clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How does the Yankees’ rotation compare to the rest of the American League?

New, comments

As the race for the playoffs enters the final months, which teams have rotations that can do damage in October?

MLB: New York Mets at New York Yankees
The Acquisition of Sonny Gray gave the Yankee’s rotation a major upgrade
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With one month to go before playoff spots are finalized, The Yankees sit between a medley of teams looking to sneak into a Wild Card spot or clinch their division. Several boast strong rotations anchored by legitimate aces, while others have had less than desirable arms head their staff all season. Where do they all stack up as the season winds down, and who is poised to get the best results in a playoff series?

#1) Cleveland Indians

Corey Kluber: 13-4, 2.63 ERA, 215 K, 33 BB, .89 WHIP

Carlos Carrasco: 13-6, 3.78 ERA, 175 K, 40 B, 1.13 WHIP

Trevor Bauer: 14-8, 4.46 ERA, 161 K, 55 BB, 1.43 WHIP

Mike Clevinger: 7-5, 3.72 ERA, 108 K, 50 BB, 1.31 WHIP

Lead by one of the co-favorites to win the Cy Young Award, the Indians’ staff has enough power arms with playoff experience to shut down any lineup come October. Kluber in particular is only getting stronger after missing most of May due to injury, and could arguably be pitching the best out of anyone in either league down the stretch. The arms behind him are no slouches, as Carrasco and Bauer could both have 200-strikeout seasons by the end of the year.

#2) New York Yankees

Luis Severino: 11-6, 3.14 ERA, 192 K, 45 BB, 1.10 WHIP

Sonny Gray: 8-8, 3.26 ERA, 120 K, 43 BB, 1.18 WHIP

Masahiro Tanaka: 10-10, 4.69 ERA, 155 K, 34 BB, 1.25 WHIP

CC Sabathia: 10-5, 3.82 ERA, 90 K, 40 BB, 1.26 WHIP

Despite the emergence of Severino to acehood, it didn’t look likely that the Yankees would be able to boast an elite staff come playoff time. In the second half however, the addition of Gray and the return to dominance for Tanaka have created great frontline depth and a scary 1-2-3 punch that offers little room for offenses to work around.

#3) Boston Red Sox

Chris Sale: 15-6, 2.77 ERA, 264 K, 35 BB, 0.91 WHIP

Drew Pomeranz: 14-4, 3.23 ERA, 149 K, 57 BB, 1.37 WHIP

Rick Porcello: 9-15, 4.45 ERA, 160 K, 38 BB, 1.38 WHIP

Eduardo Rodriguez: 4-4, 4.19 ERA, 114 K, 38 BB, 1.24 WHIP

Sale has lead the Cy Young conversation for most of the season, but has stumbled of late. That has been a pattern for Sale during this time of year, and he has yet to be tested by an extended season. Assuming he returns to form however, he anchors what is an excellent Red Sox rotation. The indefinite loss of David Price hurts them, although his playoff record might indicate otherwise, since he could be very useful in guaranteeing the Sox clinch the East with relative ease.

#4) Houston Astros

Dallas Keuchel: 11-3, 2.91 ERA, 97 K, 35 BB, 1.08 WHIP

Justin Verlander: 10 - 8, 3.82 ERA, 176 K, 67 BB, 1.28 WHIP

Charlie Morton: 10-6, 3.88 ERA, 130 K, 44 BB, 1.22 WHIP

Brad Peacock: 10-2, 3.12 ERA, 137 K, 48 BB, 1.27 WHIP

Lance McCullers, Jr.: 7-3, 3.92 ERA, 118 K, 36 BB, 1.29 WHIP

Keuchel looked unstoppable early in the season, but missed a significant amount of time and hasn’t looked good in the past several starts since he returned from the D.L. That’s worrisome for Houston, and explains their August 31st blockbuster to acquire Verlander. The former Tigers ace is having a solid but unspectacular season. Peacock has had the best season out of the others, but is actually further down the depth chart at #5. Mike Fiers is still slated as their #3 starter, but he hasn’t been good enough to deserve a start in a playoff game.

#5) Tampa Bay Rays

Chris Archer: 9-7, 3.66 ERA, 225 K, 52 BB, 1.19 WHIP

Jake Odorizzi: 7-7, 4.85 ERA, 97 K, 52 BB, 1.36 WHIP

Alex Cobb: 9-9, 3.72 ERA, 107 K, 38 BB, 1.21 WHIP

Matt Andriese: 5-1, 3.38 ERA, 55 K, 22 BB, 1.28 WHIP

Archer has pitched great all season, continuing to dominate batters and amass huge strikeout numbers. He’s on the short list of guys you would want to start a winner-take-all game for you, which is what the Rays would face if they manage to get back into a Wild Card slot. The rest of the rotation is decent, and can eat some innings before getting the Rays to the pen, but Archer is what puts them ahead of the pack.

#6) Minnesota Twins

Ervin Santana: 14-7, 3.27 ERA, 146 K, 57 BB, 1.14 WHIP

Jose Berrios: 12-6, 3.80 ERA, 115 K, 35 BB, 1.13 WHIP

Bartolo Colon: 6-10, 6.25 ERA, 75 K, 30 BB, 1.64 WHIP

Kyle Gibson: 8-10, 5.59 ERA, 90 K, 52 BB, 1.65 WHIP

At first glance, you might be wondering how the team currently holding the second Wild Card spot could possibly have Colon as their third best pitcher. Surprisingly though, Colon’s numbers have been decent in his short stint as a Twin, and he seems to be pitching more like his last few years with the New York Mets. The Twins would be higher if Santana was still pitching like his first half self, but regression has taken its toll on him. Berrios is an intriguing arm that could challenge Santana for the first game nod if he continues to perform.

#7) Baltimore Orioles

Kevin Gausman: 10-9, 4.98 ERA, 140 K, 63 BB, 1.59 WHIP

Dylan Bundy: 13-8, 3.94 ERA, 137 K, 45 BB, 1.16 WHIP

Wade Miley: 8-10, 4.99 ERA, 122 K, 79 BB, 1.69 WHIP

Ubaldo Jimenez: 5-9, 6.85 ERA, 120 K, 55 BB, 1.60 WHIP

The Orioles’ staff has been a mess all season, but the team is making a late season push and if their arms can rebound they would be a legitimate threat. As far as their season as a whole goes though, it hasn’t been pretty. Bundy is the only pitcher the Orioles can send out and have confidence that they could compete in a playoff game, as the others have served up balls to opposing batters.

#8) Los Angeles Angels

Ricky Nolasco: 6-12, 5.09 ERA, 124 K, 47 BB, 1.45 WHIP

Tyler Skaags: 1-4, 4.25 ERA, 50 K, 19 BB, 1.36 WHIP

Andrew Heaney: 1-0, 5.63 ERA, 19 K, 3 BB, 1.25 WHIP

Parker Bridwell: 7-2, 3.52 ERA, 54 K, 21 BB, 1.22 WHIP

If I’m being honest, I hadn’t heard of any of the last three pitchers I listed until I researched the Angels’ staff. Injuries and a lack of depth have forced the Angels’ depth chart to read as such. It’s clear that pitching hasn’t been what has brought the Angels back into the Wild Card discussion, but even the other lesser teams have something that could resemble a Game 1 starter. For the Angels, they’ll just have to hope the bats don’t go cold in the October winds.

How do you think the Yankees’ rotation stacks up against the playoff contenders in the AL?