We've linked to a couple studies recently on determining what to expect from each slot of the rotation. David (spurdynasty over at Lone Star Ball) decided to take a more applied route and analyzed each team's rotation on the 1-5 scale.
It's a pretty basic methodology, but does a solid job of painting a representative picture of what each team had going for it. All pitchers with at least 100 IP (to remove the relievers) were sorted in order of tRA* (thanks, StatCorner.com). The first thirty were called #1s, the next thirty #2s, and so on. There were only 130 pitchers with 100 IP, so only ten pitchers were labeled #5s. To fill out rotations, empty spots were called #5.5s. Then David averaged the five ratings to put all thirty teams in order. Take a look:
- Evidently the Rangers' defensive problems can't just be explained by fielding and home park.
- There were three teams without a #1 or #2 starter: the Tigers, Orioles, and Rangers.
- There were three teams without a #4 or #5 starter: the Diamondbacks, White Sox, and Blue Jays. Two of those teams missed the playoffs.
- Eight teams had two or more #1 starters. The Diamondbacks and Dodgers had three.
- The Cardinals were the only team without a #1 or #5 starter.
- CC Sabathia counted as a #1 for both the Indians and Brewers, with his stints ranking ninth and first respectively.
- The Phillies had the lowest-ranking rotation of any playoff team. Yay, defense.
- The Reds, Astros, and Padres all had rotations that went 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.5. The Indians, Twins, Phillies, and Giants were all a single point away from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 rotations.
- There weren't any teams with three #1s or #2s and two #4s or #5s, which would be the ideal rotation to leverage for the playoffs. The Indians had the best rotation to include two pitchers no better than a #4
If anyone's interested in building on David's work and accounting for things like innings pitched, go right ahead