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All 30 MLB starting rotations, ranked

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MLB pitchers have never been more talented than in the modern era thanks to new technology and training methods. Here’s a look at the starting rotations from top to bottom entering the 2024 regular season.

 

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The Dodgers rotation is revamped for 2024, as perhaps the best and the deepest in baseball. Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow are bona fide aces, while young Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan could head in that direction in the future. James Paxton is effective when healthy, and the team is set to get Grade A-arms Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Dustin May back from injury at some point this season.

 

Seattle Mariners

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Seattle’s rotation had the fourth-best ERA in baseball last season, with rookies Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo boosting the staff after in-season promotions. The team hopes for a full season to build on its electric fastballs, adding to one of the best trios in the game with Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert. The M’s also have strong depth with former first-round pick Emerson Hancock.

 

Atlanta Braves

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There’s reason to believe Atlanta can find more effectiveness from Spencer Strider and Max Fried this season. Strider was dominant but struggled with men on base, resulting in a 3.86 ERA, while Fried missed significant time due to injury. Charlie Morton has remained effective despite his age. The backend of the Atlanta rotation is very intriguing, with former ace Chris Sale and a high-upside fifth starter competition that includes Reynaldo Lopez, AJ Smith-Shawver, and Bryce Elder, with Huascar Ynoa and Hurston Waldrep waiting in the wings.

 

Toronto Blue Jays

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Toronto’s high-priced rotation has a reliable top four: ace Kevin Gausman, followed by Jose Berrios, Chris Bassitt, and Yusei Kikuchi. The top four helped power Toronto’s rotation to the third-best in baseball last year, but there remain questions about the fifth starter. Former ace Alek Manoah had a meltdown and has struggled early in Spring Training. Top prospect Ricky Tiedemann is a potential solution, but injuries have been a major hindrance.

 

Minnesota Twins

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Since Brad Radke‘s days, the Twins have shown a penchant for control pitchers. The top four—Pablo Lopez, Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, and Chris Paddack—cover both power and control. That group all has the upside to be aces, and Lopez is arguably there already. Anthony DeSclafani can be effective when he keeps the ball down, and the same can be said for Louie Varland.

 

Baltimore Orioles

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Baltimore got a huge boost by acquiring ace Corbin Burnes, though that’s potentially offset by Kyle Bradish’s elbow injury. Grayson Rodriguez pitched like an ace in the second half of last season, while Dean Kremer and Tyler Wells have proven serviceable. Cole Irvin could be a difference-maker as a fifth starter after showing more velocity in Spring Training, and former ace John Means could make his season debut in late April.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks

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The D’Backs had a viable 1-2 punch in Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly last season, and now look much deeper with the addition of Eduardo Rodriguez along with Brandon Pfaadt’s late-season progress. There’s even reason to be optimistic about Ryne Nelson, who showed increased velocity in Spring Training. There’s reason to expect marked improvement from a starting staff that finished 21st in ERA last season.

 

Houston Astros

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Houston’s rotation could hinge on Justin Verlander‘s health, as he’s been mending from a shoulder injury in Spring Training. Framber Valdez is a proven ace in his stead, while Cristian Javier and Hunter Brown have high ceilings. Jose Urquidy can help when he keeps the ball down, and the team does have some depth between Ronel Blanco, Brandon Bielak, and J.P. France.

 

New York Yankees

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Gerrit Cole is arguably baseball’s best and most consistent ace, and newcomer Marcus Stroman is a fine No. 2 when healthy. The upside of the Yankees rotation comes down to the health of Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes, who both missed significant time in 2023. Clarke Schmidt made nice progress last season but also has a lengthy injury history. It should be noted much of the team’s depth was lost in the Juan Soto trade, but it’s likely Luke Weaver, Luis Gil, and top prospect Clayton Beeter will be heard from in the rotation at some point.

 

Miami Marlins

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Miami has big shoes to fill with Sandy Alcantara likely to miss 2024 after Tommy John surgery, but the rotation remains a strength. Jesus Luzardo pitched like an ace when he was finally able to stay healthy last season, and Eury Perez is arguably the most exciting young pitcher in the game. Braxton Garrett is an effective control artist, and Trevor Rogers has been successful when healthy. Edward Cabrera and A.J. Puk are high-upside arms for the backend, while former top prospect Max Meyer should help as he makes his way back from elbow surgery.

 

Philadelphia Phillies

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Philly re-upped with both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola in the offseason. That combo has been a terrific top two for Philadelphia, while groundball pitchers Ranger Suarez and Cristopher Sanchez are usually effective. Taijuan Walker’s injury history is showing again this spring, but the team did add depth by signing Spencer Turnbull.

 

Chicago Cubs

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Gone is Marcus Stroman, but the Cubs rotation looks deeper this season with the addition of Shota Imanaga and top prospects on the way. Justin Steele established himself as an ace, and Jameson Taillon has shown he has more ability than last year’s 4.84 ERA. Kyle Hendricks is a control artist again now that his shoulder is healthy. The backend of the rotation will feature some combination of top prospects Jordan Wicks, Drew Smyly, and Javier Assad, with top prospects Ben Brown and Cade Horton expected to help later this season.

 

Cleveland Guardians

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Great starting pitching has led to Cleveland’s last decade of success, and they’re capable of bouncing back this year. Shane Bieber has shown revitalized velocity in Spring Training after the radar gun slipped recently, while the youthful quartet of Triston McKenzie, Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen, and Gavin Williams all have high ceilings. It will be key for the group to stay healthy, which has been an issue for McKenzie and Williams, in particular.

 

Tampa Bay Rays

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Incredibly, the Rays lost aces Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, and Jeffrey Springs to arm injuries last season on top of Shane Baz. Baz should return before the break, but the Rays starting five still looks formidable without him. Zach Eflin was instantly an ace after signing from Philadelphia, while Aaron Civale looked excellent thanks to his curveball. Zack Littell move from the pen to show elite control, and Ryan Pepiot had a 2.14 ERA in 42 innings for the Dodgers. Taj Bradley struggled in his rookie season, but his top-shelf stuff and minor-league success show better days ahead.

 

Detroit Tigers

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Detroit’s rotation finished 16th in ERA last season, but fans have reason to be bullish. Tarik Skubal was an elite pitcher after returning from an arm injury, while former top prospects Matt Manning and Casey Mize appear healthy. Reese Olson showed a sub-4.00 ERA in his rookie season, and veteran additions Kenta Maeda and Jack Flaherty have been effective in their careers, when healthy. There’s even more help on the way, with elite prospects Jackson Jobe and Ty Madden.

 

Texas Rangers

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The Rangers rotation resembles its World Series collection, with the notable exceptions of Jordan Montgomery (free agency) and Max Scherzer (injury). Scherzer could return by June, while the team also hopes Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle return in the second half. In the meantime, Nathan Eovaldi is a capable ace, and the trio of Jon Gray, Andrew Heaney, and Dane Dunning are fine middle of the rotation options when healthy. The fifth rotation spot is up for grabs, with top prospects Jack Leiter, Owen White, and Josh Stephan possibly helping later this season.

 

Boston Red Sox

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Boston signed Lucas Giolito to effectively replace Chris Sale, but were dealt a crushing blow when he injured his arm in Spring Training. Nick Pivetta is a power arm who showed flashes last season, but has lacked consistency in his career. Brayan Bello needs to miss more bats to take the next step. Some combination of Tanner Houck, Garrett Whitlock, and Josh Winckowski are set for the final two slots, showing upside but lacking durability.

 

San Diego Padres

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The losses of Cy Young winner Blake Snell and breakout Seth Lugo hurt San Diego, but they could be slightly offset if Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish can rebound from injury-plagued seasons. The team did very well to add high-upside arms Michael King, Randy Vasquez, and Jhony Brito in the Juan Soto trade with the Yankees, while elite prospects Drew Thorpe and Robert Snelling should also help in 2024. The Padres could need to tread water with Pedro Avila, Matt Waldron, and others in the meantime.

 

San Francisco Giants

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Logan Webb is an established ace after leading the league in innings last season, but the rest of San Francisco’s rotation is unproven until Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray return from injuries. The team spent big money on Jordan Hicks, but his effectiveness as a starter is unclear. Kyle Harrison is a former top prospect who has shown shaky control, while Keaton Winn has had multiple minor arm issues.

 

St. Louis Cardinals

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St. Louis has tried to cure a problematic starting rotation in an interesting way, adding very seasoned veterans Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson during the offseason. Gray is coming off his best season, but Lynn and Gibson were far from their best in 2023 with very poor ERAs. Miles Mikolas is in a similar position after posting a 4.78 ERA in 35 starts. Steven Matz has been unable to stay healthy since signing in 2022.

 

Milwaukee Brewers

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Milwaukee lost their top two starters between Brandon Woodruff‘s shoulder injury and the trade of Corbin Burnes. Freddy Peralta is capable of picking up the slack, and the team has an interesting mix behind him. Wade Miley and Colin Rea were effective last season, while Jakob Junis could make the most of a starting opportunity. Journeyman Joe Ross returns from injury to try to regain his form as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Aaron Ashby and DL Hall have ace stuff if they can throw strikes, while top prospects Robert Gasser and Jacob Misiorowski should help soon.

 

Cincinnati Reds

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Cincinnati’s 5.43 rotation ERA last season is misleading, given their home hitter’s park, but the Reds don’t exactly have reliable arms. Young Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo each have ace upside, but haven’t been able to stay healthy. Free agent find Frankie Montas has also shown ace ability, though he’s returning from a shoulder injury. Graham Ashcraft has been very inconsistent in his short career, while Andrew Abbott floundered down the stretch last season after a fast start. Swingman Nick Martinez gives the team depth, but could be in for a rude awakening after going from roomy San Diego to Cincinnati.

 

Los Angeles Angels

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The loss of Shohei Ohtani is a major setback for the Angels rotation, though the unit’s upside remains. Reid Detmers has ace-level stuff if he can harness his control, while Griffin Canning showed steady progress last season. Lefties Patrick Sandoval and Tyler Anderson are looking to rebound from down years but were excellent in 2022. Former top prospect Chase Silseth is an exciting arm to complete the starting five.

 

New York Mets

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The Mets traded Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer prior to last year’s trade deadline, and were dealt another blow with Kodai Senga’s shoulder injury in Spring Training. They desperately need rebound seasons from Luis Severino and Sean Manaea, along with a full year of health from Jose Quintana. Adrian Houser and Tylor Megill have proven to be viable backend starters, but the team will have help later this year with David Peterson returning from injury and top prospect Christian Scott on the way.

 

Kansas City Royals

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KC has struggled to develop their own pitching, but went to free agency this offseason with the additions of Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo, The team hopes Cole Ragans’ glimpses as an ace will continue after a great stretch run. Brady Singer and Jordan Lyles were liabilities last season, but both have shown more success in their pasts.

 

Oakland Athletics

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Oakland made an effort to improve their starting five by adding veterans Ross Stripling and Alex Wood during the offseason. They provide veteran leadership along with Paul Blackburn, and have proven to be find middle of the rotation starters in their careers. JP Sears has an exemplary career but struggled to keep the ball down in his first full season in 2023. Joe Boyle has been the talk of Spring Training with his ace-level stuff, but must prove the control he showed late last season wasn’t a fluke after failing to throw strikes in the minors.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates

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Mitch Keller finally showed ace ability last season before breaking down for the stretch run, but that didn’t stop the team from extending him. He has more support this year with the addition of veteran lefties Marco Gonzales and Martin Perez. Young starters Luis Ortiz, Roansy Contreras, and Quinn Priester are battling for the final two spots, and each have upside. The rotation will take a huge step forward later this season when top prospects like Paul Skenes, Braxton Ashcraft, and Anthony Solometo arrive.

 

Chicago White Sox

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Chicago enters the season with ace Dylan Cease, but that could seemingly change at any minute in the midst of a firesale. The rest of the rotation is a crapshoot, with Erick Fedde hoping to repeat his success from Korea, Michael Kopech and Michael Soroka trying to regenerate their early-career success, and Chris Flexen trying to save his career. Former first-round pick Garrett Crochet could also be a boon if he proves he can throw strikes and start games.

 

Washington Nationals

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The big contracts for Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin haven’t been money well spent in Washington, with Strasburg retired and Corbin moonlighting as possibly the worst starter in MLB. The team is hoping for progress for young starters Josiah Gray, MacKenzie Gore, and Jake Irvin this season, with former top draft choice Cade Cavalli returning from injury later this year. The team has other young arms they’d like to contribute, as well, including Jackson Rutledge, DJ Herz, and Cole Henry.

 

Colorado Rockies

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It’s tough enough to pitch in Colorado, but the arm injuries to high-priced starters German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela make the job more difficult. Kyle Freeland finished fourth in the Cy Young voting in 2018, and has shown upped velocity this spring after a terrible 2023. Cal Quantrill is also hoping to rebound from a poor season. It’s up for debate whether the backend of Austin Gomber, Ryan Feltner, and Dakota Hudson would crack any other rotation in baseball.

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