Best MLB rotations to not win the World Series

Best MLB rotations in recent memory to not win the World Series

10/5/11 in MLB   |   GmenJohn88   |   88 respect

 1971 Baltimore Orioles: Their four-man rotation of Mike Cuellar, Jim Palmer, Pat Dobson and Dave McNally each won at least 20 games. Cuellar's 3.08 ERA was the high mark of the group. Despite their dominance, the Orioles lost the World Series in seven games to the Pirates.
1993 Atlanta Braves: The Braves' 1990s dynasty was built on pitching and it might never have been better than in '93, when Atlanta brought Greg Maddux in his prime into the fold before the season. Maddux won 20 games and the Cy Young Award after posting a 2.36 ERA. The three guys behind him -- Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Steve Avery -- racked up another 45 wins between them, and Smoltz's 3.62 ERA was the highest of the bunch. Avery threw the fewest innings of the quartet with 223 1/3. Like the '71 Orioles, the Braves were unceremoniously dumped out of the playoffs. The Phillies bested them in six games in the NLCS that year.

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
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10/6/11   |   Tiger_Pride2   |   3287 respect

We only won one World Series, but the Braves pitching gave me many years of great baseball. Tom Glavine was my favorite Braves pitcher of all-time.

10/5/11   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Call me a homer but I think you can add the 2011 Giants rotation of Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner & Vogelsong to this list.  Giants staff was better in 2011 than it was in 2010!