30) Baltimore Orioles
2019 Stats: W/L 36-76, 5.57 ERA, 5.72 FIP, 5.1 fWAR
The O’s rotation will be led by 2019 All-Star, John Means. The 27-year-old was a pleasant surprise for the Orioles, finishing the 2019 season second in AL Rookie of the Year voting. The righty went 12-11, with a 3.60 ERA, and 121 strikeouts. Expect him to build on his successful rookie year. Behind him is nothing but stop gags and question marks. Alex Cobb is looking to bounce back after missing the majority of the 2019 season. The Veteran only appeared in 12.1 innings, where he went 0-2 with a 10.95 ERA.
The Orioles have a promising young group of pitching prospects, but they are still a few years away. In the meantime, Wade LeBlanc, Asher Wojciechowski, and Tommy Milone will all have opportunities to prove themselves.
29) San Fransisco Giants
2019 Stats: W/L 39-66, 4.77 ERA, 4.89 FIP, 4.0 fWAR
Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Kevin Gausman, and Drew Smyly are all pretty much locks to make the rotation. Samardzija, Guasmna, and Smyly are all on experiencing contracts and with the Giants not expected to contend for a playoff spot, any of those three could be shipped out by the trade deadline.
Johnny Cueto has already been named the Opening Day starter and only appeared in 16 innings. He missed the majority of the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. The fifth spot is up for grabs, with Andrew Suarez, Trevor Cahil, Logan Webb, and Tyler Anderson all in the running.
28) Seattle Mariners
2019 Stats: W/L 36-56, 5.21 WAR, 5.12 FIP, 5.4 fWAR
While the Mariners rotation was awful in 2019, there is reason to hope. The team signed Taijuan Walker who missed all of 2018 and 2019 with Tommy John. Before the injury, Walker went 9-9, with a 3.49 ERA, and 146 strikeouts in 2017. The 27-year-old will spend the majority of 2020 regaining his strength but, should be a welcomed addition. He joins Marco Gonzalez who is coming off a decent year. In 2019, he went 16-13, with a 3.99 ERA, and 147 strikeouts, but posted a 4.15 FIP.
The Mariners will need more from Japanese standout Yusei Kikuchi and former top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield. Kikuchi struggled in his first year in the majors, finishing 2019 with a 5.46 ERA. Sheffield appeared in eight games, going 0-1, with a 5.50 ERA. Rounding out the rotation is former Oakland Athletic, Kendall Graveman. The rotation has some potential but should still finish towards the bottom in 2020.
27) Los Angeles Angels
2019 Stats: W/L 28-60, 5.64 ERA, 5.41 FIP, 3.2 fWAR
Last year, the Angels starting rotation ranked last in fWAR, 29th in ERA, 29th in FIP, 27th in strikeouts, and 29th in LOB%. With one of the worst starting rotation in the league, the Angels did little to fix their major hole. Instead of landing a big fish such as Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Madison Bumgarner, or Hyun-jin Ryu, they signed Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy.
While he never turned into an ace, Teheran was serviceable while with the Braves. He finished 2019 10-11, with a 3.81 ERA, and 162 strikeouts. Teheran will be a vast improvement from last year but, is nowhere near enough. However, the Angels received some good news when GM Billy Epler announced at the end of June that Shohei Ohtani will once again be a two way player in 2020. He is recovering from Tommy John surgery, which kept him from pitching in all of 2019. His presence on the mound will be a much-needed addition, but he will need to prove he is fully recovered from TJ.
* marks the pitcher is injured but could return this season.
26) Boston Red Sox
2019 Stats: W/L 50-50, 4.95 ERA, 4.40 FIP, 10.9 fWAR
After winning the World Series in 2018, the Red Sox rotation took a huge step back in 2019. Fast forward to the upcoming season and the rotation will be even worse. Ace, Chris Sale is out for the season with Tommy John, and the team shipped out David Price in the Mookie Betts trade. Collin McHugh was expected to play a big part in the rotation, but the team announced on Sunday that he was going to miss the season. Eduardo Rodriguez was the team’s 2019 break out star but, tested positive for COVID on July seven. Thankfully, he just recently returned to the team, but will no longer be the team’s Opening Day starter. His presence will be a big boost to the rotation. In the meantime, the team’s number two pitcher will be Nathan Eovaldi who is coming off of an injury-plagued 2019 season. Yikes.