Ranking All 30 MLB Starting Rotations, From Worst to Best

30. Pittsburgh Pirates

Starting 5: Quintana – Thompson – Crowe – Keller – Brubaker

The Pirates aren’t going to be very good in ’22, and it all starts with their lack of pitching depth. Pittsburgh’s rotation is filled with young arms who have mostly disappointed in recent years. This list is headlined by former second round pick Mitch Keller who has failed to live up to expectations thus far. Keller was especially dreadful in ’21, notching a 6.17 ERA while surrendering nearly 12 hits every nine innings.

Career journeyman Jose Quintana was brought in to add some experience. The 33-year-old spent parts of last season with the Angels and Giants, appearing in 29 games with a 6.43 ERA. Additionally, the Pirates swung a trade this offseason for former Marlins reliever Zach Thompson. The 28-year-old from Texas is expected to be in a starting role for the Pirates this year, and it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to his new role.

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29. Baltimore Orioles

Starting 5: Means – Lyles – Zimmerman – Lowther – Wells

2019 All-Star John Means put together another strong season in 2021. The powerful lefty finished with just a 6-9 record on the year, but sported a strong 3.62 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Means is the best homegrown Baltimore starter in years, but the team opted to not reward the 28-year-old with a long-term contract this offseason. Instead, Means was granted $3 million in arbitration, and will possibly emerge as a strong trade candidate at some point this season.

Outside of Means, the O’s don’t have a whole lot going on for them. Matt Harvey — who led the team in starts last season — is gone and Jorge Lopez — who started 25 games last year — was moved to the bullpen during the latter half of ’21. Baltimore will have no problem scoring runs with its offense, but opposing teams will have a field day against this porous pitching staff.

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