What is an Ace in baseball?

In baseball, an Ace is the top starting pitcher on a team, the one who is most reliable and typically delivers the best performances. They’re the one a team wants on the mound in the most critical games, such as a playoff opener or a game that could clinch a series.


The term “ace” comes from card games where an ace card is often the highest-ranking card. In baseball, it denotes a player’s top-level skill, particularly a pitcher’s.
Usage in a sentence: With the playoffs on the line, the team is turning to their ace to get a crucial win.

Does every team have an ace?

While every team typically has a “number one” pitcher who starts the season’s first game and is seen as their best, not every team’s top pitcher is necessarily of “ace” caliber in the broader context of the league. An ace is generally considered elite, even among other top pitchers.

Can a team have more than one ace?

It’s rare, but yes. Some teams might have two or even three pitchers who could be considered aces due to their outstanding performances. This gives the team a significant advantage, especially in short playoff series.

Is the term exclusive to starting pitchers?

Generally, yes. While relievers and closers have crucial roles, “ace” is predominantly used to describe standout starting pitchers.