2020 Positional Power Rankings: Starting Rotation (No. 16-30)

Last week, we covered the game’s position players as part of our positional power rankings. Now we move to the pitching side, starting with the bottom half (16-30) of the starting rotation rankings.


The latter half of the starter rankings are almost evenly split between the leagues, leaning 8-7 toward the National League. But five of the last seven are from the American League with each division represented at least once, furthering the notion that the AL is a league of haves and have-nots for at least another season. (Of those five, only the Toronto Blue Jays are seen as having an outside chance to compete and that’s due more to their offense than anything else.)

Keep in mind that the short season tightens things up quite a bit, too. Consider last year’s rankings, where the 16th-ranked Reds were projected for 10.6 WAR, three wins clear of the 24th ranked Brewers. This year the Cardinals slot 16th with a 4.7 mark, just 0.7 wins better than the 24th ranked Red Sox. A single over- or underachiever could sway things substantially for their team. Prospects might be the biggest needle-movers if they can secure roles; Mitch Keller (58) and Brady Singer (31) are the only Top 100 arms projected for 30-plus innings, while Matt Manning (28), Spencer Howard (24), Nate Pearson (21), Tarik Skubal (17), Casey Mize (14), and Sixto Sanchez (7) will battle for starts once the season gets underway.

The Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies, and Diamondbacks are seen as playoff dark horses (or frontrunners in some cases) based on their rosters as a whole, but if you had to select a rotation in the 21-30 range that could lead its team into a postseason berth, which one would you pick? Focus solely on the staff, avoid citing Trout & Co. or the Baby Blue Jays overcoming their rotation deficiencies, and let me know your favorite in the comments!





Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Art Fay
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Art Fay

I’d say this is all spot on except saying “the ACE that Lester once was”. I think the real aces of the last decade would scratch their heads at including him. He was a really really good pitcher but never sniffed that upper tier, even in his best seasons. He was paid like an ace though.

bglick4
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bglick4

I guess it depends on your definition of Ace. He’s not Verlander, Scherzer, or deGrom, but he’s been a top ten pitcher a few times. I think his 2008 -2010 stats at least would qualify him as an Ace.

Original Greaser Bob
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Original Greaser Bob
SenorGato
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SenorGato

Now this is a real steamer of a hot take