SP Future Schedules – Week 13

Justin Wick breaks down the good and bad starter schedules ahead.

Great Schedules


Chris Bassitt (OAK)   6/29 @ TEX   ***7/4 vs. BOS***   7/9 @ TEX   *Post-ASG: vs. CLE

Chris Bassitt tossed seven innings of one-run ball on Thursday night against the Rangers, and he is primed to take on that same team in two of his next three starts. While Boston’s 10th-ranked wRC+ can easily pose a challenge, their figure has dropped several positions in the past few weeks. Bassitt may be catching the Red Sox at a desirable time. The Oakland righty will see some bottom-third wRC+ in three of his next four presumed starts, and he will welcome in the second half with another presumed ‘easier’ opponent.


Eric Lauer (MIL)   6/27 vs. COL   7/2 @ PIT   7/7 @ NYM

*Avoids CHC 6/28-30, CIN 7/8-11

Eric Lauer allowed three earned runs to the Rockies in his last start (5 IP), but he faces the same lineup in a more favorable elevation tonight. He will follow up the 30th-ranked wRC+ with a team ranked 29th, and while the Mets will be a slightly tougher ticket (18th), Lauer’s schedule is in line to give him ample rest at the beginning of July. If he stays on a five-day cycle, one of his starts would fall on the day of the Home Run Derby, which would mean he could see four additional days of rest. This could prove vital: in nine starts this year, his better outings were generally his early ones.


Jordan Lyles (TEX)   6/27 vs. KC   7/2 @ SEA   7/7 vs. DET

*Avoids OAK 6/29-7/1, 7/9-11

Some of the more struggling offenses in the American League is what Jordan Lyles will soon be working through. He avoids the tough hitting Oakland A’s lineup twice, while Oakland’s offense ranks third in AL wRC+. Lyles faced the A’s his last start, tossing six frames and allowing two runs. If he continues that momentum, his results may improve just from opponents alone.


Antonio Senzatela (COL)   6/25 @ MIL   6/30 vs. PIT   7/6 @ ARI

Antonio Senzatela was on the feature graphic for last week’s SP Schedules; his desirable stretch continues with the 28th, 29th, and 27th-ranked wRC+. Only one out of his next four presumed starts will come in the Denver elevation. Colorado bookends the All-Star Break with both the Padres and Dodgers, however, and Senzatela could face both.


Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU)   6/26 @ DET   7/1 @ CLE

Lance McCullers Jr. will enjoy the ease of some lighter-hitting AL Central teams, but he is soon to close out the first half with the A’s and Yankees. Detroit just lost to Houston 3-12 in the Thursday series opener, so the tone has been set for McCullers to establish himself as he has over his past two starts (combined 10 1/3 IP, 3 ER).


Adam Wainwright (STL)   6/25 vs. PIT   6/30 vs. ARI   ***7/5 @ SF***

It won’t be an easy close to the first half with the Giants on the horizon, but Adam Wainwright will enjoy some bottom-five wRC+ in his next two starts and will do so in the comforts of Busch Stadium. His recent outings suggest he isn’t slowing down in his 16th big league season; he just held Atlanta to one run over seven innings.


Kwang Hyun Kim (STL)   6/26 vs. PIT   7/1 @ COL   ***6/7 @ SF***

Wainwright will be immediately followed by Kwang Hyun Kim, as he simply swaps the Diamondbacks for the 30th-ranked wRC+ in the Rockies. This could prove to be a tougher road ahead, however, being that the Rockies have played far better at home than they have on the road, and the Diamondbacks have struggled mightily in the past month.


Bad Schedules


Sam Hentges (CLE)   6/26 @ MIN   7/1 vs. HOU   7/6 @ TB

*Avoids DET 6/28-6/30

It isn’t desirable to avoid the 24th-ranked wRC+ and instead substitute the top-ranked team. Sam Hentges will also attack the eighth and 12th-best figures in his next three games. He has exceeded the three-inning mark in just one of his past five outings, but he pitched five in his last game and shut out the Pirates. We could soon see more routine work out of Hentges as an extended starter, but that may have to wait given the gauntlet of offense he is soon to encounter.


Matt Harvey (BAL)   6/25 vs. NYY   ***6/30 vs. KC***   7/5 @ LAA

There will be some brief relief with the Royals, but Matt Harvey will dance around the Yankees with a 109 wRC+ in the past two weeks, and the Angels with a 123 in that timeframe. Harvey is not riding a momentous streak right now, allowing 16 earned runs in his last 10 2/3 innings.


Tarik Skubal (DET)   6/27 vs. HOU   7/2 vs. CHW

*Possible start on 7/8 @ MIN, possibly avoids TEX 7/5-7

This schedule is very much dependent on how the Tigers will handle a July 1 off day; if Tarik Skubal falls on a six-day cycle, he would eye the Twins and the eighth-best wRC+. He will first take on Houston, winners of 11 straight games and holders of the league’s best wRC+.


Cole Irvin (OAK)   6/27 @ SF   7/2 vs. BOS   7/7 @ HOU

Cole Irvin will first run into the Giants, who have cemented themselves in the NL West to the surprise of many. He then gets the Red Sox, just a half-game from being another divisional leader, and then the Astros, a divisional leader by two games. There could be relief on the horizon at least, as Irvin’s starts line up with a nine-day cycle during All-Star Week. He will likely see Cleveland after the break.


Yusei Kikuchi (SEA)   6/25 @ CHW   6/30 @ TOR   ***7/4 vs. TEX***   7/9 vs. LAA

The AL West has become separated: the Astros and A’s are clawing it out near the top, the Mariners and Angels are straggling behind, and the Rangers are already 20 games back. Yusei Kikuchi will look to pull the Mariners into higher territory, but his opponents have demonstrated some offensive firepower this year. Now could be a desirable time to face the White Sox, however: their wRC+ ranks 23rd over the past two weeks.


Vince Velasquez (PHI)   6/28 @ CIN   7/3 vs. SD

The Phillies have a game to reschedule with the Reds on Monday, so they will make their way to Cincinnati for one game. Vince Velasquez drew the short straw and will take that start, only to anticipate the Padres later on as they seek to catch the Giants in the NL West.


Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS)   6/27 vs. NYY   7/2 @ OAK   7/7 @ LAA

We’ve got some quality Red Sox/Yankees action to look forward to, but it could come at the additional toll of each starter that toes the rubber in that always-intense series. Eduardo Rodriguez will take on some top-10 wRC+ after that as he approaches the All-Star Break, suggesting a few days off will be hard-earned if he ends with some desirable showings.


Soon To Be A Great Schedule


Michael King (NYY)   6/28 vs. LAA   7/3 vs. NYM   7/7 @ SEA

This is truly a schedule that gets better as it goes on; the division standings for each may not represent it, but wRC+ and wOBA figures paint a clearer offensive picture. Michael King is coming off arguably his best start in his last five outings, but he was still unable to complete five innings. If opposing offensive suggests his in-game longevity, we may expect King to work a little deeper into starts into July.


Jose Berrios (MIN)   6/29 @ CHW   7/4 @ KC   7/9 vs. DET

*Avoids CHW 7/5-7

A divisional-heavy schedule awaits Jose Berrios and the Minnesota Twins, as now is a prime opportunity for them to pull out of the AL Central cellar. It has largely been Minnesota’s hitting that has brought them success, as they hold the eighth-best wRC+. Berrios has a chance to help rewrite some of their pitching woes, and some forward progress before the All-Star Break could do wonders for the Twins setting up their second half.


Sam Long (SFG)   6/27 vs. OAK   7/2 @ ARI   7/7 vs. STL   *Post-ASG: @ STL

*Avoids BOS 6/28-7/1   

In his debut season, Sam Long has made three consecutive starts for the Giants and has stayed on a five or six-day rotation. He will look to further surmount a 4.20 ERA (2.49 FIP) against his toughest opponent to date, the A’s, but Arizona and St. Louis have seen struggling offense in recent weeks. Long narrowly misses out on a series with the Rockies, but he will later anticipate the Nationals on extended All-Star Break rest.


Matt Peacock (ARI)   ***6/25 @ SD***   6/30 @ STL   7/6 vs. COL

San Diego’s offense holds a wRC+ of a perfectly average 100, but their recent Dodgers sweep will lead them into a weekend set with the struggling Diamondbacks. Matt Peacock might have his hands full this evening at Petco Park, but he’ll later welcome the 23rd and 30th-ranked wRC+ onto his future schedule. There is a chance he will face the Dodgers before the All-Star Break, but there is also a chance he will see the Pirates beyond that.


Soon To Be A Bad Schedule


Rich Hill (TB)   6/29 @ WAS   7/4 @ TOR   7/9 vs. TOR

Back-to-back starts with the fourth-best wRC+ will pose a challenge; Rich Hill proved himself against the Red Sox in his last outing, anyways (5 IP, 1 ER), and he will cross over into some interleague action before heading to Buffalo on the fourth of July. Despite sharing a division with Toronto, Hill has not seen the Blue Jays this year.


Kenta Maeda (MIN)   6/26 vs. CLE   7/1 @ CHW   7/6 vs. CHW

In perhaps a polar-opposite fashion to Berrios, Kenta Maeda has found himself on the bad schedule list thanks to some tough scheduling with the White Sox. The south-siders have struggled at the plate over the past two weeks compared to their collective body of work, so this schedule is at least one to keep an eye on depending on how the White Sox fare with the Mariners until then.


Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Justin Wick

Justin Wick is the communications supervisor for MLB's Arizona Fall League. He pitched collegiately at Creighton University (B.A. Journalism) and South Mountain Community College, and is a three-year veteran of the Northwoods League with the St. Cloud Rox. More of his work can be found on Purple Row covering the Colorado Rockies, and on Twitter @justwick.

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