Baseball Essential Ranks: Top 10 Starting Rotations

Earlier this month, I sent out a question to my fellow colleagues: What are the Top 10 Rotations in the Major Leagues?

In order to find out how we felt as a whole, I asked everyone for their thoughts. To do this, I had the participants vote for their own personal top 10 rotations out of all the Major League possibilities. The voters were not able to choose where they ranked each individually, just what ten teams they thought made up the top ten. Therefore, the order is more of how many people felt each team deserved to be in the top 10, but not necessarily where we felt each team was  should be ranked.

So if, lets say, the Miami Marlins were ranked third on our list. That wouldn’t necessarily mean that we feel that they have the third best rotation in all of baseball, yet it would instead mean that a good amount of us felt they deserved to be in the top 10, and enough of a percentage of us voted for them that third would be where they wound up.

While Miami didn’t actually make our top 10, it is time to reveal who did! Here is our ranking:

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers (100%)
    2. St. Louis Cardinals (96%)
    3. Washington Nationals (91%)
    4. Detroit Tigers (83%)
    5. Seattle Mariners (70%)
    6. San Francisco Giants (65%)
    7. Chicago White Sox (52%)
    8. New York Mets (48%)
    9. Chicago Cubs (48%)
    10. Tampa Bay Rays (43%)

It’s not a surprise at all that the Dodgers would be a unanimous decision for this ranking. With a rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson it’s hard to argue anything but the fact that they own the best rotation in baseball.

It’s understandable that the Cardinals, Nationals, and Tigers all received over 80% of the vote. However, it is interesting that the Mariners took 5th place, ahead of the White Sox and defending-World Series champion Giants. It’s no surpise the Mariners are in the top 10—as they do have Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker—but it is a mild surpise at how highly they are ranked.

As for the aforementioned White Sox and Giants, these two teams took different paths this offseason. For the Giants, the defending champs made no changes to a rotation full of questions. While they re-signed Jake Peavy and expect Madison Bumgarner to anchor the rotation, the club is expecting Matt Cain to produce in hopefully his first healthy season since 2012, Tim Hudson recently had surgery on his right ankle to remove bone spurs and isn’t expected to be ready by spring training, and Tim Lincecum is looking for a rebound season as the fifth man.

For the White Sox, the story is different. The team made a flurry of moves this offseason, one of the main ones being a trade with the Oakland A’s to acquire Jeff Samardzija. While their top three appear strong—Chris Sale, Samardzija, and Jose Quintana—questions still arise when looking at the back-end of the rotation. Here, the White Sox are hoping that Hector Noesi and John Danks can put up at least mildly productive seasons.

The Cubs and Mets, two teams who appear poised to compete in 2015 for the first time in a while, just under half of the voters chose the two potential-laden teams as part of their top 10’s. Clearly signaling a moderate buy in to the potential these teams have for the coming season.

The Rays obtained the last spot in the ranking, garnering 43% of the vote. It appears the Rays are still seen to have a strong rotation, even though this will be their first full season David Price-less and following the trade of Jeremy Hellickson to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Although this doesn’t come as a complete surprise, as any rotation with the likes of Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Jake Odorizzi, and Matt Moore will surely be a highly touted one.

Also of note, it’s interesting that two of the more active teams did not make the ranking. The Marlins (39%) and San Diego Padres (35%), just barely missed the cut—getting ranked 11th and 12th, respectively.

We here at Baseball Essential have voted for who we believe has the best rotation, now it is your turn! Vote in the poll below so that we can see how you the reader feels. Did we get it right, wrong, or were we just off? Tweet us using #BBETop10 @BB_Essential 


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