Dodgers Starting Rotation Is Still Best In Baseball

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times

Despite the Padres’ aggressive moves to bolster its starting pitching, the Dodgers still have the best starting rotation in baseball.

The off-season has been particularly quiet for the Dodgers despite some rumors linking them to Justin Turner and Marcell Ozuna.

They haven’t been linked to any starting pitchers on the free agent or trade markets, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. According to an article by The Athletic’s Eno Sarris, the Dodgers have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball despite the aggressive moves from the White Sox by adding Lance Lynn and the Padres adding Yu Darvish and Blake Snell.

Within the article, he uses projections, injury percentage, and somewhat complicated statistics (QOS+ and Command+) to determine the best rotation in baseball.

While the Padres rank first in projections, it is only because of the main core of starting pitchers they currently have. However, if Snell, Darvish, Dinelson Lamet, or Chris Paddack were to go down for significant time, it will certainly impact their chances at winning.

The same could be said about the Dodgers, however, as their has rotation depth could survive a significant injury, which for now projects as Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Julio Urias and Dustin May.

If one of the previously mentioned starters goes down, the Dodgers can easily supplement the rotation with either Tony Gonsolin, who we’ve made a case for the starting rotation, Josiah Gray and Mitch White.

Looking at the Padres’ system and their rotation depth, other than MacKenzie Gore and Reggie Lawson, they don’t really have any other young starters that could be ready for a call-up that could make an immediate impact.

That lines up with the injury concern as the Dodgers can plug in one of those key starters and still be dominant, while other teams could be in trouble as the most injury-prone teams in baseball include the Mets, Nationals, Red Sox, Padres and the Giants.

Now, let’s go back to those two stats that calculate “stuff” and command, which are QOS+ and Command+. It should be noted that the Dodgers value “stuff” more than command.

The Dodgers are ranked first according to QOS+, which factors in a pitcher’s vertical movement, velocity, extension, horizontal movement, spin rate and other useful analytical data to try and simplify it to one number. The best pitcher according to the QOS+ list , with the best “stuff” might surprise you; it’s Tony Gonsolin, the most improved pitcher with a QOS+ of 119.

Gonsolin has some of the best “stuff” in Major League Baseball based on the stats from Sept. 11, 2020, and he’s been the odd man out in the rotation, being the spot starter for the rest of the rotation.

While the Dodgers aren’t currently linked to any pitchers on the trade block or free agent market, they don’t necessarily need to. They still currently have one of the best rotations in baseball according to The Athletic, despite the aggressive push from the Padres.

They also have the most improved pitcher based on QOS+ in Tony Gonsolin, the unfortunate odd man out in the rotation, saying a lot about their rotation.

The organizational depth the Dodgers have also proves why they will remain at the top because they can survive a hit such as a serious injury unlike the Padres and other teams.

The Dodgers have built a powerhouse in the starting rotation and can credit their development staff and front office for acquiring talent that should keep them toward the top for a long time.

Jacob Cisneros is a writer for Dodgers-LowDown. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @_JacobCisneros.