SP Future Schedules – Week 3

Justin Wick breaks down the good and bad starter schedules ahead

Great Schedules


Anthony DeSclafani (SFG)   4/16 @ MIA   4/21@ PHI   4/26 vs. COL

*Avoids PHI 4/19-21

Coming off six shutout innings against the Rockies, DeSclafani will now look ahead to the 12th, 26th and 29th-ranked wRC+ in the Marlins, Phillies and Rockies again. He has allowed one run in 11 total innings this year and against his toughest offensive opponent, the Padres (5th in wRC+), he threw five innings and allowed one run.


Max Scherzer (WAS)   4/16 vs. ARI   4/21 vs. STL   4/27 “@“ TOR

*Avoids NYM 4/23-25

Scherzer last pitched against the Dodgers and held the toughest lineup in baseball to one run over five innings. He will take on the Diamondbacks this evening and look ahead to the Cardinals, two teams that rank below average in wOBA. The Blue Jays are next on Scherzer’s list, and they rank 12th in wOBA.


Gerrit Cole (NYY)   4/18 vs. TB   4/23 @ CLE   4/28 @ BAL

*Avoids ATL 4/20-21

Cole is set to take on the Rays on Sunday and narrowly misses a two-game set against the Braves early next week. Tampa Bay ranks 17th in wRC+ and Cole’s next two opponents, Cleveland and Baltimore, rank 25th or worse. Cole has a 1.47 ERA right now (1.17 FIP), but he hasn’t faced an opposing wRC+ ranked above 14th.


J.T. Brubaker (PIT)   4/16 @ MIL   4/21 @ DET   4/27 vs. KCR

All of Brubaker’s next three opponents have below-average wRC+. His toughest test of the year so far was in his first start against the Reds, where he allowed one run in four innings. Cincinnati looks to be the toughest opponent he will have through the first month of the season. Pittsburgh will soon have the Padres, Reds and Braves next month, however.


Freddy Peralta (MIL)   4/18 vs. PIT   4/23 @ CHC   4/28 vs. MIA

*Avoids SDP 4/19-21, LAD 4/29-5/2

Peralta has a season ERA below one and his opponents are extremely favorable to close out April. He’ll look ahead to the Pirates and Cubs in his next two starts; Pittsburgh has a slightly above-average wRC+ right now, while the Cubs rank dead last. He’ll have to work against the Marlins and the 12th best wRC+ beyond that, but he will miss the top-ranked Dodgers if he stays on his current schedule.


Chris Bassitt (OAK)   4/18 vs. DET   4/23 or 24 @ BAL

Bassitt’s current ERA is approaching five, but his next two opponents—the Tigers and Orioles—are not thought of highly in a bunch of 2021 projections. The A’s bats haven’t been too strong this year (24th in wRC+), and it could be arms like Bassitt that take control in the coming weeks to keep Oakland at or near their league standing from last year—the AL two seed.


Soon To Be A Great Schedule


Andrew Heaney (LAA)   4/16 vs. MIN   4/21 vs. TEX   4/26 @ TEX

*Avoids HOU 4/23-25

Heaney will work against the Twins and the 7th-best wRC+ tonight before taking on the 22nd-ranked wRC+ in consecutive starts (while the Astros and Mariners claw it out near the top of the early standings). Heaney will miss a three-game set against the Astros later in the month.


Carlos Rodón (CHW)   4/19 @ BOS   4/24 or 25 vs. TEX   

*Either DET or CLE after TEX

Rodón was “a shoelace away from perfection” in has last start, as White Sox color man Steve Stone aptly chimed. Rodón faced Cleveland and the 27th-best wOBA in that outing, and will jump ahead to 2nd-ranked Boston on the road in his next start. He will quickly jump to 23rd-ranked Texas beyond that, so the end of April is truly a roller coaster for Rodón’s strength of schedule.


Ryan Weathers or Other 5th Starter (SD)    4/16 vs. LAD   4/21 vs. MIL   4/27 @ ARI

*Avoids LAD 4/22-25

One starter for the Padres won’t have to pitch in the four-game set at Dodger Stadium next week…


Bad Schedules


Merrill Kelly (ARI)   4/20 @ CIN   4/25 @ ATL   4/30 vs. COL

Kelly’s early-season stretch continues to be tough after the Padres pushed him around for three earned runs in four innings, and the Rockies posted six runs in six innings off him at Coors Field. He pitched on Thursday in Washington, again allowing six earned runs in six innings. Next up are the Reds, a team that continues to swing hot bats to start the year (4th in wRC+). The Braves could be of little relief after that, but he is at least in line to face the Rockies in Phoenix at the end of April.


Zack Greinke (HOU)   4/17 @ SEA   4/22 vs. LAA   4/27 vs. SEA

Avoids Coors Field (4/20-21)

Houston’s 18-year veteran will take the ball Saturday and will look to separate the Astros from the Mariners in the AL West standings. Seattle’s bats have shown for the 11th best wRC+ and another division rival, the Angels, rank seventh. Greinke will have three intra-division starts in his next three outings, as he looks to avenge his last start against Detroit (4 2/3 IP, 6 ER).


Aaron Civale (CLE)   4/20 vs. CHW   4/25 vs. NYY   4/30 @ CHW

The White Sox and Yankees aren’t faring too well in their respective divisions, but it could be a matter of time before their wRC+ rankings (8th and 15th) start to resemble their 2020 figures (6th and 4th). Civale could have a front row seat in his next three starts; he’s made two starts this year and both have been against the Tigers (25th).


Any pitcher for Cleveland

4/16-18 @ CIN, 4/20-21 vs. CHW, 4/22-25 vs. NYY

It isn’t just Civale that has a tough road ahead for Cleveland: there is little relief other than a day off between the Reds and White Sox series. The Reds have found their way to the top of the NL Central standings and the White Sox and Yankees could get hot at any minute.


Any pitcher for Colorado

4/16-18 vs. NYM, 4/20-21 vs. HOU

The Rockies pitching staff has been left battered after an 0-6 road trip. They now return to Coors Field to take on the 6th and 2nd-best wRC+ in consecutive series–back in the Colorado air, of all places. They didn’t have a starter work past the sixth inning in their three-game set with the Dodgers this week, so their off days next Monday and Thursday could be a saving grace.


Bad Schedules – The Gauntlet


Walker Buehler (LAD)   4/16 @ SDP   4/22 vs. SDP

Yu Darvish (SDP)   4/17 vs. LAD   4/22 @ LAD

Clayton Kershaw (LAD)   4/17 @ SD   4/23 vs. SD

Blake Snell (SDP)   4/18 vs. LAD   4/23 @ LAD

Trevor Bauer (LAD)   4/18 @ SD   4/24 vs. SD

Let’s just call it like it is. This looks awesome.

Both the Dodgers and Padres rank in the top five in wRC+, wOBA and slugging percentage. Both are seeking to establish themselves atop the NL West standings; a leaderboard dominated by the Dodgers for eight consecutive seasons. The two teams will see each other seven times in the next 10 days, so we are bound to see serious implications as marquee arms take the mound at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium.

*The starts may not align as listed, as the Dodgers have a day off next Wednesday. Dave Roberts may opt to keep four starters on a standard five-day cycle or give his entire army of starters an extra day off.


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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