SP Future Schedules – Week 18

Justin Wick breaks down the good and bad starter schedules ahead

Great Schedules


JT Brubaker (PIT)   7/30 vs. PHI   8/4 @ MIL   8/10 vs. STL   8/15 vs. MIL

*Avoids LAD 8/16-18, CIN 8/5-8

The Phillies, Brewers, and Cardinals have a wRC+ rank of 17th or lower. JT Brubaker has not thrown more than five innings in his last two starts, and after allowing four or more runs in three of his last four outings, he finds himself on the good schedule list. Brubaker last pitched against the Giants, allowing two earned runs (both solo homers) in four innings.


Lance Lynn (CHW)   7/30 vs. CLE   8/4 vs. KC   8/9 @ MIN

The Twins have the seventh-ranked wRC+ in baseball but have also parted ways with Nelson Cruz, so their figures will presumably decline. Their figure has ranked 15th in the past two weeks. Late August features some far tougher offensive opponents for the White Sox (NYY, OAK, TB, TOR), but All-Star Lance Lynn is in a strong position until then.


Yu Darvish (SD)  7/31 vs. COL   8/6 vs. ARI   8/11 vs. MIA

*Avoids OAK 8/3-4

19 of the Padres’ next 21 games are against teams with below above-average wRC+. Yu Darvish will take on the Rockies on Saturday, away from their friendly hitting haven of Coors Field, and he will look ahead to the D-Backs also with a bottom-five wRC+. Darvish took a step backwards in his last start, allowing four runs to the Marlins in five innings, but his future schedule and a 3.27 ERA suggests he will have good showings coming up.


Josiah Gray (LAD)   7/31 @ ARI   **8/6 vs. LAA***   8/11 @ PHI   8/16 vs. PIT

*Likely to change (Max Scherzer/Danny Duffy)

The Dodgers have bolstered their starting rotation at the trade deadline and it is presumable their already-stacked rotation will not include Josiah Gray in it once Max Scherzer and Danny Duffy come around in the rotation. This slot in the Dodgers rotation will feature the 27th and 29th-ranked wRC+ figures in the Diamondbacks and Pirates. While the biggest challenge appears to be the Angels, their wRC+ has ranked 21st in the past two weeks


Tyler Mahle (CIN)   8/3 vs. MIN   8/8 vs. PIT   8/13 vs. PHI

Tyler Mahle finds himself joined with a deadline-bolstered bullpen in Cincinnati and a deadline-decimated lineup in the Twins when he starts on Monday. Minnesota’s Nelson Cruz-laden lineup earned them the seventh-best wRC+, but their divisional standing suggests that momentum is not on their side. Pittsburgh has the second-worst wRC+ in baseball, and Mahle just shut out the Cubs for six innings in his last start.


Tyler Alexander (DET)   8/1 vs. BAL   8/6 @ CLE   8/11 @ BAL

*Avoids BOS 8/3-5

Cleveland’s wRC+ ranks 26th, while Baltimore’s ranks 19th. The Orioles have ranked around the bottom third in wRC+ for the majority of the season, and their recent performance has been no outlier. Tyler Alexander is starting to get a longer leash in time for those two Baltimore starts, as his longest start of the year was his last one. He also pitched a mere four innings in that start, however, so it appears the Tigers are still being cautious with his workload.


Darren McCaughan (SEA)   8/1 @ TEX   ***8/6 @ NYY***   8/11 vs. TEX   8/17 @ TEX

*Avoids TB 8/2-4, TOR 8/13-15, OAK 8/23-24

Triple Texas! Darren McCaughan has made two scheduled starts this year, but his first (5 IP, 1 R) went far better than his second (4 IP, 7 ER). Both starts are on his current five-day cycle, so McCaughan could be an every-fifth-day arm at his current pace. The right-hander conquered Coors Field in that first outing, but the Astros got the best of him in the latter.


Bad Schedules


Shohei Ohtani (LAA)   8/1 vs. OAK   8/6 @ LAD   8/11 vs. TOR

A West Coast power surge will be followed by a Blue Jays hurdle, as Shohei Ohtani will work around the 11th, third and second-ranked wRC+ figures in his next three starts. Like any time Ohtani steps on a field, this will make for some prime viewership. He’s allowed one run in his last 13 innings and has struck out 13.


Zac Gallen (ARI)   7/30 vs. LAD   8/4 vs. SF   8/10 @ SF   8/15 vs. SD

Arizona righty Zac Gallen could use some time on the good schedule list after allowing seven runs to the Cubs in his last start (4 IP). He is in line to face the top three teams in the NL West over his next four starts, as all are eager to work their way to the top of the divisional standings. The D-Backs series might feel like must-win sets for these intra-division opponents, as Arizona holds the worst record in baseball.


Jordan Lyles (TEX)   8/3 @ LAA   8/8 @ OAK   8/13 vs. OAK

*Avoids SEA 7/30-8/1, 8/10-12

More on the tough divisional front: Jordan Lyles avoids the lighter-hitting Mariners in favor of the tougher-hitting Angels and A’s. They rank a respective fifth and 11th in wRC+ and the Rangers may have a tough time matching their firepower without Joey Gallo in the mix anymore. Lyles allowed two hits to the D-Backs in his last start (7 IP), so he’s on a good foot entering this tough stretch.


Kenta Maeda (MIN)   8/3 @ CIN   8/8 @ HOU   8/13 vs. TB

This schedule avoids the White Sox (8/9-11) and is still bad. Kenta Maeda gets the 12th, first and ninth-ranked wRC+ in his next three starts and hasn’t seen any of these opponents so far this year. He cooled the Tigers’ bats during their recent hot streak, at least: Detroit mustered one run in Maeda’s last start (6 1/3 IP)


Ryan Yarbrough (TB)   7/31 vs. BOS   ***8/6 @ BAL***   8/11 @ BOS

*Avoids SEA 8/2-4

The AL West will be forced to work around Ryan Yarbrough after pitching seven innings of one run ball in his last start (@ CLE). Yarbrough will take on the eighth,19th and eighth-ranked wRC+ over his next three starts, and the roller coaster will avoid the Mariners’ 22nd-ranked figure


Nick Pivetta (BOS)   8/1 @ TB   8/6 @ TOR   8/11 vs. TB

Several of these starter schedules are full of a few tough divisional slates.  Nick Pivetta falls in line with the Rays twice and the Blue Jays once, all with top-10 wRC+, Pivetta has allowed four earned runs in each of his last four starts, and completed five innings in just one of them.


Triston McKenzie (CLE)   7/31 @ CHW   8/5 @ TOR   8/10 vs. OAK

Triston McKenzie will bounce around three different divisions in his next three starts, but his opposing wRC+ status will all stay pretty strong. He will make his fourth start of the year against the White Sox on Saturday; he’s allowed 13 runs to them on the year in just under 13 innings of work.


Framber Valdez (HOU)   7/30 @ SF   8/4 @ LAD   ***8/10 vs. COL***   8/15 @ LAA

This AL West arm will fall into a rare trend of interleague consistency in his next three starts. The only solace on the horizon might be with the Rockies at home, but Framber Valdez just tossed six innings of shutout ball to Texas so he isn’t exactly stuck right now. He previously worked 6 1/3 frames of four-run baseball to the White Sox.


Daniel Lynch (KC)   7/30 @ TOR   8/4 @ CHW   8/9 vs. NYY

*Avoids STL 8/6-8

In one of the toughest immediate schedules out there, Daniel Lynch finds himself taking on the second and fourth-ranked wRC+ figures. This comes before taking on a Yankees squad eager to chip away at a 8 1/2-game divisional deficit. Lynch threw a season-high eight innings in his last start, blanking the Tigers and spacing five hits.


Matt Harvey (BAL)   7/30 @ DET   ***8/4 @ NYY***   8/10 vs. DET

*Avoids TB (8/6-8)

Matt Harvey is beginning to look like his old self, tossing back-to-back shutout performances in six inning affairs. He faced Kansas City and Washington in those outings. Harvey’s road ahead will feature a hot-hitting Tigers squad that has posted the third-best wRC+ in the league over the past two weeks. Their season figure ranks 18th, however, so their continued push will largely determine how tough this schedule actually is.


Soon To Be A Great Schedule


Chris Bassitt (OAK)   7/30 @ LAA   8/4 vs. SD   8/10 @ CLE   8/15 @ TEX

*Avoids CHW 8/16-19

It may be too far out to project Chris Bassitt out of an upcoming White Sox series, and it can be equally challenging to project it after two tougher teams in his next two starts. The Giants come immediately after the White Sox on Oakland’s schedule, however, so this pocket of a ‘good’ schedule is dependent on where A’s pitchers will fall for their Cleveland and Texas series.


Trevor Williams (CHC)   7/30 @ WAS   8/4 @ COL   8/9 vs. MIL

*Avoids CHW 8/6-8

This schedule takes some odd turns: Washington’s wRC+ is right around league average, while Coors Field remains challenging, but Milwaukee has bottom-third wRC+. Trevor Williams worked 6 1/3 innings of shutout baseball against Arizona in his last outing, and it was a much-needed turnaround after the Cardinals and Phillies got the best of him (combined 8 2/3 IP, 11 R/7 ER).


Soon To Be A Bad Schedule


Max Fried (ATL)   8/3 @ STL   8/8 vs. WAS   8/13 @ WAS

Max Fried just faced some narrowly-below-average offense in the Mets and Phillies, allowing a combined six runs in 12 innings. He’ll transition into the Cardinals and the 24th-ranked wRC+, but the Nationals have posted the second-best figure in the last two weeks and pose a heightened challenge—although Trea Turner has made his way to Los Angeles.


Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire | 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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