Where Mets, Yankees figure in pitching power rankings

MLB teams made a number of huge offseason moves to bolster their starting staffs. In many cases it was the rich getting richer, as the Dodgers, Yankees and Padres loaded up at the expense of teams like the Cubs, Rangers and Reds. But in other cases, it was just huge young arms finally getting a chance to ascend to ace recognition.

I have put together a ranking of teams’ combined starting pitcher power ratings based on the same numbers I use to generate the daily ratings on VSiN.com. They are taken from my individual pitcher ratings and the length of their typical starts. I have also used the depth charts offered by ESPN.com as a guide for determining a Nos. 1-6 rotation order for each team. Naturally, the pitchers at the top would figure to get the most starts and innings. But for the purposes of this exercise, I have treated all but the No. 6 pitchers equally in an effort to focus on depth as the most important factor.

My power rankings are built exclusively for betting markets, meaning I tend to price the pitchers based more on how the betting markets perceive them than their actual stats. So I put more emphasis on pitchers whose talent and arsenal command more respect from those setting the odds. A pitcher with a big arm who can overpower hitters with multiple dominant pitches is rated higher in my system than those who rely on craft and perhaps good fortune to manage games. This line of thinking best reflects the markets that baseball bettors face daily.

You’ll want to evaluate more closely some specific study highlights if you hope to find value in the season win totals, divisional odds or World Series prices. For instance:

  • Besides the Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish acquisitions, perhaps the biggest pitching splash was made by the Yankees, who added former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. The Yankees also figure to get a boost from the return of Jameson Taillon, who missed much of 2019 and opted out of 2020 after Tommy John surgery.
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  • The other New York rotation might wind up being the best of all, as it boasts the No. 1 pitcher in baseball in Jacob deGrom. He is joined by newcomers Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker as well as the return of Marcus Stroman, the makings of a formidable foursome. Should Noah Syndergaard return around midseason in top form, the Mets will clearly be a team to consider as a postseason threat.
Corey Kluber
Corey Kluber
Robert Sabo

Here are MLB’s top five teams ranked in order of their combined starting pitcher power ratings, according to my numbers:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Average starter power rank: 33.1

Average start length: 5.21 innings (13th)

Analysis: The addition of Trevor Bauer, and essentially David Price, too, after he opted out of 2020, gives this staff virtually no weak spot. The Dodgers will be spot-starting pitchers like Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, who would be front-line studs on other teams.

2. San Diego Padres

Average starter power rank: 30.3

Average start length: 4.97 innings (22nd)

Analysis: If Yu Darvish has anywhere near the season he did in 2020, this team won’t miss a beat from the Mike Clevinger injury. Blake Snell gives San Diego a solid left-hander to mix things up as well. This franchise will be putting a stud on the hill every night.

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3. New York Yankees

Average starter power rank: 21.5

Average start length: 5.22 innings (12th)

Analysis: Gerrit Cole is the top-line starter, no doubt. Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon give this rotation even more star power. Have to wonder, though, whether this is another Yankees mistake to count on two guys to re-establish their best days.

4. New York Mets

Average Starter power rank: 20.1

Average start length: 5.35 innings (6th)

Analysis: Jacob deGrom will once again carry the Mets and is probably the best starter in the game. The Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker additions look very good on paper, but is 90+ wins a little overzealous considering the rotation has just one automatic star?

5. Atlanta Braves

Average starter power rank: 19.3

Average start length: 5.2 innings (14th)

Analysis: Charlie Morton might be one of the more underrated pickups for any rotation this season, as he boasts a long run of success and postseason experience. He joins a rotation that has solid young arms like Ian Anderson and Max Fried. But how this staff fares depends a lot on how the return of Mike Soroka plays out.

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