Top three pitchers in Yankees starting rotation will dominate in 2020

New York Yankees, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka

Signing Gerrit Cole this offseason was undoubtedly the highlight for New York Yankees owner, Hal Steinbrenner. Writing all of those zeroes at the end of Cole’s abnormally long check might have been the lone negative to the deal, but the quality of pitching he brings to the team will pay off.

The $324 million could probably feed an entire country in Africa, but for Yankees fans, it will bring them the satisfaction of a Championship, so we hope. The 2020 campaign represents the best opportunity for the club to reach the finale of the postseason for the first time in over a decade. The reality is, the Yankees need to win. Otherwise, the enormous amount of money they spent on starting pitching this offseason will go to waste.

Luckily, their top three starters are arguably all in the “ace” category, or just below. Cole is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, hoisting a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts in 2019, both career-highs. Luis Severino is another stellar pitcher, missing virtually all of 2019 with injuries. His presence in the postseason helped the Yankees climb to the ALCS, though, and he will be a force once again in 2020.

Severino’s last impressive campaign was in 2018, when he started the season on fire, earning an All-Star appearance before falling off in the second half of the year. His 3.39 ERA with 220 strikeouts would indicate that he didn’t miss a beat, but compared to Cole’s stats, those numbers look average. The quality that Severino contains far surpasses the finishing totals he amassed in 2018, and that’s an encouraging reality heading into the upcoming season. His limited action and success last season proves to us that he’s coming in with a full bill of health, and Cole’s presence should take off a bit of pressure.

Aside from the No. 1-2 pitchers, James Paxton, will slot in at the 3rd spot. Paxton is arguably a No. 1 pitcher on most teams, so given he’s a 3rd option in the rotation on the Yankees should give you a good idea of how talented this group really is. Just for giggles, manager Aaron Boone left Jordan Montgomery off the 5-man rotation in recent days, naming J.A. Happ, the 5th starter. Considering Happ enjoyed two consecutive seasons of sub-4.00 ERA baseball, it’s incredible how deep the rotation is.

Paxton enters 2020 coming off a fantastic second half of 2019, logging a 3.82 ERA with 186 strikeouts. The lefty arm is two years removed from a 2.98 ERA performance, so replicating that performance isn’t out of the question, especially with his newfound comfort in Yankee Stadium.

Overall, the Yankees have one of the best starting rotations in baseball with their top three, and that’s without mentioning Masahiro Tanaka, one of the more consistent arms for the Bombers over the past few seasons.