Mid-1960s Los Angeles Dodgers: This group, anchored by Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, did win a pair of championships in 1963 and 1965. From '63-66, Drysdale and Koufax combined for 170 wins and a 2.30 ERA, impressive marks even in a decade dominated by pitching, and Koufax won three Cy Young Awards. In 1966, the last year of their run, a 21-year-old Don Sutton made it a trio of Hall of Famers in the Dodgers
Early-2000s Oakland Athletics: The big three of Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder formed the foundation here. Between 2001-03, they combined to go 158-74 with a 3.18 ERA, and Zito won the Cy Young Award in 2002. But the trio also had a good supporting cast during those seasons. The late Corey Lidle won 21 games between 2001-02 and posted a sub-4.00 ERA in both years. In '03, Ted Lilly and Rich Harden were the No. 4 and No. 5 starters, respectively. As Moneyball detractors will point out loudly, this group never won so much as a playoff series.' rotation. Fittingly, they fell short in the World Series that year, getting swept by the Orioles.
1998 Atlanta Braves: You could easily argue that the 1996 or 1997 rotation was better, but the difference would be marginal. So let's look at 1998. The Braves' starting five combined for an ERA of 2.97 -- a stunning 1.27 lower than the NL average. They were stingy with hits, walks and homers. Maddux and Glavine had two of the top 10 pitching seasons in the history of the Braves franchise. Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz finished 1-3-6 in ERA. Glavine, the NL's only 20-game winner, captured the NL Cy Young Award, and Maddux and Smoltz tied for fourth in the voting. All five starters were among the top 10 in wins. Braves lost to the Padres in the NLCS.
1988 New York Mets: Gooden, Darling, Ojeda, Fernandez and Cone. The same rotation as 1986, but swap out Aguilera for David Cone, who went 20-3. Darling went 17-9 and Gooden went 18-9. Sid Fernandez had an ERA of 3.03, Ojeda 2.8, but went a combines 22-23. Even underachieving, this was an amazing fivesome. After winning 100 games in the regular season, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS.