SP Future Schedules – Week 2

Justin Wick breaks down the good and bad starter schedules ahead

Great Schedules


Joe Musgrove (SDP)

4/9 @ TEX       4/14 @ PIT       4/19 vs. MIL       *Avoids LAD: 4/16-18

Musgrove’s next three starts are against teams that are ranked 23rd or worse in league wOBA last year. The Rangers, Pirates and Brewers currently rank a respective 6th, 20th and 30th, so while the small 2021 sample looks a little tougher than last year, Musgrove is still in a great spot. He is coming off six shutout innings against the Diamondbacks last Saturday, and will avoid the Dodgers from April 16-18.


Marcus Stroman (NYM)

4/11 vs. MIA       4/16 @ COL       4/21 @ CHC

Stroman went six innings against the Phillies on Tuesday, holding them to one earned run and three hits. Philadelphia currently ranks 9th in team wRC+, while his next three opponents—the Marlins, Rockies and Cubs—rank 25th, 17th and 26th. One of those outings will come at Coors Field; in his last start in Denver (June 1, 2019), he went seven innings and allowed three earned runs.


Zack Greinke (HOU)

4/12 vs. DET       4/17 @ SEA       4/22 vs. LAA

Detroit currently ranks 16th in wRC+, while Seattle ranks 18th. After a presumed start against the Mariners, it looks like Greinke will avoid a start in Colorado’s thin air. The Tigers and Mariners finished 27th and 28th in wOBA last season, and Greinke’s Astros are off to a hot 6-1 start.


John Means (BAL)

4/12 vs. SEA       4/17 @ TEX       4/23 vs. OAK

Means pitched 4 2/3 innings against the Yankees on Wednesday, holding them to just one earned run. He’ll look ahead to the Mariners, Rangers and A’s, all of which ranked 15th or worse in wOBA and wRC+ last year. Texas is off to a hotter start so far, but their offensive numbers could worsen as they take on the Padres this weekend.


Dallas Keuchel (CHW)

4/12 vs. CLE       4/17 @ BOS       4/23 vs. TEX

Cleveland currently ranks 16th in wOBA, and while Boston will look to be a tougher challenge (14th), Keuchel will follow it up with the Rangers. Texas’ wOBA is off to a solid start (6th), but it could soon regress to their figure in 2020 (29th). He faced the Mariners on Wednesday and allowed three earned runs to the 28th-ranked wOBA in five innings.


Max Fried (ATL)

4/12 vs. MIA       4/17 @ CHC       4/23 vs. ARI

Fried will avoid a two-game set with the Yankees (4/20-21) and will face three consecutive teams with below-average wRC+ through the month of April. It will serve as some modest relief after allowing five earned runs to the Nationals in two innings on Wednesday. He will look ahead to an extra day off before his start against Arizona.


Madison Bumgarner (ARI)

4/12 vs. OAK       4/17 @ WAS       *Avoids ATL: 4/23-25

It may be too early to tell, but it looks like Bumgarner might avoid a three-game set against the Braves near the end of the month. He will take on the A’s at home (28th in wRC+), followed by the Nationals on the road (13th—and 14th last year).  


Soon To Be A Great Schedule


Matthew Boyd (DET)

4/12 @ HOU       4/17 @ OAK       4/22 vs. PIT

Assuming he can get past the Astros, Boyd has an easier road ahead than what he has started the year with. Two of his first three starts (assuming Houston is next) are against teams with a top-five wOBA, while Oakland and Pittsburgh rank near the bottom third of the league.


Kevin Gausman (SFG)

4/12 vs. CIN       4/17 @ MIA       4/22 vs. MIA

Gausman is on the back end of a tough stretch, having last started against the Padres on Wednesday. He will look ahead to the Reds and then the Marlins in consecutive starts; Cincinnati ranks 1st in wOBA and wRC+ right now, while the Marlins are near the league bottom.


Bad Schedules


Shane Bieber (CLE)

4/12 @ CHW       4/17 @ CIN       4/22 vs. NYY

Bieber’s next three opponents rank a respective 5th, 2nd and 12th in offensive fWAR. There is a chance that Cincinnati’s hot bats will cool off before Bieber faces them, but he’ll await more strong hitters with the White Sox on Monday. Both starts will come on the road, and his next home start looks to be against the Yankees.


Jon Gray (COL)

4/13 @ LAD       4/18 vs. NYM

Gray was pulled from a start last weekend due to full body cramping (5+ IP, 1 ER), but followed it up with another strong outing on Thursday against the Diamondbacks where he took a no-hitter into the 7th (6 2/3 IP, 1 ER). He is thrown into a gauntlet of a schedule after those recent successes, as the Dodgers and Mets currently rank 2nd and 6th in wRC+. 


Tyler Glasnow (TBR)

4/11 vs. NYY       4/16 @ NYY

The Yankees rank 11th in wRC+ right now, but could soon regress to their 2020 figures that ranked them 4th. Glasnow will have to work through their lineup in his next two starts, missing a series against the Rangers in the process.


Max Scherzer (WAS)

4/11 @ LAD       4/15 vs. ARI

After COVID-19 pushed Opening Day back for the Nationals, Scherzer may have missed a series against the Dodgers. He will instead face them this Sunday in Los Angeles, and will not pitch in a series against the Cardinals (12th worst wRC+). It should get easier for Scherzer rather quickly, however: he’s got the Diamondbacks and the 7th worst wRC+ on the horizon.


Yu Darvish (SDP)

4/11 @ TEX       4/16 vs. LAD

It’s tough to call it a ‘bad’ schedule with the Rangers next up, but Darvish will subsequently miss an entire four-game series against the Pirates. He will instead look toward the Dodgers on Friday, one of his old squads. (It’s safe to reason the Padres would rather pitch him against the Dodgers than the Pirates anyways, but they do have quite a reserve of starters to go around.)


Hyun Jin Ryu (TOR)

4/12 vs. NYY       4/17 @ KC

Call it a small sample, but the Royals have been swinging it well so far. Kansas City ranks ninth in wOBA so far; Ryu will take on the Yankees prior, and they currently rank 12th in wOBA after ranking 5th last year.


Clayton Kershaw (LAD)

4/11 vs. WAS       4/16-17 @ SD       4/22-23 vs. SD

Kershaw will miss a home series against Colorado (4/13-15), and will instead look toward back-to-back starts against the Padres later in April. San Diego ranks 4th in wOBA so far, although they have many new and/or young weapons in their lineup that have not seen the Hall of Fame lefty very much. Kershaw was hit hard in his first start (5 2/3 IP, 5 ER), but rebounded well against Oakland on Tuesday (7 IP, 1 ER).


Jack Flaherty (STL)

4/12 vs. WAS       4/17 vs. PHI

Both of Flaherty’s next two opponents have above-average wRC+, and his next foe, the Nationals, just hit around Max Fried on Wednesday (4 ER, 2 IP). Flaherty just shut out the Marlins over six innings, however, so it looks like he’s well prepared to face anybody.


Kyle Hendricks (CHC)

4/12 @ MIL       4/17 vs. ATL       4/22 vs. NYM

Hendricks will see an easier opponent in the Brewers in his next start, but the Braves and Mets are on the horizon and both rank 4th or better across all figures on the batting slash. He has allowed three earned runs in nine innings on the year, but also did so against the Brewers and Pirates.


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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