With the season officially under way, it's time to rank major league baseball's top starting rotations. In ranking the teams, there were two main things I considered:
First, does the team have an ace? Also, how deep is the rotation?
For me, having an ace is ultra important for many reasons. Not only does it provide the entire team a boost on the days he is pitching, but he allows the rest of the pitchers in the rotation to take on smaller roles.
For a team like the Seattle Mariners, Felix Hernandez gives his team's own hitters a better attitude going into his starts, and he takes a lot of pressure off lesser pitchers like Jason Vargas and newcomer Hector Noesi. He is a guy they can look up to.
In addition to that, the ace more often than not will prevent long losing streaks. By the end of the season such streaks are the things that knock teams out of contention.
In regards to depth, I am talking how many quality starting pitchers does the team have.
The teams at the top of the list like the Rays, Phillies and Angels all have at least four excellent, top-flight starters. On the other hand, the teams at the bottom like Astros are lucky to have one.
All that being said, baseball is a game where the teams change on a daily basis. Nobody thought the Diamondbacks were going to be good last season, but this year they have a top-10 starting rotation and some are predicting them to make it all the way to the World Series.
So even if your team does not currently rank that high, in a month or two, new aces will have developed and new depth in the starting rotation will emerge. Akin to last year with the D-Backs and Dodgers moving up, the rank of each starting rotation will adjust accordingly.
Here are my rankings of every starting rotation in baseball!