I love when these types of things make the rounds around the internet. This time, 12UP has asked fans to make a starting rotation with $15. You can take a look above for the name available at each price. Without further ado, this is how I would do it:
1. Chris Sale - $5
There are a lot of great pitchers on the top-tier of this list. Clayton Kershaw is probably the best pitcher of our generation, Max Scherzer is an absolute horse, and Noah Syndergaard is the next best thing at only 24 years old. However, each of these guys lacks a certain something for me. Kershaw and Scherzer have not been other-worldly in the playoffs, and Syndergaard is just far too young for me. However, Chris Sale is different. I get that he doesn't have any experience in the playoffs, but if you just listen to this guy talk and how he holds himself to a higher regard, I don't think there is another pitcher in the MLB that I would want to start my franchise with.
2. Madison Bumgarner - $4
I am of the mindset that you need at least two horses at the front of your rotation in order to win a championship. Furthermore, I like my pitchers to be mean and nasty. Like Sale, Bumgarner is everything you want in an ace. Bumgarner gets up in big games and does not complain at all. The Red Sox have had a big issue in recent years with guys afraid to pitch with a certain edge. Hopefully that is different with the addition of Sale, but Bumgarner may be even nastier than Sale when it comes to how approaches each and every at-bat. I mean, how can you not be confident in a guy that comes from a place in North Carolina called Hickory?
3. Jon Lester - $2
Again, another guy that pitches with some edge. Are you noticing a trend here? I like my big lefties that aren't afraid to pitch inside to right handed hitters. Unlike Sale because he hasn't even gotten the chance, and similar to Bumgarner, Lester turns it on during the playoffs. When I first saw this list, I was amazed that he was only $2. Lester isn't necessarily getting any younger, but he has shown that he can be a legitimate #1 on a World Series team (don't give me that Kyle Hendricks or Jake Arrieta bullshit) and pitch in both the AL and NL.
4. Marcus Stroman - $1
I really, really, really like Marcus Stroman and, with the opportunity of getting him at the bottom of this list, I had to pounce on it. People have called Marcus Stroman "Little Pedro" for awhile now, and it is time that he showed the rest of the league what we have seen in short bursts as an AL opponent. Stroman has pitched particularly well in the past couple of seasons, but I love the way he conducts himself on the mound and has really taken on the role of the #1 pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays' rotation. As a #4 or #5 starter, this was an easy decision for me.
5. Yu Darvish - $3
Truthfully, I had a really hard time picking another guy. I feel extremely confident with my first four guys, but I don't have that much confidence in Yu Darvish because of his durability issues. With that being said, when healthy, Darvish is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. In four years of MLB service, Yu Darvish has a 3.29 ERA with 812 strikeouts in 645.2 innings. In my rotation, Darvish is a huge wildcard. If he is healthy, he can give you one of the best rotations in all of baseball. However, if you lose him, it doesn't really matter that much because he is your fifth starter.