Expected SP Schedules: Who Has the Best Matchups in Weeks 4-5

EVERY starter on EVERY team broken down!

Say you whiffed on pitching, or the injury bug stung you after the draft. I’ve broken down every MLB team’s starting rotation and forecasted them with each team’s upcoming schedule. You may ask, why would you do this? The most straightforward answer is finding the best upcoming matchups for the lesser-known starting pitchers.

This way, we can maximize the end of our rosters and try to squeeze every last ounce of value that might be available on a waiver wire. Or, perhaps, drop a fringe-worthy pitcher early due to horrendous matchups. Churning your roster at the correct times is critical to late-season management. Think about it this way: do you really need to hold onto that pitcher if you’re not going to start him in these key weeks?

Indeed, we are ranking these matchups based on the opponent’s offense, and here are my offensive tiers to do so. Also, please don’t get too held up on the offensive ranks… it’s early and there are always surprises.


Dave Swan’s Offensive Tiers

(OFF) means the team has an off-day before they play that team. 

(DH) indicates a doubleheader that day.


Arizona Diamondbacks


Diamondbacks’ Expected Schedule




Atlanta’s Expected Schedule
  • After Bryce Elder gets his first start (vs. MIA). It’s safe to cut him and stream the following weeks.
  • We worried a little bit about Kyle Wright’s pitch count but with back-to-back starts of 95 pitches, worry no more and enjoy those starts against MIA.


Baltimore Orioles


Orioles’ Expected Schedule
  • Everyone in the rotation has a solid matchup in the first two starts. However, It’ll get dicey afterward and you’ll need to make plans in early May.


Boston Red Sox


Red Sox’s Expected Schedule
  • Boston is going with the six-man rotation. Now, for how long? That’s a good question. Although one thing is for sure, they won’t need a six-man rotation for those third starts due to the extra days of rest. The matchups are really tough, so looking elsewhere may be the safer play.


Chicago Cubs


Cubs’ Expected Schedule


Chicago White Sox


White Sox’s Expected Schedule
  • Do yourself a favor and drop Mike Clevinger. It won’t be pretty soon.
  • What is wrong with Lance Lynn? Wish I knew too. Unless you have to do it, skip those first two matchups, and let’s hope he gets back on track for @CIN and @KCR.


Cincinnati Reds


Red’s Expected Schedule
  • Note: The Reds are taxed one tier anytime they are home. Hence, different shades for games vs. TEX, CHW, and NYM.
  • Really, the only matchups we love are the ones in OAK. However, after that is @SDP and a pair of stricter matchups at home. Indeed, you’ll wait it out with Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene, and Graham Ashcraft. You’ll need to make streaming plans until mid-May.


Cleveland Guardians


Guardians’ Expected Schedule
  • Cleveland is between a rock and a hard place. The double-header is throwing a wrench into the schedule and even though they’ve called up Logan Allen, he can’t pitch on Sunday and again on Wednesday. Instead, the team could go with a number of options: Xzavion Curry, Hunter Gaddis, Konnor Pilkington, or Tanner Bibee.


Colorado Rockies


Rockies’ Expected Schedule
  • These arms aren’t very good, and they don’t get any viable road games until the third start (@ PIT). Look elsewhere for options.


Detroit Tigers


Tigers’ Expected Schedule
  • It’s tough sledding after the initial series. My advice would be to grab Boyd, Turnbull, or Lorenzen if you’re absolutely desperate for a streamer but dump them after the first dance.


Houston Astros


Astros’ Expected Schedule


Kansas City Royals


Royals’ Expected Schedule
  • Zack Greinke and Jordan Lyles are easy to pass on.
  • Ryan Yarbrough has the matchups but lacks the strikeout upside. Man, we really wish this was Kris Bubic instead, don’t we?
  • Brad Keller and Brady Singer could be options to scoop up off the wire. Things could work out in the first two starts (@ARI and @MIN), then you’d slide nicely into a cushy OAK matchup.


Los Angeles Angels


Angel’s Expected Schedule
  • Detmers could work and you’ll likely stream him the whole way. Obviously, Ohtani is good to go.
  • José Suarez is the most intriguing pickup because he’ll get those first two winnable starts. However, we’re moving on after that.
  • Patrick Sandoval? Yeah, he could work out against OAK but the free passes are killing him, and you’ll need to find a streamer after that.
  • Pass on Tyler Anderson, unless you need a streamer for one week.


Los Angeles Dodgers


Dodgers’ Expected Schedule
  • Our old friend Tony Gonsolin returns to the rotation. He’ll slide in for Michael Grove. The Pirates have been pesky, and coming off the IL isn’t a great spot to start Gonsolin. Should you grab him off the wire, be prepared to hold him for a number of weeks.


Miami Marlins


Marlins’ Expected Schedule
  • With Trevor Rogers returning to the IL, Miami hasn’t announced their SP. Devin Smeltzer started on Saturday but won’t be ready to go against on Tuesday. Most likely, they’ll bring someone up from the minors. That spot gets very interesting after the first matchup (@ATL) but it’s also not a guarantee.


Milwaukee Brewers


Brewers’ Expected Schedule
  • Wade Miley? With that string of starts? No, thank you! His stats, primarily ERA, are good but a 27.8% CSW and 25.3% HC% suggest he hasn’t earned it.
  • Colin Rea gets a juicy matchup but his skills aren’t very useful. It’s up to you on this one.


Minnesota Twins


Twins’ Expected Schedule
  • At the moment, Kenta Maeda is starting on Wednesday. However, after taking a liner to the leg, he might be unable to start. Should he require an IL stint, Bailey Ober would assume his spot.


New York Mets


Mets’ Expected Schedule
  • Expect an update on this rotation. At the moment, they don’t have a starter for Tuesday and it would likely be a bullpen game. However, they’ll have options for Thursday as José Butto would be available. Furthermore, Max Scherzer is eligible for a return on Sunday (May 1st) due to his suspension. Buckle up, it’ll be a wild ride for a day or two.


New York Yankees


Yankees’ Expected Schedule
  • Outside of Gerrit Cole and Nasty Nestor, there isn’t a high level of trust.
  • Domingo Germán could work out against MIN and CLE, but it’s not a safe option by any means.
  • For Brito and Schmidt, you’re just hoping they pitch deep enough and the offense hangs a crooked number for the W.


Oakland Athletics


Athletics’ Expected Schedule
  • Wins don’t come easy for this team and that’ll make rostering someone from Oakland difficult. Especially when you consider the five-man rotation requires a sixth day of rest for Fujinami. Furthermore, it means predicting the schedules is not practical.
  • Mason Miller looked outstanding in his debut. That is the only SP worth grabbing and everyone will have their eyes on him.


Philadelphia Phillies


Phillies’ Expected Schedule
  • That’s a TON of bad matchups. Unless you’ve got Nola or Wheeler, stay away.


Pittsburgh Pirates


Pirates’ Expected Schedule
  • Oddly, this rotation has become slightly interesting. Not only are there a few easy matchups but the offense has backed them up recently for WAY more wins than anyone expected.
  • Rich Hill and Vince Velasquez could be serviceable in deeper leagues. But neither is more than a streamer, if they scuffle at all, cut them.


San Diego Padres


Padres’ Expected Schedule
  • Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo are waiver-wire targets because they’ll get a solid run of viable matchups. Obviously, the lean is to acquire Lugo since he’s maintaining nearly a 25% K-rate. Let’s consider Wacha the consolation prize.


San Francisco Giants


Giants’ Expected Schedule
  • Alex Wood hits the IL and reports suggest he’ll miss several weeks. If you don’t have an IL slot, he’s an easy drop.


Seattle Mariners


Mariners’ Expected Schedule


St. Louis Cardinals


Cardinals’ Expected Schedule
  • Jake Woodford gets a couple of easier matchups but I’m not trusting the skills. Furthermore, he’s giving up nearly as many barrels as strikeouts.


Tampa Bay Rays


Rays’ Expected Schedule
  • Another week, and another mystery SP for the Rays. We will have to await the official word.
  • Zach Eflin returned from injury on Sunday and tossed only 67 pitches but was able to pick up the W. It’ll be all systems go and he’ll look to repeat the same success against CHW, again.


Texas Rangers


Rangers’ Expected Schedule
  • Jon Gray has been a disaster. The walks are becoming problematic, and if we have to question a start @CIN, is it worth rostering him? Let’s give him one last try before the axe comes down.
  • The second starts might get a little messy with the two quick OFF days. We could see someone get skipped.


Toronto Blue Jays


Blue Jays’ Expected Schedule
  • The offense can always save any of these arms if they can just get through five innings with a lead. However, there are several SPs with concern: Manoah can’t stop walking batters, Berrios is as back-and-forth as they come, and Chris Bassitt doesn’t seem to have anything in the tank. While I wouldn’t drop any of them just yet, I would start looking for other options while they sit on the bench.


Washington Nationals


Nationals’ Expected Schedule
  • Don’t get fooled by Trevor Williams‘ early success. It’s more of a mirage than reality. He’s getting hit hard and eventually, it’ll catch up. Kuhl and Corbin are the opposite, they’ve been bad but get decent matchups. Still, you’ll want to pass.
  • Josiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore finally become interesting. They’ve shown some skills that things could work out, but we don’t want to stream them against NYM. Wait a week, and go for the PIT/CHC matchup.


Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

One response to “Expected SP Schedules: Who Has the Best Matchups in Weeks 4-5”

  1. Michael McLaughlin says:

    Good work on this, and thanks for doing it. One note: Ober won’t pitch on Wednesday if Maeda is still hurt because he pitched Sunday. I’m guessing they would use Varland in a spot start on Wednesday, and then have Ober pitch the third KC game on Sunday.

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