No. 1: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
No. 2: Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
No. 3: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
No. 4: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
No. 5: CC Sabathia, New York Yankees
It was very difficult to decipher which five starters I'd use to form the ultimate rotation. Due to some doubt as to whether CC Sabathia can maintain his blistering pace much longer into the future, I initially had Jered Weaver slotted in as the No. 5 starter. I later decided that CC deserves the spot until we actually see some kind of drop off in his performance.
Verlander won the pitching Triple Crown this season and was a no doubt selection to anchor the rotation—as was Lincecum and his 2.98 career-ERA at No. 2.
At this point it got tricky.
Kershaw has been stellar over the past three seasons, though none were quite as dominant as his Triple Crown performance in 2011.
I had to give Halladay the nod at No. 4. Even though he's 33 years old, Doc has continued to improve each season and has shown no signs of slowing down.
As far as CC goes, the man has pitched more than 230 innings during each of the past five seasons while holding his opponents to an ERA in the low-3.00s. Every rotation can use a workhorse, especially one who's as dominant as CC has proven to be of late.
Honorable Mention No. 1: Jered Weaver
Honorable Mention No. 2: Cole Hamels
Honorable Mention No. 3: Cliff Lee