Every baseball fan knows you need pitching to win a World Series. Just look at the previous year’s World Series Champions and the rotations they’ve had. The Nationals, Astros, and Red Sox all had solid rotations and a solid bullpen. With the MLB season just weeks away, we wanted to look at the best starting rotation in every division of Major League Baseball.

*Note: Rotations are based on MLB.com team depth charts*


AL East

Tampa Bay Rays

1. Blake Snell
2. Tyler Glasnow
3. Charlie Morton
4. Yonny Chirinos
5. Ryan Yarbrough

CBS Sports

A week ago, the New York Yankees would be listed here. After acquiring Gerrit Cole in the offseason, everyone in baseball was now worried about the Yankees starting five. But with Luis Severino now out for the year after having to get Tommy John surgery, and James Paxton still recovering from having a cyst on his lower back, I believe the Tampa Bay Rays now have the best rotation in the AL East. Their front three may be on of the best in baseball with former Cy Young winner Blake Snell, a dominant Charlie Morton, and Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow’s 2019 season was limited to just 12 games due to injury, he pitched a great 1.78 ERA in 60 innings pitched. Chirinos and Yarbrough both have the ability to remain in the rotation, however, when you look to the future, the Rays have two potential studs in two-way player Brenden McKay, and Brent Honeywell (if he can stay healthy).


AL Central

Cleveland Indians

1. Mike Clevinger
2. Shane Bieber
3. Carlos Carrasco
4. Zach Plesac
5. Aaron Civale

ESPN

Could you imagine if this rotation still had Corey Kluber? Hell, they had Kluber and Trevor Bauer at one point. Regardless of the subtractions, the Indians still have a solid 5-man rotation. Shane Bieber will start 2020 as the team’s ace due to Clevinger’s injury, he went 15-8 in 2019 with 219 strikeouts. Clevinger, who is out until mid-April, is still slated as the ace when he returns. He has averaged a 2.93 ERA the past 3 seasons, something Cleveland will want back ASAP. Carlos Carrasco will be looking to have an incredible comeback after being diagnosed with leukemia in 2019. Before the diagnosis, Carrasco registered 200 strikeout seasons in 2015, 2017 and 2018. Currently, the Indians list Plesac and Civale as their 4th and 5th starters, however, Adam Plutko is out of minor league options and has the chance to bump one of them out of their spot with Clevinger’s injury getting him more playing time.


AL West

Oakland Athletics

1. Mike Fiers
2. Sean Manaea
3. Frankie Montas
4. Jesus Luzardo
5. A.J. Puk

MSN

This may come as a surprise to some, and I promise it has nothing to do with the cheating scandal….okay maybe it does a little. No, but in all seriousness, I think the Athletics have a really talented rotation that tops the AL West. Houston lost Gerrit Cole, and Justin Verlander entering his 16th year in the league. Oakland ace Mike Fiers is coming off a good 2019 season, throwing a no-hitter against the Reds, and finishing the season 15-4. Sean Manaea spent the majority of 2019 on the IL with a shoulder injury but returned to go 4-0 in five starts. Returning from an 8-game suspension is 26-year-old hurler Frankie Montas. Before getting suspended, Montas was 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA. The A’s rotation is rounded out by two young promising pitchers in Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk. Both Luzardo and Puk are already early Rookie of the Year candidates. In three minor league seasons, Luzardo has pitched to a 2.71 ERA and a .667 winning percentage. Puk’s minor league career may not have been as impressive, but the 6’7” lefty has shown improvement since coming out of the pen last year.


NL East

Washington Nationals

1. Max Scherzer
2. Stephen Strasburg
3. Patrick Corbin
4. Anibal Sanchez
5. Joe Ross

Federal Baseball

The reigning World Series Champions return with the same rotation that brought home the World Series. Earlier I said Tampa may have one of the best front three starters in baseball, but I see it as a certainty that the Nationals front three are the best in the league. Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin are all in the top 15 most valuable pitchers last year by fWAR, and Anibal Sanchez came in and pitched to a 3.85 ERA in the regular season, and pitching phenomenal in the NLDS and NLCS. The fifth starting spot is still up for grabs, but according to MLB.com, Joe Ross is currently slated to round out the rotation with Austin Voth, and young top prospect Erick Fedde competing for it.


NL Central

Cincinnati Reds

1. Luis Castillo
2. Sonny Gray
3. Trevor Bauer
4. Anthony DeSclafani
5. Wade Miley

ESPN

After a very busy offseason, the Reds now have the best rotation in the NL Central. 27-year-old All-Star Luis Castillo started the year hot and was an early Cy Young contender. The other All-Star on the staff was Sonny Gray, who after a disappointing time in New York, has a great 2019 season going 11-8 with an outstanding 2.87 ERA. Bauer may haven’t had the best showing in Cincy after being traded mid-season, but he still has the potential to be a Number 1 starter. Anthony DeSlacfani pitched .500 baseball but dropped his ERA a full point since 2018. The Reds also brought in Wade Miley on a two-year, $15M contract, reuniting him with pitching coach Derek Johnson.


NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers

1. Walker Buehler
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. David Price
4. Julio Urias
5. Alex Wood

LA Times

It’s true that the Dodgers’ rotation isn’t once what it was. After Hyun-Jin Ryu signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, and Clayton Kershaw entering his age 32 season, the Dodgers may not be as powerful as they once were. But they still top the NL West as Kershaw is still an All-Star pitcher despite his postseason struggles, and the best pitcher in the division, Walker Buehler coming off a 14-4 2019, posting a 3.26 ERA. Los Angeles then went and added another former Cy Young winner in David Price in the deal that also got them Mookie Betts. If Urias can stay on the field, he has the potential to dominate, and Alex Wood is coming off of a back surgery, but in 2017 pitched to an MLB best .842 win percentage.


So there you have it! Some may surprise you, and some may not surprise you at all, but either way this is going to be a wonderful MLB season thanks to the six pitching staffs listed. Some of these may not stay the same with the obvious potential of injury, or call ups, but as we all know, the minors are full of young, talented start just waiting for their opportunity.

Featured Photo Credit: USA Today

Would you like to advertise with Game Changer Sports Network? We have the perfect opportunity for any and all businesses please contact Jake at Info@GameChangerSportsNetwork.com to discuss potential advertising space with us!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: