As we await further news on the future of the MLB, we have the opportunity to look at the upcoming starting rotations for the 2020 season. Plenty of standout names assisted their respective franchise into the top five of this particular segment, as parity in baseball’s pitching depth has become apparent.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have made the postseason in each of the last seven seasons, currently rank with the fifth-best starting rotation in the MLB. With a league-best 3.37 ERA, they were also one of eight teams to strike out 1,500+ batters last season.
At the top spot is three-time Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw. Entering his age 32 season, he has compiled a starting record of 169-74, along with a 2.44 career ERA.
Despite his inconsistencies in the postseason, Kershaw is still among the top pitchers in the MLB. Another 10+ wins and 175+ strikeouts isn’t an impossible ask from someone who has done it eight times previously.
Drafted with the 24th overall pick in the MLB Draft was 25-year old Walker Buehler. After the 2019 season, he has established himself as a reliable asset for Los Angeles. In fact, his 14-4 starting record resulted in a league-best 77.8% win-loss percentage.
After an All-Star appearance and consideration for the Cy Young award, Buehler could very well provide himself as the most essential member of the Dodgers starting rotation.
In February, the Dodgers and Boston Red Sox cut a blockbuster deal that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to Los Angeles. Price, who turns 35 in August, has shown promise at times throughout Spring Training.
Hopefully the change of scenery will be the solution for Price, who is coming off a 7-5, 4.28 ERA season with Boston. The hope for the Dodgers will be for their newly-acquired veteran to return to his 2018 form in which Price posted a 16-7 record and only surrendered 7.7 hits per nine innings; the lowest its been since 2012.
The Dodgers are also developing another young arm in Julio Urias. Entering his age 24 season, he totaled an 4-3 record in 2019 alongside a career-best 2.49 ERA. Despite only 79.2 innings pitched, Urias totaled a 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
Urias will likely be limited due to inexperience at the major league level, having appeared in 63 games across four seasons. Much like Buehler, his ceiling is currently unknown, but he is an exciting name to have in the starting rotation nonetheless.
Rounding out the starting rotation for the Dodgers is 29-year old Alex Wood. After spending over three full seasons with Los Angeles, the two sides agreed on a newfound deal after Wood spent one season with the Cincinnati Reds.
His 2019 campaign wasn’t one to remember, as he totaled a 1-3 starting record and harbored a 5.80 ERA. A back injury eventually riddled his season, limiting Wood to seven appearances. During that time, he only exceeded six innings in a single start only one time.