Posted 4 days ago | By Seth Trachtman
These days it’s rare for a starting pitcher to go beyond seven innings, but the starting rotation is still key to the success or failure of a team in MLB. As we enter the 2021 season, here’s a look at MLB starting rotations ranked 1-30.
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The Dodgers sport seven starters who could pitch near the top of almost any rotation in baseball, led by three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Trevor Bauer and David Price also have Cy Youngs on their resumes, and Walker Buehler and Julio Urias show the potential to win one of their own someday. Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin should get their fair share of starts at some point this year, as well, and have been dominant in the majors over the last two years. This rotation has so much ability and depth that it’s almost unfair.
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The Padres rotation is loaded after adding former Cy Young winner Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, and Joe Musgrove during the offseason. That trio each has a chance to compete for the Cy Young in 2021, and the team already had two young pitchers with similar aspirations in Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack. Adrian Morejon is a fine spot starter as a former elite prospect, and waiting in the wings is elite pitching prospect, MacKenzie Gore.
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Atlanta’s rotation improved in the offseason by replaced the injured Cole Hamels with former Astros and Rays ace Charlie Morton, adding to a rotation that includes blue-chip arms like Max Fried, Mike Soroka, and Ian Anderson. Fried, in particular, came into his own in 2020 with a 2.25 ERA over 11 starts. The team also signed high upside but oft-injured lefty Drew Smyly, and Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson are former top prospects that give Atlanta further depth.
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The White Sox had a strong starting rotation before acquiring ace Lance Lynn in the offseason. He fits in nicely alongside Lucas Giolito and former AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel to make one of the best trios in baseball. The team is also hopeful that former top prospects Dylan Cease and Carlos Rodon can take steps forward, both showing plus stuff. Michael Kopech is the great X-factor, set to serve as a long reliever at the start of the season following Tommy John surgery and serve up 100 mph heat.
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Not only have the Mets revamped their lineup in 2021 but also their rotation with the additions of Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker. Carrasco will miss the start of the season with a hamstring injury but had a sub-4.00 ERA in six of the last seven seasons with Cleveland. Jacob deGrom might be the best active pitcher on Earth, and Marcus Stroman has had a strong career. Noah Syndergaard has pitched like an ace at times during his career with a triple-digit fastball and could return from Tommy John surgery by midseason. The organization is also high on David Peterson, a former first-round pick who posted a 3.44 ERA in 49.2 innings last season.
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