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Question of the day: Which baseball team has the best No. 1 and 2 starters?

June 25, 2010 |  8:46 am

Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they're wrong.

Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun

This is a no-brainer, Philadelphia with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Oh wait, the Phillies wanted to rebuild their farm system and dealt away Lee. How is that move working out?
The real winner of this contest is St. Louis, which finished second and third in the NL Cy Young voting last year with studs Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. Both are having great seasons again, with sub-3.00 ERAs, big strikeout numbers and impressive records.
If you want to go deeper, I’d take the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees rotations over everyone else’s. But if you want the scariest 1-2 punch, it has to be the Cardinals.
Here’s the most frightening thing for the other inhabitants of the NL Central: Neither Carpenter nor Wainwright has been the best in the Cardinals’ rotation in 2010. That honor goes to rookie Jaime Garcia.

Updated at 2:13 p.m.

Mandy Housenick, The Morning Call

St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter are baseball’s best pitching duo, statistically speaking. The numbers are convincing: Wainwright is 10-5 with a 2.47 ERA; Carpenter is 9-1 with a 2.63 ERA.

But an argument can be made for others. San Francisco’s Tim Lincicum and Matt Cain are a combined 14-8. Florida’s Josh Johnson (8-2, 1.80) is baseball’s top pitcher at this point and combines with Anibal Sanchez (3.30) to have the lowest duo ERA. And in the American League East, there are three terrific tandems: New York’s Phil Hughes (10-1) and Andy Pettitte (9-2); Boston’s Jon Lester and Taylor Buchholz; and Tampa Bay’s David Price and Jeff Niemann.

A caveat: The Cardinals’ tandem and other NL hurlers face fewer quality hitters than their American League counterparts. The evidence: Wainwright’s worst start came against Toronto, when he lasted only four innings. And Carpenter allowed a season-high 10 hits and four runs against weak-hitting Oakland.