MLB

MLB’s Best Pitching Rotations of the Past Decade (Part One)

Joel Dorcas | April 7th, 2020

This quarantine has turned into compiling lists of best and worst for me as we have no present-day gameplay to write about. My focus has been on the NHL lately, let’s change gears and take a crack at baseball. One of my favorite things about the sport is the construction of rotations and batting orders/ lineups. First up will be Starting Rotations. (Feel free to comment with your favorites/ ones that should be on the list).We will break it up into two parts.

*all team pitching stats are combined for all players making starts, not just top five (fangraphs.com)*

10. 2012 Tampa Bay Rays 70-51 3.34 ERA/ 8.15 K/9

Price and Shields were at their peak during the 2012 Season. Price finished first in the American League in both wins and ERA, the end result was a Cy Young Award. Shields complemented well as a number two registering 223 strikeouts, third-best in the AL. Matt Moore was solid posting a team-high k/9 rate of 8.88.

9. 2015 Chicago Cubs 60-39 3.36 ERA/ 8.75 K/9

This starting five featured an extremely dominant Arrieta followed by a group of capable, but not spectacular hurlers. Arrieta registered 22 wins to just six losses and a minuscule 1.77 ERA. Arrieta was an obvious choice for the Cy Young, he was even in the conversation for league MVP (6th ranked, 32% share). Lester and Hammel finished with k/9 rates of above 9.0. All starters had ERA’s under 3.95.

8. 2016 Washington Nationals 72-44 3.60 ERA/ 9.25 K/9

Any time you have these guys as your number one and two, the rotation is likely to be a major strong point. Scherzer took home the Cy Young and was first in strikeouts with 284. Strasburg was almost as dominant racking up strikeouts at an 11.15 k/9 clip. Roark was more than adequate as a number three, he registered 16 wins with a 2.86 ERA.

7. 2019 Houston Astros 79-37 3.61 ERA/ 10.54 K/9

Verlander and Cole had monstrous 2019 Seasons finishing one and two respectively in Cy Young voting. Each of them surpassed the 20-win threshold and had strikeout rates per nine of above 12. Greinke as a number three was extremely solid with an ERA just over 3.00 (3.02). Miley had an effective season with 14 wins and just six losses.

6. 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers 76-44 3.20 ERA/ 8.39 K/9

To say that 2014 was a good season for Kershaw would be a massive understatement. Eye-popping stats all the way through the numbers (21-3, 1.77 ERA, 7.9 WAR) led to Kershaw not only winning the Cy Young but also the NL MVP. Ryu and Greinke along with Kershaw made up a top-notch trio. A combination of Haren, Beckett and a mixture of others would round out the rotation.

Part Two to follow! Stay tuned!

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