clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A guide to the most watchable rotations: MLB

Enough with the divisions -- it's time to debate over who has the most exciting rotations in all of baseball.

The hair.
The hair.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven't read any of the six parts of this series, the goal of this activity was to find the most exciting pitching rotations to watch in baseball. I therefore created a methodology with five aspects of pitching (age, effectiveness, strikeout rate, fastball velocity, and breaking ball usage) that help determine whom I love to watch. And that, in itself, is already a first misstep into subjectivity, but at least it was a uniform methodology for every pitcher in baseball, rather than arbitrarily assigning scores to individual pitchers.

Of course, it wasn't perfect, and I'll be the first to admit that there were a few wacky results. (Sorry, Rich Hill and your relatives, but you aren't more fun to watch than Sonny Gray, Felix Hernandez, and Yu Darvish.) In hindsight, I should've somehow created a way to identify and filter "nasty offspeed pitches" and used "combined usage of nasty offspeed pitches" rather than "breaking ball usage". I also should've used weighted three-year trends, rather than just last year's results, because a sudden slippage in 2015 hurt someone like King Felix.

Even with all these admissions, I was still happy with most of the results. The process seemed to spit out scores that, for the most part, correlated pretty strongly with guys that I personally enjoy watching. Anyway, here are the links to the previous six parts of this series, sorted by division, with each explaining the exact methodology calculation that I described above.

NL East

AL East

NL Central

AL Central

NL West

AL West

Lastly, here are the final results, with the team followed by their rotation members' combined watchability scores:

Most Watchable Rotations

1. Mets (35)

2. Nationals (32)

T-3. Indians (29)

T-3. Cubs (29)

5. Yankees (28)

Least Watchable Rotations

T-25. Royals (14)

T-25. Rockies (14)

27. Orioles (13)

28. Blue Jays (10)

29. Angels (9)

30. Twins (8)

One last note -- I wrote this series over the course of two months, so the rotations in the East have a score that represents the pitchers in their rotation at the beginning of the season. It won't change anything too drastically for most teams, but a team like the Blue Jays will probably move up out of the bottom five with the addition of Aaron "I throw 98 mph bowling balls" Sanchez into the rotation.

Finally, here are the most watchable individual starting pitchers by watchability score (out of 15), with the score in parentheses:

Most Watchable Starting Pitchers

Jose Fernandez (13)

Clayton Kershaw (12)

Chris Archer (12)

Jake Arrieta (11)

Madison Bumgarner (11)

Noah Syndergaard (10)

Jacob deGrom (10)

Stephen Strasburg (10)

Garrett Richards (10)*

Chris Sale (9)

Corey Kluber (9)

Carlos Carrasco (9)

Max Scherzer (9)

Matt Harvey (9)

Drew Smyly (9)

Gerrit Cole (9)

Carlos Martinez (9)

Lance McCullers (9)

*not included in the series because of injury

. . .

Austin Yamada is a contributing writer for Beyond the Box Score.