As teams spend the trade deadline trying to acquire top-of-the-rotation starters like Chris Sale, Chris Archer, Julio Teheran, Sonny Gray, Rich Hill, and others, their competition may fear the arms race. But ultimately, the only effect this has is on which teams actually make the playoffs, as Fangraphs studied last year. A team comfortably in the playoff race and not in the market for a top arm has no reason to fear the effect on its postseason, as they are just as likely as any other team to make and win a World Series appearance.
It should come as no surprise that teams like the Cardinals, Cubs, Mets, Giants, and Indians appear toward the top of a starting pitching quality list. But not only do they rate highly in quality, but they also seem to have had a little luck on their side in terms rotation matchups with their opponents. On the contrary, seeing teams like the Braves or Reds toward the bottom isn’t all that revelatory. But what a team does against the pitching they do face can speak volumes.