amos Rusie

2.78

New York

1895 - - - 1895

Pink Hawley

3.18

Pittsburgh

1896 - - - 1896

Kid Nichols

2.83

Boston

1897 - - - 1897

Amos Rusie

2.54

New York

1898 - - - 1898

Clark Griffith

1.88

Chicago

1899 - - - 1899

Vic Willis

2.50

Boston

1900 - - - 1900

Rube Waddell

2.37

Pittsburgh

1901 Cy Young

1.62

Boston 1901

Jesse Tannehill

2.18

Pittsburgh

1902 Ed Siever

1.91

Detroit 1902

Jack Taylor

1.33

Chicago

1903 Earl Moore

1.74

Cleveland 1903

Sam Leever

2.06

Pittsburgh

1904 Addie Joss

1.59

Cleveland 1904

Joe McGinnity

1.61

New York

1905 Rube Waddell

1.48

Philadelphia 1905

Christy Mathewson

1.28

New York

1906 Doc White

1.52

Chicago 1906

Mordecai Brown

1.04

Chicago

1907 Ed Walsh

1.60

Chicago 1907

Jack Pfiester

1.15

Chicago

1908 Addie Joss

1.16

Cleveland 1908

Christy Mathewson

1.43

New York

1909 Harry Krause

1.39

Philadelphia 1909

Christy Mathewson

1.14

New York

1910 Ed Walsh

1.27

Chicago 1910

King Cole

1.80

Chicago

1911 Vean Gregg

1.80

Cleveland 1911

Christy Mathewson

1.99

New York

1912 Walter Johnson

1.39

Washington 1912

Jeff Tesreau

1.96

New York

1913 Walter Johnson

1.14

Washington 1913

Christy Mathewson

2.06

New York

1914 Dutch Leonard

0.96

Boston 1914

Bill Doak

1.72

St. Louis

1915 Joe Wood

1.49

Boston 1915

Grover Alexander

1.22

Philadelphia

1916 Babe Ruth

1.75

Boston 1916

Grover Alexander

1.55

Philadelphia

1917 Eddie Cicotte

1.53

Chicago 1917

Fred Anderson

1.44

New York

1918 Walter Johnson

1.27

Washington 1918

Hippo Vaughn

1.74

Chicago

1919 Walter Johnson

1.49

Washington 1919

Grover Alexander

1.72

Chicago

1920 Stan Coveleski

2.49

Cleveland 1920

Grover Alexander

1.91

Chicago

1921 Red Faber

2.48

Chicago 1921

Bill Doak

2.59

St. Louis

1922 Red Faber

2.81

Chicago 1922

Phil Douglas

2.63

New York

1923 Stan Coveleski

2.76

Cleveland 1923

Dolf Luque

1.93

Cincinnati

1924 Walter Johnson

2.72

Washington 1924

Dazzy Vance

2.16

Brooklyn

1925 Stan Coveleski

2.84

Washington 1925

Dolf Luque

2.63

Cincinnati

1926 Lefty Grove

2.51

Philadelphia 1926

Ray Kremer

2.61

Pittsburgh

1927 Wilcy Moore

2.28

New York 1927

Ray Kremer

2.47

Pittsburgh

1928 Garland Braxton

2.51

Washington 1928

Dazzy Vance

2.09

Brooklyn

1929 Lefty Grove

2.81

Philadelphia 1929

Bill Walker

3.09

New York

1930 Lefty Grove

2.54

Philadelphia 1930

Dazzy Vance

2.61

Brooklyn

1931 Lefty Grove

2.06

Philadelphia 1931

Bill Walker

2.26

New York

1932 Lefty Grove

2.84

Philadelphia 1932

Lon Warneke

2.37

Chicago

1933 Mel Harder

2.95

Cleveland 1933

Carl Hubbell

1.66

New York

1934 Lefty Gomez

2.33

New York 1934

Carl Hubbell

2.30

New York

1935 Lefty Grove

2.70

Boston 1935

Cy Blanton

2.58

Pittsburgh

1936 Lefty Grove

2.81

Boston 1936

Carl Hubbell

2.31

New York

1937 Lefty Gomez

2.33

New York 1937

Jim Turner

2.38

Boston

1938 Lefty Grove

3.08

Boston 1938

Bill Lee

2.66

Chicago

1939 Lefty Grove

2.54

Boston 1939

Bucky Walters

2.29

Cincinnati

1940 Bob Feller

2.61

Cleveland 1940

Bucky Walters

2.48

Cincinnati

1941 Thornton Lee

2.37

Chicago 1941

Elmer Riddle

2.24

Cincinnati

1942 Ted Lyons

2.10

Chicago 1942

Mort Cooper

1.78

St. Louis

1943 Spud Chandler

1.64

New York 1943

Max Lanier

1.94

St. Louis

1944 Dizzy Trout

2.12

Detroit 1944

Ed Heusser

2.38

Cincinnati

1945 Hal Newhouser

1.81

Detroit 1945

Ray Prim

2.40

Chicago

1946 Hal Newhouser

1.94

Detroit 1946

Howie Pollet

2.10

St. Louis

1947 Joe Haynes

2.42

Chicago 1947

Warren Spahn

2.33

Boston

1948 Gene Bearden

2.43

Cleveland 1948

Harry Brecheen

2.24

St. Louis

1949 Mike Garcia

2.36

Cleveland 1949

Dave Koslo

2.50

New York

1950 Early Wynn

3.20

Cleveland 1950

Sal Maglie

2.71

New York

1951 Saul Rogovin

2.78

Chicago 1951

Chet Nichols

2.88

Boston

Detroit
1952 Allie Reynolds

2.06

New York 1952

Hoyt Wilhelm

2.43

New York

1953 Ed Lopat

2.42

New York 1953

Warren Spahn

2.10

Milwaukee

1954 Mike Garcia

2.64

Cleveland 1954

Johnny Antonelli

2.30

New York

1955 Billy Pierce

1.97

Chicago 1955

Bob Friend

2.83

Pittsburgh

1956 Whitey Ford

2.47

New York 1956

Lew Burdette

2.70

Milwaukee

1957 Bobby Shantz

2.45

New York 1957

Johnny Podres

2.66

Brooklyn

1958 Whitey Ford

2.01

New York 1958

Stu Miller

2.47

San Francisco

1959 Hoyt Wilhelm

2.19

Baltimore 1959

Sam Jones

2.83

San Francisco

1960 Frank Baumann

2.67

Chicago 1960

Mike McCormick

2.70

San Francisco

1961 Dick Donovan

2.40

Washington 1961

Warren Spahn

3.02

Milwaukee

1962 Hank Aguirre

2.21

Detroit 1962

Sandy Koufax

2.54

Los Angeles

1963 Gary Peters

2.33

Chicago 1963

Sandy Koufax

1.88

Los Angeles

1964 Dean Chance

1.65

Los Angeles 1964

Sandy Koufax

1.74

Los Angeles

1965 Sam McDowell

2.18

Cleveland 1965

Sandy Koufax

2.04

Los Angeles

1966 Gary Peters

1.98

Chicago 1966

Sandy Koufax

1.73

Los Angeles

1967 Joe Horlen

2.06

Chicago 1967

Phil Niekro

1.87

Atlanta

1968 Luis Tiant

1.60

Cleveland 1968

Bob Gibson

1.12

St. Louis

1969 Dick Bosman

2.19

Washington 1969

Juan Marichal

2.10

San Francisco

1970 Diego Segui

2.56

Oakland 1970

Tom Seaver

2.82

New York

1971 Vida Blue

1.82

Oakland 1971

Tom Seaver

1.76

New York

1972 Luis Tiant

1.91

Boston 1972

Steve Carlton

1.97

Philadelphia

1973 Jim Palmer

2.40

Baltimore 1973

Tom Seaver

2.08

New York

1974 Catfish Hunter

2.49

Oakland 1974

Buzz Capra

2.28

Atlanta

1975 Jim Palmer

2.09

Baltimore 1975

Randy Jones

2.24

San Diego

1976 Mark Fidrych

2.34

Detroit 1976

John Denny

2.52

St. Louis

1977 Frank Tanana

2.54

California 1977

John Candelaria

2.34

Pittsburgh

1978 Ron Guidry

1.74

New York 1978

Craig Swan

2.43

New York

1979 Ron Guidry

2.78

New York 1979

J.R. Richard

2.71

Houston

1980 Rudy May

2.46

New York 1980

Don Sutton

2.20

Los Angeles

1981 Steve McCatty

2.33

Oakland 1981

Steve Carlton

2.42

Philadelphia

1982 Rick Sutcliffe

2.96

Cleveland 1982

Steve Rogers

2.40

Montreal

1983 Rick Honeycutt

2.42

Texas 1983

Atlee Hammaker

2.25

San Francisco

1984 Mike Boddicker

2.79

Baltimore 1984

Alejandro Pena

2.48

Los Angeles

1985 Dave Stieb

2.48

Toronto 1985

Dwight Gooden

1.53

New York

1986 Roger Clemens

2.48

Boston 1986

Mike Scott

2.22

Houston

1987 Jimmy Key

2.76

Toronto 1987

Nolan Ryan

2.76

Houston

1988 Allan Anderson

2.45

Minnesota 1988

Joe Magrane

2.18

St. Louis

1989 Bret Saberhagen

2.16

Kansas City 1989

Scott Garrelts

2.28

San Francisco

1990 Roger Clemens

1.93

Boston 1990

Danny Darwin

2.21

Houston

1991 Roger Clemens

2.62

Boston 1991

Dennis Martinez

2.39

Montreal

1992 Roger Clemens

2.41

Boston 1992

Bill Swift

2.08

San Francisco

1993 Kevin Appier

2.56

Kansas City 1993

Greg Maddux

2.36

Atlanta

1994 Roger Clemens

2.85

Boston 1994

Greg Maddux

1.56

Atlanta

1995 Randy Johnson

2.48

Seattle 1995

Greg Maddux

1.63

Atlanta

1996 Juan Guzman

2.93

Toronto 1996

Kevin Brown

1.89

Florida

1997 Roger Clemens

2.05

Toronto 1997

Pedro Martinez

1.90

Montreal

1998 Roger Clemens

2.65

Toronto 1998

Greg Maddux

2.22

Atlanta

1999 Pedro Martinez

2.07

Boston 1999

Randy Johnson

2.48

Arizona

2000 Pedro Martinez

1.74

Boston 2000

Kevin Brown

2.58

Los Angeles

2001 Freddy Garcia

3.05

Seattle 2001

Randy Johnson

2.49

Arizona

2002 Pedro Martinez

2.26

Boston 2002

Randy Johnson

2.32

Arizona

2003 Pedro Martinez

2.22

Boston 2003

Jason Schmidt

2.34

San Francisco

2004 Johan Santana

2.61

Minnesota 2004

Jake Peavy

2.27

San Diego

2005 Kevin Millwood

2.86

Cleveland 2005

Roger Clemens

1.87

Houston

2006 Johan Santana

2.77

Minnesota 2006

Roy Oswalt

2.98

Houston

2007 John Lackey

3.01

Los Angeles 2007

Jake Peavy

2.54

San Diego

2008 Cliff Lee

2.54

Cleveland 2008

Johan Santana

2.53

New York

2009 Zack Greinke

2.16

Kansas City 2009

Chris Carpenter

2.24

St. Louis

2010 Felix Hernandez

2.27

Seattle 2010

Josh Johnson

2.30

Florida

2011 Justin Verlander

2.40

Detroit 2011

Clayton Kershaw

2.28

Los Angeles

2012 David Price

2.56

Tampa Bay 2012

Clayton Kershaw

2.53

Los Angeles

2013 Anibal Sanchez

2.57

Detroit 2013

Clayton Kershaw

1.83

Los Angeles

2014 Felix Hernandez

2.14

Seattle 2014

Clayton Kershaw

1.77

Los Angeles

2015 David Price

2.45

Detroit 2015

Zack Greinke

1.66

Los Angeles

Toronto
2016 Aaron Sanchez

3.00

Toronto 2016

Kyle Hendricks

2.13

Chicago

2017 Corey Kluber

2.25

Cleveland 2017

Clayton Kershaw

2.31

Los Angeles

2018 Blake Snell

1.89

Tampa Bay 2018

Jacob deGrom

1.70

New York

2019 Gerrit Cole

2.50

Houston 2019

Hyun-Jin Ryu

2.32

Los Angeles

2020 - - - 2020 - - -
Current Through 2020 Season
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

In 1914 , Dutch Leonard set an all-time record low earned run average that will probably never be beaten. Does any modern pitcher have that ability? Share your thoughts on our baseball message board .

The first season where an earned run average greater than 3.00 led the National League was 1929 . The first season where an earned run average greater than 3.00 led the American League was 1938 .

Sandy Koufax set the record for most consecutive seasons leading the league in earned run average with five. Tom Seaver created a legendary list years later and described this as the fifth greatest event in all of baseball.

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