MLB: Ranking the Top 7 Starting Rotations in Baseball

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2- Washington Nationals- Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Dan Haren, Ross Detwiler

Mar 6, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) warms up in the bullpen before a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

How good is the starting rotation for the Washington Nationals? Well, their number five starter is a big part of Team USA in the WBC.

Washington shut down one of their best starters last season in the playoffs and still pushed the Cardinals to five games. This season, however, the Nats have decided to release Stephen Strasburg on the NL with no restrictions and they can only benefit from this move.

Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmerman, and Detwiler all had ERAs below 3.50 and winning records last season. Their weakest link is former Angel, Diamondback and A’s ace Dan Haren, who should have a rebound season moving back to the NL.

They have an embarrassment of riches on the mound in the Capital and should be the World Series favorite from the NL. No team has a one two punch at the top like Strasburg and Gonzalez, if everyone stays off the DL they have hands down the best starting five in the game.

Unfortunately for Washington, the injury risk to their top three pitchers is significant. Strasburg enters his fourth season after already missing most of one and being held back last season. Zimmermann has already gone under the knife and Gonzalez, while never being significantly injured before, did have his name on a PED list, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get hurt or have a performance decline.