We have all heard the age old axiom that pitching wins championships so which team boasts the best of the bunch and should we use that as a basis for selecting our MLB picks this season?
Before we explore the most fearsome five-somes in baseball there is a not so tacit “buyer beware” that accompanies such lists. Certainly it would be an enormous betting advantage that we could exploit in our MLB Picks to know for certain which rotation will weather the long grind of the 2015 MLB season. However, we know that the injury bug plays no favorites therefore all we can do is look at the past as a barometer for the future.
Yet, an injury to one of the staff’s starters does not necessarily spell gloom and doom for that team’s prospects to achieve postseason glory. We must contemplate that team’s front office and their willingness to make substantial trades at the deadline if not to fill a gap created by injury but perhaps to add even more depth out of the pen.
And speaking of the bullpen, how many long relievers are equipped to step in and fill the void created by a starter who lands on the disabled list? Does this team have the resources to cover a problem that will most likely crop up to one degree or another? Lastly, how good is their offense? Pitching may ultimately win the day but any World Series contender has to have a little thump in their lineup to complement all that pitching talent.
Without further ado, let us take a look at which teams stack up as having the most quintessential quintet of devastating starters this season and the MLB Odds in parentheses that accompany their teams to win the World Series.
1. Washington Nationals (+700) – General Manager Mike Rizzo was aware he already had the icing on the cake when analyzing his starting rotation that began with 26-year-old phenom Stephen Strasburg and ended with relative newcomer to the bigs in Tanner Roark and his arsenal which includes a baffling sinker that can top 95 mph on the gun not to mention a 2.57 ERA over a season plus. But then he added the crown jewel of this offseason’s free agency period when he inked two-time All-Star and the 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer to the roster of the nation’s capital. That is like putting a big old banana split on top of the Belgian chocolate flourless cake. But in Major League Baseball there is no such thing as too much of a good thing and that counts double for pitching.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (+900) – While any team’s rotation will pale in comparison to the potentially historical starting five of the Nationals, it’s not a bad consolation prize when you can count among your starters the reigning NL Cy Young and MVP Award winner to lead your brigade. Clayton Kerhsaw is the best pitcher in baseball and at only 26-years-old he has an opportunity to lead Big Blue for many seasons to come.
3. St. Louis Cardinals (+1200) – The Cards boast a two-headed monster at the top of their rotation in Adam Wainright and Lance Lynn. They also have the battle tested veteran John Lackey stabilizing the middle of the rotation while there are some tantalizing young guns at the back of the rotation.
4. San Diego Padres (+1400) – The Padres had built a good, stout solid major league staff but needed a front-end pitcher to lead the rotation. General Manager A.J. Preller knew he couldn’t compete in the high-stakes Max Scherzer sweepstakes so he did the sensible thing and signed a top quality veteran with postseason experience in James Shields.
5. Seattle Mariners (+1600) – The Mariners are the only American League club to make the cut and they do so by virtue of their exemplary ace Felix Hernandez. Add in Japanese sensation Hisashi Iwakuma as the second man up while counting on a pair of young fire-ballers in James Paxton and Taijuan Walker to win the AL West and beyond.