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How MLB teams' rotations rank

By Steve Makinen  () 

USATSI_15838317
MLB teams made a plethora 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.
 
As you consider which teams might have the right recipes to play into late October, remember that the Rays’ rotation was ranked fourth and the Dodgers’ starters were rated sixth at the outset of last year’s shortened season. Depth in the rotation is very important to sustained success, so exercises like this can be very helpful in determining futures wagers.
 
I’ve 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’ve 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.
 
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