With only one month left in the 162-game marathon that decides who makes the postseason, it's time to examine and rank the starting pitchers that each of the National League contenders summon to the hill.
For our purposes, I have evaluated and ranked The Big Three (if you will) for each of the nine teams that are over .500 coming into September.
As baseball is a game of nines, nine teams qualified—even if I would not wager big money on the Dodgers or Marlins or the ever-befuddling Cardinals these days.
Why only The Big Three in these days of five-man rotations? I'm glad you asked.
I'm thinking about this with the premise of each team making it to the postseason. Although many teams still go with a four-man rotation in the playoffs, The Big Three of any team will pitch six out of seven games of any series that goes the distance.
In ranking The Big Three(s), I considered the pitchers 2010 statistics, their track record and their playoff history, or playoff cred. I assigned each pitcher a score from 1-10, and posted a composite score for each three-man staff.
This is more art than science, and while assiduous research was done, no lab rats were injured in the process.
So, see where Halladay and Co.—or your favorite team's staff—ranks, and then let the debates begin!