For a few minutes, put yourself in the shoes of an MLB general manager. Today on Baseball Essential, we’re running a massive, fan-heavy poll: would a healthy, five-man rotation consisting of solely right-handed pitchers beat that of left-handers?
Imagine you, in full Theo Epstein mode, are building a team from scratch out of preexisting superstars in the majors today. You’re asked if a pitching staff containing solely right handers or one that has all southpaws would be better for your team — what would you decide?
Handedness is as valuable as any other quality when assessing pitcher vs batter odds, but that isn’t necessary today. All that is a necessity is a poll.
Over on Twitter, @BB_Essential has the poll:
Considering actual current pitchers, which would be better: a 5-man rotation consisting solely of right-handers or solely of left-handers?
— Baseball Essential (@BB_Essential) April 10, 2017
It’s a fair question.
If you, the GM of your own brand new, hypothetical MLB club select righties — good choice. You can start out with 2016 National League Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer.
If you’ve chosen to construct a left-handers only staff — also, a spectacular choice. Your number-one starter is future Hall of Famer and former MVP Clayton Kershaw.
You see, it’s very tricky.
The righties can slot 2014 Cy Young winner Corey Kluber in at the number-two spot, followed by New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard at the third-starter position. However, it doesn’t get easy after Kershaw if you’re facing the lefties, as Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale and Houston Astros frontman Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 Cy Young winner, follow suit.
If you selected righties, you have the options of polishing off the back end of your staff with Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander, Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, Diamondbacks number-one Zack Grienke, or even another Met in Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom.
However, if you chose to build a left-handed staff, you can continue strong with three-time World Series Madison Bumgarner, a Cy Young finalist last season in Jon Lester, Texas Rangers lefty Cole Hamels, even David Price or 20-game-winning J.A. Happ.
Either way, you, the general manager, made a great decision and now have the best rotation in baseball. But for the sake of opinionated, spirited battles and debates, let’s participate in this poll together.