Rankings. Everyone loves them. And everyone hates them. We love them when they confirm what we already believe to be true. And we rage against them when they don’t, because we clearly have the only viewpoint that is correct (GUILTY AS CHARGED). On Monday over at The Athletic, Eno Sarris released his Top 175 Starting Pitcher rankings for the 2020 season. That’s essentially six starters per team in the league, so it’s going to include the entire rotation for just about every team.
The Cincinnati Reds had six starters make the list, with all of Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani, Wade Miley, and Tyler Mahle finding themselves on the list. Sarris used a plethora of data to come up with his rankings. He utilized the Command+ metric, command stats from from STATS, the ATC Projections, and Driveline Baseball’s Stuff metric to come up with his rankings.
Luis Castillo was the highest rated pitcher among the Cincinnati Reds staff. The 27-year-old starter came in at #10 on the list. He was one of three pitchers from the organization to make the Top 35. Both Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer were also listed in the Top 35 starting pitchers in all of baseball according for Sarris’ rankings. Tom Tango, who helped author The Book, now works for MLBAM as their data architect, in response to the article, put out his own Top 25, too. His list had three Reds pitchers in the Top 25, with Sonny Gray at #19, Luis Castillo at #21, and Trevor Bauer at #23.
If you’ve found your way to Redleg Nation, you probably feel pretty good about how the Reds rotation stacks up. When it comes to the division, at least according to the rankings by Eno Sarris, the Reds rotation looks even better. Utilizing an AP style ranking where the #1 spot is worth 175 points and the #175 spot is worth 1 point, here’s how each of the five teams in the division stack up (the higher number, the better):
As you can see, the Reds are far and away above the rest of the division. Cincinnati had six pitchers ranked inside the Top 175. The Cubs and Brewers both had five, while the Pirates and Cardinals only had four each. When looking specifically at each role, the Reds had the top guy in the division among the #1 ranked pitcher for each team. They also had the top guy at the #2 spot, the #3 spot, the #4 spot, the #5 spot, AND the #6 spot.
Not only were the Reds better at each spot in the rotation than the rest of the division, they had more guys rated, too. It’s in those 4-6 spots where the Reds truly separate themselves from everyone else. The Reds 4-5-6 guys combined for 338 points. The entire rest of the division combined in the 4-5-6 spots combined for just 183 points. There’s an edge at the top for Cincinnati, but at the bottom is where the Reds may have an enormous advantage as they try to take over the National League Central division in 2020.