The National League Dream Rotation 2013 features two elite starters topping the staff. There is no lefty reliever worth adding, so the bullpen is entirely righty. The last two men in the bullpen closed at times last year, but the San Francisco postseason closer gets the nod.
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers LHP
Kershaw, the 2011 Cy Young winner and 2012 Cy Young runner up is a top five pitcher in the major leagues. Kershaw’s WHIP over the past two years, in 461 innings pitched is 1.00. In both 2011 and 2012 he led the league in ERA, with a 2.53 mark in 2012. The left hander with the big hook averaged better than a strikeout per inning and 4 K’s per walk between 2011 and 2012. Kershaw should continue to be a dominant pitcher for the Dodgers in 2013.
Matt Cain San Francisco Giants RHP
The starting pitcher for the NL All-Star team in 2012 finished with a 16-5 record. His 2.79 ERA and 1.04 WHIP were both in the top four of the National League. Cain has posted four straight sub 1.20 WHIP and sub 3.15 ERA seasons with over 200 innings pitched in each of those years. Cain should continue to lead the Fighting Bochys to postseason contention.
Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants RHP
The 23 year old from Hickory, NC followed a nice 2011 with a strong 2012. Bumgarner went 16-11 with 3.37 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 2012, striking out 191 batters in 208.1 innings pitched. The Giants will be counting on his continued development in 2013 and beyond.
Wade Miley Arizona Diamondbacks LHP
A first round sandwich pick in 2008, Miley finished second in the rookie of the year voting and was an All-Star in 2012. Miley’s 16 wins were sixth in the NL and his 3.33 ERA was 10th in the league. Miley’s modest strikeout total of 144 in 194.2 IP did not detract from his solid 1.18 WHIP.
Tim Lincecum San Francisco Giants RHP
Hopefully his fantastic success out of the pen in the 2012 postseason can spark a turnaround in 2013. From 2008 through 2011, Lincecum was one of the premier pitchers in the game. Three times he led the league in strikeouts, won the Cy Young twice and was a four time All-Star. Given his youth, hopefully Lincecum can return to form and justify his selection to the staff.
Luke Gregerson San Diego Padres RHP
Gregerson has been one of the top relievers in the game since his 2009 debut. He has a career WHIP of 1.11 and averages better than a strikeout per inning in 280.2 career innings.
Kenley Jansen Los Angeles Dodgers RHP
Jansen will be returning from heart surgery at the close of the 2012 season. He was dominant in a split role last year. He closed 25 games and had a 0.85 WHIP, striking out 99 batters in 65 innings,
Sergio Romo San Francisco Giants Closer
After three ridiculous seasons, Romo finally won the full time closer job at the end of the 2012. His season WHIP’s starting in 2010 are 0.97, 0.71 and 0.85. From 2010 through 2012, Romo has a sub 2.00 ERA. In those three years he struck out 203 batters and walked only 29 in 165.1 innings pitched. By the numbers, he has been as good as any reliever over the past three years.