Way-too-early 2021 MLB starting rotation rankings


Last week, we took a snapshot of the lineups across Major League Baseball as we begin to look forward to the scheduled opening of spring training. Today, we do the same for the starting rotations.

As with the hitters, there is still room for a little last-minute juggling. When the Los Angeles Dodgers secured reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer last week, that took the top remaining free agent off the board. Some quality starting pitchers remain on the market and are looking to secure deals even as most of the industry prepares to head for Arizona and Florida.

Among the notable free-agent hurlers who otherwise would populate this piece are veterans James Paxton, Jake Odorizzi, Taijuan Walker and Rick Porcello. They and several others will impact some teams this season; but right now, we just don’t know which teams those will be. Factor these names in if you don’t like the way your team looks here.

Pitcher scores below are based on a formula weighting most recent 50 starts, strength of schedule and 2021 projections from my system. The league average game score is 50, though won-lost records were based on simulations that used the pitcher’s forecast distribution of game scores, his team’s schedule and his generated pitching matchups. The top six starters for each team, based on their projected number of outings, are listed with their scores. Other notable starters beyond No. 6 who figure into the team numbers are listed by name only.

On to the rankings.



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