SP Future Schedules – Week 4

Justin Wick breaks down the good and bad starter schedules ahead

Great Schedules


Mike Minor (KC)   4/23 @ DET   4/28 @ PIT   5/3 vs. CLE

With the 28th and 19th-ranked wOBA on the immediate horizon, Mike Minor will take on the Tigers and Pirates with his Royals currently atop the NL Central. He has made starts against the Rangers, White Sox and Blue Jays thus far, and his future schedule looks primed to lower his 5.17 ERA and 5.19 FIP. After his start with Pittsburgh, it looks like he will take on Cleveland and the 22nd-ranked wOBA.


Drew Smyly (ATL)   4/24 vs. ARI   4/29 vs. CHC   5/5 @ WAS

Drew Smyly will return from the injured list on Saturday, having made just two starts this year. He will look ahead to teams ranked 16th, 24th and 21st in wRC+; had he returned any sooner, there is a chance he would have seen the Yankees this week instead. Smyly already pitched against Washington in his first start of the year, tossing six frames and allowing two earned runs.


Brett Anderson (MIL)   4/23 @ CHC   4/28 vs. MIA   5/3 @ PHI

The Cubs currently rank in the bottom third in both wOBA and wRC+, and Brett Anderson is fresh on the heels of seven scoreless innings against the Pirates last Saturday. He will pitch at Wrigley this evening and looks ahead to the Marlins (15th in wOBA) and Phillies (16th) beyond that. Anderson currently has his lowest K% of his last five seasons, while the Cubs have the third highest as a team this year.


Antonio Senzatela (COL)   4/25 vs. PHI   4/30 @ ARI   5/5 vs. SFG

Antonio Senzatela’s next three opponents rank 19th, 16th and 20th in wRC+. Only one of those starts appears to come at Coors Field. Senzatela has made four starts on the year, two coming against the Dodgers and one against the Mets. His road ahead looks to be a refreshing change of pace, and he could soon be back on track for the career ERA figure he posted a year ago. Senzatela was Colorado’s bWAR leader in 2020.


Taijuan Walker (NYM)   4/25 vs. WAS   4/30 @ PHI   5/5 @ STL

Taijuan Walker’s next two opponents rank 18th or lower in offensive fWAR. His third opponent, the Cardinals, rank 11th but are also 4th in the NL Central right now. Walker was unable to finish four innings in his last outing against the Cubs, allowing two earned runs after holding the Phillies to one run in 4 1/3 innings. His Sunday start against the Nationals will be his fourth outing of the year.


Sandy Alcantara (MIA)   4/23 @ SFG   4/28 @ MIL   5/4 vs. ARI

Sandy Alcantara is currently holding a K% of 28.0, a career high. He will take on the Giants and the 9th-worst K% (25.6), followed by the Brewers holding MLB’s worst (29.0). Alcantara’s 3.28 ERA on the year stands aside a 2.56 FIP; if he continues to limit traffic on the bases (0.93 WHIP), it is presumable that his ERA figure will approach that FIP in the twos given his future opponents.


Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS)   4/25 vs. SEA   4/30 @ TEX   5/5 vs. DET

*Avoids NYM 4/27-28

The Mariners have heated up in the month of April, but Eduardo Rodriguez’s future schedule is looking to take a sharp turn after Sunday when he will look ahead to the Rangers and Tigers. He last pitched on Tuesday against the Blue Jays, working six frames of two-run baseball by way of two solo home runs. The Mariners rank 9th in fly ball percentage, but it hasn’t exactly translated to home runs; they rank 20th in dingers. (Texas ranks 18th.)


J.A. Happ (MIN)   4/23 vs. PIT   4/28 @ CLE   5/3 or 4 vs. TEX

J.A. Happ currently holds his lowest ERA in 12 years. He has made just two starts on the year, but his last outing came on April 13th against the hot-hitting Red Sox, holding them to just two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Texas all rank 19th or worse in OPS.


Chris Bassitt (OAK)   4/25 @ BAL   4/30 vs. BAL   5/5 vs. TOR

It will be hard to bet against anything Oakland during their current 11-game winning streak. Chris Bassitt has been on the mound for two of those outings (@ ARI, 4/12; vs. DET, 4/18), and his back-to-back outings against the Orioles will put him up against the league’s 29th-ranked OPS. Toronto is who he will likely see beyond that; the Blue Jays rank 24th.


Julio Urias (LAD)   4/26 vs. CIN   5/1 @ MIL

*Avoids SD 4/22-4/25

It’s tough to label this a truly ‘good’ schedule with the Reds next up (2nd in OPS), but it comes after he misses a four-game set with San Diego. If the Dodgers/Padres series last week was any indicator, Julio Urias may be better off facing a Reds squad that has slightly cooled off at the plate. In the past week, Cincinnati has ranked 12th in OPS; still not an easy team to overcome, but perhaps a little less demanding than the October-style action we saw at Petco Park last weekend. Urías will then have the luxury of pitching in Milwaukee against the highest team K% in baseball.  His current figure of 26.0% is just one tenth below his career high from 2019.


Bad Schedules


John Means (BAL)   4/25 vs. OAK   4/30 @ OAK   5/5 @ SEA

John Means gets the luxury of facing the Oakland A’s, the hottest team in baseball, in consecutive starts. He then looks ahead to the Mariners, who are just behind the A’s in the AL West standings. Oakland has won their last 11 games and will look to extend their streak against a Baltimore team that currently sits fourth in the AL East. Means will avoid the Yankees next week, but right now they are the only team behind Baltimore in that division.


Dylan Bundy (LAA)   4/25 @ HOU   4/30 @ SEA   5/5 vs. TBR

*Day off on 4/29

The wild AL West standings have the Astros in the cellar right now, but their wRC+ ranks 9th. Dylan Bundy will take on Houston this Sunday and follow it up with the Mariners, ranking 18th in wRC+ but also hanging with Oakland at the top of the division—and looking to separate themselves from the third-place Angels. Bundy allowed five earned runs to the Rangers in his last start (5 IP), and his opponents look to only get tougher.


Triston McKenzie (CLE)   4/25 vs. NYY   4/30 @ CHW   5/5 @ KCR

It may be only a matter of time for the Yankees to finally rite the ship. They currently rank 28th in wRC+, but Triston McKenzie could have a front row seat for a turnaround in the Bronx. He will later face the White Sox and the Royals, ranking a respective 5th and 11th in wRC and both clawing it out atop the AL Central—alongside Cleveland.


Luke Weaver (ARI)   4/23 @ ATL   4/28 vs. SD   5/4 @ MIA

*Avoids COL (in Arizona) 4/29-5/2

It doesn’t look like Luke Weaver will take on the Rockies next weekend; he instead gets to look forward to the Braves and Padres in his next two outings. Both teams are hanging around .500 but if the 2020 schedule was any indicator, these two teams could break out at any moment. Weaver will also get the Padres on the back end of their gauntlet schedule with the Dodgers.


Kwang Hyun Kim (STL)   4/23 vs. CIN   4/28 vs. PHI   5/3 vs. NYM

*Avoids PIT 4/30-5/2

The Reds have cooled off over their last 10 games but they still rank 2nd in wOBA. Kwang Hyun Kim will face them this evening, following it up with the Phillies (16th) and Mets (13th). The foes he will face in the NL East aren’t hitting quite like they were last year (PHI, 9th; NYM, 2nd), but they could also turn it around in a larger sample size.


Clayton Kershaw (LAD)   4/23 vs. SD   4/28 vs. CIN

The Reds will be of little relief for Clayton Kershaw after he squares off against the Padres this evening. He will look ahead to the Cubs in his first start of May, however, and they currently have a wRC+ of 88.


Patrick Corbin (WAS)   4/25 @ NYM   4/30 vs. MIA   5/5 vs. ATL

*Off days on 4/26, 4/29—could change schedule

Patrick Corbin almost avoided the Mets but will face them on Sunday, followed by the Marlins and Braves. His action in New York and against Atlanta will be against the 2nd and 3rd-best wRC+ from a year ago, and Corbin currently holds an ERA in the 10’s.


Zach Davies (CHC)   4/26 @ ATL   5/1 @ CIN

It will be interesting to monitor if the Reds stay hot leading into Zach Davies’ anticipated start on May 1; he will first square off against the Braves in Atlanta. Davies last pitched against the Mets on Wednesday, allowing two earned runs in four innings. He allowed four in four frames to Atlanta in his start before—and seven in five innings to Pittsburgh before that. Davies has an ERA of 8.80 right now, and is likely eager to rite the ship in his first season with the Cubs.


Logan Webb (SF)   4/25 vs MIA   4/30 @ SD   5/5 @ COL

His Sunday start against the Marlins could be of subtle relief (MIA: 13th in wRC+), but the Padres await next week, followed by an outing at Coors Field. Logan Webb last pitched in Philadelphia last Tuesday, allowing four earned runs in four innings. He also pitched in relief before that (4/14), and his spot in the rotation may be altered depending on how the Giants manage their off day next Thursday.


Kyle Gibson (TEX)   4/24 @ CHW   4/29 vs. BOS   5/3 @ MIN

Boston has heated up and taken over the AL East lead. The White Sox are threatening at second in the AL Central. Meanwhile, the Rangers are in fourth in the AL West and the Astros could soon put them in fifth. Kyle Gibson will take on the 5th and 1st-ranked wRC+ in his next two starts, only to take on the Twins and the 8th-best later on. Momentum is on his side: he just threw eight scoreless innings against Baltimore last Sunday.


Jake Odorizzi (HOU)   4/24 vs. LAA   4/29 @ SEA   5/4 or 5 @ NYY

The Astros are currently dead last in the AL West and dropped both games of a two-game set to the Rockies this week. They will seek to cover some ground against the division-rival Angels and Mariners, with Jake Odorizzi taking a start against both of them. The Angels rank 4th in wOBA, while the Mariners rank 26th but are still maintaining a strong divisional record. It may also be a matter of time before the Yankees surge ahead; Odorizzi will open up May in the Bronx.


Any pitcher for Detroit:   vs. KC (4 games)   @ CHW (3)   @ NYY (3)   @ BOS (3)

This is just tough. Only the Yankees have a wRC+ below 107 out of Detroit’s next four opponents, and the Yankees still have the best odds in the AL at winning the World Series according to FanGraphs.


Photo by Nick Wosika/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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