Way-too-early 2023 MLB starting rotation rankings

AP Photo/David Dermer

Starting pitching used to be everything in baseball, or at least that's the way it was billed.

That has never been entirely true, but it used to be more so than it is now. The simple reason for that is the workloads even of ace starters have shrunk steadily over the years as reliance on bullpens has expanded.

Still, as this evolution has taken place, with fewer innings on average coming from a team's rotation, more starters have been needed to navigate a season. In 2022, 367 different players started games. In 1998, when Tampa Bay and Arizona joined MLB to give us 30 teams, just 283 pitchers got the nod.

Yet premium starting pitching is still valuable. Of the 13 top free agent contracts signed this offseason by average annual value, five of them were inked by starters, all of whom will earn at least $20 million next season. It seems that starting pitching at least still has some cachet in 21st century baseball.

While starting pitching guarantees neither a win in any given game much less a title, it sure helps you get a good way down the road. And so with that in mind, today we take a look at how the rotations around baseball stack up as teams enter the stretch drive of the hot stove season and gear up for spring ball.

Here is our list of all 30 MLB teams' current starting rotations, from best to worst.