SP Future Schedules – Week 20

Justin Wick breaks down the good and bad starter schedules ahead

Great Schedules


Jack Flaherty (STL)   8/13 @ KC   8/18 vs. MIL   8/24 vs. DET   8/29 @ PIT

In his return from the 60-day injured list, Jack Flaherty has himself a nice road ahead. He’s got the 26th, 21st, 18th, and 29th-ranked wRC+ on the horizon. The Cardinals might switch his schedule up and give him some additional rest, but Flaherty is otherwise looking at some desirable opponents through the entire month. He’s made 11 starts this year and has already seen the Brewers and Pirates this year (a combined 12 IP, 3 ER).


Corbin Burnes (MIL)   8/17 @ STL   8/22 vs. WAS   8/27 @ MIN

After tossing eight shutout innings against the Cubs, Corbin Burnes eyes a return to the mound against a Cardinal’s squad that he has gone to work against (11 IP, 1 ER). He will take on the 14th-ranked wRC+ in the Nationals but will return to an easy schedule against the Twins, another team he’s dominated (6 1/3 IP, 1 ER). With a 2.23 ERA, it’s safe to reason any schedule is good for Burnes.


Steven Brault (PIT)   8/15 vs. MIL   8/20 @ STL   8/25 vs. ARI

Steven Brault is now two starts into his 2021 return, tossing a combined nine innings and allowing three runs. He remains on the good schedule list after facing the Brewers and Cardinals; he gets those exact teams in starts three and four. Brault will likely face the White Sox at the end of the month, but not before his most desirable opponent in the D-Backs.


Anthony DeSclafani (SF)   8/13 vs. COL   8/18 vs. NYM   8/24 @ NYM

*Avoids OAK 8/20-22

The Mets have been one of the coldest teams in baseball this month, and the NL East standings have not turned in their favor. Anthony DeSclafani gets a double crack at the Mets, which will be a prime schedule if they don’t heat up again. He will first take on the Rockies tonight at sea level.


Walker Buehler (LAD)   8/14 @ NYM   8/19 vs. NYM

More Mets action: a gauntlet of NL West opponents are headed their way. Walker Buehler will seek to improve his 2.13 ERA after allowing two earned runs in his last 18 innings, and the Mets are in a crunch-time position.


Julio Urías (LAD)   8/13 @ NYM   8/18 vs. PIT   ***8/24 @ SD***   8/29 vs. COL

The Dodgers’ lefty also gets a crack at the Mets, and he’ll get a crack at the 29th and 30th-ranked wRC+ figures before the calendar flips to September. A start against the Padres could pose some intense situations, but Julio Urías is otherwise in a great position after allowing two earned runs in his last 10 innings.


Alek Manoah (TOR)   8/17 @ WAS   8/22 vs. DET   8/27 @ DET   9/1 vs. BAL  

*Avoids CHW 8/23-26

One lucky starter for the Blue Jays will avoid a four-game set with the White Sox at the end of the month. Alek Manoah tossed a season-high 7 2/3 innings against the Angels in his last time out, and will now look toward three opponents that are at least 10 games back in their division.


Chris Sale (BOS)   8/14 vs. BAL   8/20 vs. TEX   8/25 vs. MIN

*Avoids NYY 8/17-18 (3 games)

It’s time. Boston has announced Chris Sale for Saturday as he makes his big league return from Tommy John surgery. The Red Sox might be cautious with his workload and rest, but he’s got a good road ahead assuming he stays on a standard rotation. The Red Sox also have two days off next week, which could be perfect for the returning lefty.


Bad Schedules


Lucas Giolito (CHW)   8/15 vs. OAK   8/21 @ TB   8/26 @ TOR

The ninth, sixth, and second-ranked wRC+ await Lucas Giolito and the White Sox with plenty of postseason implications on the line. Giolito tossed eight frames of one-run ball against the Twins on Monday but he allowed six earned runs to the Royals before that (4 IP).


Dylan Cease (CHW)   8/14 vs. NYY   8/19 vs. OAK   8/24 @ TOR

Dylan Cease narrowly missed the Field of Dreams starts, but he will also see the Yankees. His schedule would have been more desirable if he pitched in Dyersville, as he will not wake on the A’s and Blue Jays, the ninth and second-ranked wRC+. Cease allowed three runs to the Cubs in his last start (5 IP). He shut out the Royals over six innings before that, however.


Frankie Montas (OAK)   8/16 @ CHW   8/21 vs. SF   8/26 vs. NYY

*Avoids SEA 8/23-24

On the other side of the A’s-White Sox coin: Frankie Montas will take on the south siders on Monday and will look ahead to the Giants with the best record in baseball. He avoids the easier offense of the Mariners, and will instead match up against the Yankees as they look to cover some ground against a close slate of division rivals.


Austin Gomber (COL)   8/13 @ SF   8/18 vs. SD   ***8/23 @ CHC***   8/28 @ LAD

*Avoids ARI 8/20-22

Three of Austin Gomber’s next four starts are against the top three teams in the NL West. His schedule misfortune pushes him out of a start with the Diamondbacks, while a start with the Cubs is the only relative sign of relief for Gomber this month. The Cubs have the 25th-ranked wRC+ in baseball, while the Giants rank fifth, the Padres rank 12th, and the Dodgers rank third.


Tylor Megill (NYM)   8/13 vs. LAD   8/18 @ SF   8/24 vs. SF

The Mets have their work cut out for them, and Tylor Megill could put the team on his back here in his next three starts. He’s been cold in his last two starts, allowing four earned runs in five innings or less but previously allowed just a single run in 17 1/3 innings (three starts).


Taijuan Walker (NYM)   8/14 vs. LAD   8/19 @ LAD   8/25 vs. SF

This article really isn’t intended to pick on the Mets, but there are just a ton of good and bad schedules between them and their opponents. Taijuan Walker will have a similar setup as Megill. He will get a double-dose of the Dodgers as the third-ranked wRC+ desperately seeks to catch the Giants and justify their deadline spending.


Aaron Nola (PHI)   8/15 vs. CIN   8/20 @ SD   8/25 vs. TB

*Avoids ARI 8/17-19

The Phillies are clawing it out atop the NL East and will pitch Aaron Nola for the eighth, 12th, and sixth-ranked wRC+. Nola threw a brief four innings in his last start but the Dodgers did not score against him. That came after a five-inning performance against the Nationals where he allowed five earned runs.


Tarik Skubal (DET)   8/17 vs. LAA   8/22 @ TOR   8/27 vs. TOR

*Avoids STL 8/24-25

The Blue Jays have the second-best wRC+ in baseball. They will look to ride that offense to gain some ground in a relatively tight division. Tarik Skubal is coming off consecutive scoreless starts, however, so he appears primed to run into them twice. He’ll open this stretch against the Angels and the 11th-ranked wRC+ on Tuesday.


Jorge Lopez (BAL)   8/14 @ BOS   8/19 @ TB   8/24 vs. LAA

More AL East action: Baltimore is the outlier in an otherwise tight division, and the Orioles’ Jorge Lopez will have much to do with that divisional landscape over the next two weeks. He just held the hot-hitting Rays to a mere two runs over six innings, and he’s in line to face the seventh, sixth, and 11th-ranked wRC.


Soon To Be A Great Schedule


Patrick Sandoval (LAA)   8/13 vs. HOU   8/18 @ DET   8/24 @ BAL

The Astros remain atop the wRC+ leaderboard, and Patrick Sandoval will get thrown to the wolves as Houston chases the best record in the AL. He will quickly transition to the 18th and 17th-ranked wRC+, however, which will be a nice change of pace after taking on the Dodgers and A’s in his last two starts. He allowed three runs in 10 2/3 innings in those outings.


Soon To Be A Bad Schedule


Spencer Howard (TEX)   8/17 vs. SEA   8/22 @ BOS   8/27 vs. HOU

*Avoids CLE 8/24-26

Texas’s Spencer Howard has made nine starts this year but none of them have been for more than four innings. He’s had a pretty flexible schedule — he doesn’t stay on a five-day cycle often — but it will be interesting to monitor how his schedule works around a tough road ahead. The Rangers might opt to give him Cleveland amidst a tough stretch.

TBD (SD)   8/15 @ ARI   8/20 vs. PHI   8/25 vs. LAD  8/30 @ ARI

*Avoids Coors Field 8/16-18

A double-dose of the Diamondbacks puts this unannounced pitcher on the good schedule list, but the divisional charge put forth by the Phillies and Dodgers could make this stretch a tough one. The Padres have to make up some ground too, so these starts could make for serious viewing.


Photo by Ric Tapia/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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