Nothing in baseball is more devastating than an absolutely wicked starting pitcher. You know, the opening day guys — the guys every hitter hates to face. It’s one thing to have an ace, but the game changer comes when a team has a powerful 1-2 combo of starting pitchers.
Having two aces makes it impossible for an opposing team to “take a breather” while your best pitcher is on the mound. Some teams would kill to have two great pitchers in their starting rotation.
Here are the teams that are lucky enough to be a part of the top five 1-2 starting pitching combos in the major leagues. Keep in mind that these are the best combos right now, you may see some names that you don’t recognize right away.
5. Lance Lynn and Kyle Lohse — St. Louis Cardinals
Wait, who? Yes, not only does Lance Lynn lead the majors in wins, he also has a 2.54 ERA and 52 strikeouts. Lohse has a sub-three ERA and has only walked nine batters in 55 innings.
4. Jake Peavy and Chris Sale — Chicago White Sox
Where has Jake Peavy been since he won the Cy Young five years ago? If you said bumming around India, that was my guess. Well this season he looks like he did in San Diego racking up at 2.39 ERA and a .91 WHIP. The White Sox had Sale pegged as their closer for a hot second. Good thing they reconsidered, he has five wins and a 2.50 ERA. Both pitchers are in the top 15 in the majors in ERA.
3. Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay — Philadelphia Phillies
There is no denying the Phillies are garbage, but these two are doing their best to keep them afloat. Hamels is tied for the major’s lead in wins and is top 10 in both ERA and strikeouts. Meanwhile Halladay’s numbers are not quite what they have been in the past but he is third in the majors in innings pitched with 70.1 and has only walked 13 batters in those innings.
2. Clayton Kershaw and Chris Capuano — Los Angeles Dodgers
The man my friends and I dubbed Chris CRAPuano for his many below mediocre years is pitching like a man possessed. The talented bats of the Dodgers may have helped his 6-1 record but they don’t affect his stellar 2.25 ERA. Meanwhile, Kershaw is an absolute force with a 1.90 ERA and .88 WHIP over 61.2 innings.
1. Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez — Washington Nationals
These two (with honorable mention going to Jordan Zimmerman) are cutting down everything they see. Both are top 10 in the majors in ERA, and top 7 in strikeouts. They have a combined record of 10-2 and did I mention they have the injury plagued Nationals legitimately contending for first place in the absolutely stacked NL East?