SPs With Good And Bad Schedules Ahead – Week 7

Justin Wick forecasts the easier and tougher roads ahead for starters

In just over three weeks, the MLB regular season will be over. Some teams have a tougher race to the finish than others, and the outlook for several starters will follow suit. Here’s the good and bad roads ahead, beginning with the good ones:


Great Schedules


Zach Davies (San Diego Padres)


Davies will face the A’s this evening. Oakland hasn’t played in five days due to COVID-19-related postponements, and they currently hold the 12th-worst wOBA. Davies will pitch a home game with Colorado next week (9/9); after one of the hottest starts in baseball, the Rockies now have a losing record and rank 18th in wOBA. Davies shut out the Rockies over 6.2 innings in his last start.

The Dodgers will come to San Diego for a three-game set and Davies is in line to open that series (8/14). It could be the hardest start remaining for Davies in the regular season, as the Padres finish the year with the Mariners, Angels and Giants.


Jose Urquidy (Houston Astros)


In his return from the injured list, Urquidy will take on the Angels on Saturday followed by the A’s on Thursday. He misses a two-game set with the Dodgers next weekend, matching up against the Rangers instead (9/16 or 9/17). The Angels rank 20th in wOBA and the Athletics rank 19th; Texas ranks 29th, and he avoids the Dodgers at 4th.


Blake Snell (Tampa Bay Rays)


Snell gets the Starling Marte-led Marlins on Saturday, followed by the Kevin Pillar-less Red Sox after that (9/10 or 9/11). The Marlins and Red Sox rank 25th and 17th in wOBA, and the Rays have won five of Snell’s seven starts this year. Tampa Bay currently leads the AL East by five games.


Shane Bieber (Cleveland Indians)


As they currently sit atop the AL Central standings, the Indians open a three game set with the Brewers this evening. Bieber will start on Sunday (9/6); he is not in line to pitch a four-game set against the Royals, but will instead face the Twins on Sunday inside Target Field. Milwaukee ranks 26th in wOBA, while Minnesota ranks 22nd. 

Kansas City ranks 24nd; in Bieber’s last start, he held them to one hit over six innings.


Framber Valdez (Houston Astros)


Valdez has established himself as a strong starter in 2020, holding an impressive 2.58 ERA through six starts. He will square off against the Angels on Sunday, and they have the second worst winning percentage in the American League. Valdez avoids a set with the division-leading A’s from Monday-Thursday.

His start against the Dodgers after that (9/12) reasons as a challenge. Houston closes the regular season with Texas, Arizona, Seattle, and Texas again, and those three opponents rank in the bottom six in wOBA.


Max Fried (Atlanta Braves)


Fried is looking at consecutive outings against the Nationals (9/5 and 9/10). Washington holds the 10th-best wOBA and 15th best wRC+, but they also rank last in the NL East and have lost nine of their last 10 games. It could be high time for Atlanta to further separate themselves in the divisional standings, and Fried’s 1.60 ERA reasons him as the guy to get it done.


Sonny Gray (Cincinnati Reds)


Gray faces the Pirates on Sunday (9/6), avoids the Cubs next week, and faces the Cardinals next Friday (9/11). He will look to the Pirates again from there (9/16), and will likely avoid the White Sox after that. Pittsburgh has the worst wOBA in baseball. The Cardinals rank 12th, but they serve as a more favorable opponent than the White Sox (3rd).


Madison Bumgarner (Arizona Diamondbacks)


Welcome back from the injured list, MadBum. He’ll take on his former team on Saturday night, the Giants, inside an Oracle Park he knows well. Bumgarner’s road ahead is similar to Valdez; aside from an upcoming Dodgers start (9/10), his future opponents are rather desirable. He’ll look ahead to the Angels and Rangers. 

Bumgarner could see a limited workload, as the Diamondbacks are last in the NL West and don’t really have a need to rush back a starter. If there is one pitcher to reason against such a limit, however, it could very well be Bumgarner.


Mike Clevinger (San Diego Padres)


Clevinger will look to snake his way around a Dodgers series that is 10 days away. He made his Padres debut Thursday night against the Angels, and his next three starts appear to be against the Rockies (9/8), Giants (8/13) and Mariners (8/19 or 8/20). 

Colorado and Seattle rank third in their respective divisions. San Francisco ranks fourth in the NL West, but has the best wOBA of the three (9th).


Dane Dunning (Chicago White Sox)


The White Sox have an off-day on Monday and Thursday, but if Dunning remains on a five-day cycle, he will face the Royals (9/5) and Pirates (9/9). Both opponents rank in the bottom third in wOBA and wRC+.

Should the off-day push Dunning back, he will see Detroit (9/12) instead of Pittsburgh. The Tigers have been swinging some hot bats, ranking second in wOBA over the past week.



Poor Schedules


Kenta Maeda (Minnesota Twins)


Maeda will square off against the hot-hitting Tigers on Saturday. He will look ahead to start against the Indians (9/11 or 9/12) and White Sox (9/16 or 9/17), and both of those opponents are clawing it out with Minnesota for the division lead.

In his last outing, Maeda allowed three earned runs to the Tigers in six innings. Detroit has won seven of their last 10, and they are currently three games behind the Twins.


Jesus Luzardo (Oakland Athletics)


The A’s haven’t played for five days and jump right back into action against the Padres, the team holding the best wRC+ and wOBA out of everybody in baseball. Luzardo will be on the mound this evening; assuming Oakland’s schedule will be normal for the next few days, he will then see the Astros (9/9).

Houston trails Oakland by three games in the AL West, and Oakland’s stretch of postponements could slow some serious momentum. A solid performance by Luzardo in his next two starts would be huge for the A’s divisional standing.


Patrick Corbin (Washington Nationals)


Corbin will go to work against in Atlanta on Sunday. Corbin will go to work in Washington next week (9/11 or 9/12) against the Braves again. Atlanta ranks sixth in wOBA and fifth in OPS, and while Atlanta leads the NL East, the Nationals rank fifth and trail by 9.5 games.


Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees)


Cole has allowed nine earned runs in his last 10 innings. He’ll look to rite the ship with consecutive outings against the American League’s fourth-best wOBA. Cole’s next two starts appear to be against the Orioles (9/5 and 9/10). In his lone Baltimore start this year, he allowed three earned runs in 7.2


Antonio Senzatela (Colorado Rockies)


With the best ERA and FIP figures in the Rockies rotation, Senzatela is coming off seven shutout innings against the Padres. He will open a three game set at Dodger Stadium this evening, only to see the Padres next week (9/9). San Diego leads all of baseball in wOBA; the Dodgers rank fourth.

Senzatela will look ahead to the AL West-leading A’s after that. The Rockies have off-days on 9/10 and 9/14, meaning he could face extended time off.


Michael Fulmer (Detroit Tigers)


Fulmer gets the Sunday start against the Twins, followed by a Friday start against the White Sox (9/11). The Twins and White Sox have been battling it out with Cleveland for the AL Central lead; while Minnesota’s wRC+ ranks 21st, the White Sox rank 2nd.

Fulmer’s work has been limited this year; three years removed from the AL Rookie of the Year, the 27-year-old has yet to work through four complete innings. He holds a 7.27 ERA, but lowered it with three scoreless innings in his last start.


Any Pitcher for the Orioles


Baltimore’s arms are about to run through a gauntlet of a schedule. They have looming series against the Yankees (3 games), Mets (2), Yankees (4), Braves (3) and Rays (5). All four opponents rank eighth or better in wOBA.


Jaime Barria (Los Angeles Angels)


Barria’s fourth start of the season will come Sunday against the Astros. The Angels have an off-day on Monday but if Barria remains in the rotation next week, he will be in line to start against the Rockies inside Coors Field (9/11-13). The Angels end the season with the Padres and Dodgers, and both reason as some of the hotter teams in the NL.


Brady Singer (Kansas City Royals)


Singer’s eighth start of the season will come against the White Sox this evening. He will look ahead to Cleveland next Wednesday (8/9), and is in line to miss a series against Pittsburgh. Singer will look to face the hot-hitting Tigers after that (8/15 or 8/16).


Graphic by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter)

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login