Best Starting Rotation in Major League Baseball | Sharapova's Thigh

So I got in a debate last night with a friend at the bars. Who has the best starting rotation in baseball? I should preface this by saying that he's a Rays fan and is going absolutely apeshit over how they are playing. In his opinion the Rays have the second best staff in baseball behind the Red Sox. Two thoughts popped into my head immediately: slow your role and get off the Red Sox cock, I know their good but they don't enter this conversation. This is my obligatory tip of the cap to Josh Beckett for fucking over Cleveland last year. You win, you always do. Fuckface. So here it goes my attempt at the top 5 starting staffs in Major League Baseball.

Cleveland Indians

Yeah this comes as no shock since I am an unapologetic homer, but I feel pretty confident that this ballyhooing is accurate. CC, Fausto, Cliff Lee, Jake Westbrook, Aaron Laffey and Paul Byrd. 44 2/3 straight innings without giving up a run. Cliff has an ERA of 0.67. If Fausto can find the strike zone he's untouchable. The only hope against big number 55 is that he walks you. Oh yeah and CC is the reigning Cy Young winner and has regained that form after a rocky start. They lead the majors in Quality Starts (27) and in ERA (3.26). The ERA number is made more impressive by the fact that the bullpen has an ERA a full point higher (4.25).

Arizona Diamondbacks

This rotation was good last year, now they are scary. Brandon Webb? Oh he's just 9-0. Dan Haren? Yeah I guess he's ok. An old, but still intimidating as hell Randy Johnson. And Babe Ruth, I mean Micah Owings. I was surprised to see that they are only 8th in the majors in ERA, but the top 4 is pretty legit. In all reality this is probably Randy's last year, but he still makes most batters want to crap their pants because you never know when he's going to airmail one over your head. I'm not sure what is more impressive, Brandon Webb starting the season 9-0 or Cliff Lee's ERA. Either way, Webb has been dealin. This rotation is going to give teams fits in the postseason. Basically they have 2 number one starters and 2 number two starters. Normally a recipe of success.

Toronto Blue Jays

I really don't understand how this team is so completely and utterly awful. It is no fault of the pitching staff. Everybody knows how good Roy Halladay (Mandatory Denver shoutout to Arvada West Hight School) has been over the last 5 years. AJ Burnett has always been good despite bouts of inconsistency. It's the rise of Jesse Litsch and Shaun Marcum that has made this rotation truly formidable. Marcum and Cliff Lee had an epic duel Sunday in the back half of a double dip. The both went 9 scoreless. Marcum gave up 2 hits Cliff gave up 5. At this point the Jays have probably already dug themselves into too big a hole, but it isn' the fault of the starters. If the bullpen and the bats come around this team will end up screwing over some of their competitors in the AL East.

Tampa Bay Rays

Scott Kazmir. James Shields. I don't know if I should type anything else. They could be 2 of the top 5 pitching talents in the right now. I say talent because both still have mental problems and therefore haven't reached their potential. These guys are good and young and locked up for a long time. I'm not sure if this cat Andy Sonnanstine is for real or not. He's 5-1 but has an awful ERA. I must say that I was stoked to see Matt Garza leave the AL Central. When he figures it out he'll be fith nasty. Oh yeah and they have David Price who last time I checked had an ERA of 0.00 after 27 innings pitched at AA. I know its AA, but he's scary good too. This staff is going to be really special for a long time coming. Then again Buster Olney said every year for the last 3 that this team should be good, so I guess we never know quite what to expect out of the Rays.

Chicago Cubs

I almost don't want to start talking about the Cubs staff because I know that my fellow Thigh contributors are Cubaholics. Carlos Zambrano is scary good. Emphasis on scary because every time I see him on ESPN I know I might witness a murder: teammate, opponent, fan he doesn't discriminate. The dude is intense, and that's a good quality to have in a pitcher. Dempster has had an up and down career, but so far this year it has been up up and up. He has great stuff its just a question of health and mental problems. Ted Lilly is a great competitor. I'm sure I left something out about Hill or Marquis.

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