Pitching wins championships, right? That's what we like to believe.
There's a reason for that, of course. An ace starting pitcher or a strong top two could very well make the difference in winning or losing a playoff series. Maybe that didn't quite hold true with the St. Louis Cardinals last year, though Chris Carpenter would surely disagree with that.
But pitching certainly carried the 2010 San Francisco Giants to a World Series championship. Cliff Lee almost pushed the Philadelphia Phillies over the New York Yankees in 2009. The tandem of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling led the Arizona Diamondbacks to a championship in 2001.
Among this year's NL playoff contenders, we have several duos that could carry their teams on a long playoff run and maybe to a World Series trophy. These pitchers will probably have to come through against stronger AL lineups like the Yankees, Texas Rangers and possibly the Detroit Tigers.
As of right now, this is how we'd rank the top starting pitching duos in the National League. Did we underrate or overrate a particular pair? Do you feel we left anyone out? Leave your responses and suggestions in the comments.
Please check out Zach Rymer's top 5 American League pitching duos for the playoffs.