Welcome back to our SP Schedule Preview. For all of the first-time readers, I break down the upcoming schedule for every team in the league over the next three weeks and comment on every single pitcher. You should use this resource to look ahead, whether it be for your waiver claims, roster decisions, or even trade discussions to squeeze just a little bit more value out of your staff while mitigating your risk for blow-ups.
I’ve made some drastic changes to my ‘Offensive Tiers’ for the first time all year. The season’s sample has grown to a suitable size to spot new trends and understand new park factors and I hope this table reflects each of those accurately. Also, by popular demand, we are color-coding now!
The Reds have jumped into my ‘Top’ tier when playing at home and ‘Solid’ when on the road. This offense continues to mash and the ball is FLYING out of Great American Ballpark. Somehow, it has the highest Park Factor on Statcast and needs to be treated like the band-box that it is.
Truist Park, home of the Braves, has also received its own split. The ball flies in that Atlanta heat and the team has a .038 difference in wOBA at home compared to on the road. The Cubs, Orioles, and A’s also have splits worthy of separating their matchups at home and on the road.
The Yankees have kept their split, but it was time to move them down a few spots. That lineup is just not what people expected and they have not been scoring very many runs. Ironically, they have a much higher wOBA on the road compared to at home. Yankee Stadium still scares me, though.
It is finally time to respect the Giants’ offense. Brandon Crawford continues to mash while the team has been incredibly active with their platoons, akin to the Rays and A’s. The changes to Oracle Park have also proven to increase offense, so they lost their home/road split.
Cleveland received a bump as well. The lineup is shockingly competent with José Ramírez mashing, Amed Rosario improving, and Bobby Bradley in the bigs. Josh Naylor, Eddie Rosario, and Cesar Hernandez are all steady too.
The Angels offense has somehow not missed a beat without Mike Trout and has affirmed its place as an elite offense. Be wary of these bats.
Without further ado, here are the schedule breakdowns!
We are (once again) welcoming Gallen back into our lineups with open arms. It feels like this is just going to be one of those years where he’s repeatedly on and off the IL, but hey he got his fastball up to 97 mph last week so use him while you have him. The Giants did touch him up though…
Otherwise, this rotation is not very good. Kelly is mildly trustworthy despite his recent struggles (6.97 ERA over his last four starts) and can be used in deep leagues with a two-start week against the Brewers and Padres. Smith offers a modicum of upside with his 9.3 K/9 since rejoining the rotation.
Peacock is utterly uninteresting. Young is slightly more interesting, but not enough to be on your radar.
Tucker Davidson hitting the IL means this rotation lacks a fifth member. That is a shame because they will need a sixth this week with eight games in seven days. Especially with back-to-back double-headers. How can that even happen?
Muller will get the call to try and weather this storm. His fastball is electric (70 grade on FanGraphs), but he’s has struggled with command and I don’t think he has the chops to get through the Mets and Reds. His future is bright though.
Aside from this week’s chaos, the Braves (and fantasy owners) have not gotten any consistency from this top three. Morton has shown his age while Anderson his youth.
The former had his best start of the year last Thursday against the Cardinals, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning and winding up with 7 K, 0 BB, and 0 ER in 7.2 IP. This comes after he had not reached the sixth inning in three consecutive starts. Each has a soft schedule coming up, with Anderson’s matchup in Cincinnati the only worth fearing.
Similarly, Fried has not been able to string effective starts together as we’ve seen over the past two seasons. Luckily, he has what I think to be the softest upcoming schedule on the board with two games against the Mets followed by the Pirates and Marlins on the road.
The last member of this inconsistent rotation, Smyly, was at least expected to be inconsistent. He is strictly a matchup-dependent arm and should be considered after the Braves trip to Cincy.
Woof… this is a catastrophe for a rotation that doesn’t have a whole lot going for it anyway. Zimmermann has shown relative life recently, but there is no chance I’m considering him or ANYONE on the Orioles through this gauntlet.
Boston Red Sox
This rotation continues to get the job done. It’s not always pretty, but it still works. Like a very old used car. They kept the carnage to a minimum after a brutal stretch (series against HOU, TOR, @ATL, @NYY) and have me believing in their viability for the rest of the season.
Pérez caught the worst of that run, allowing 11 ER in his last 3.1 IP. I have never vouched for him and am not about to start. Richards and Rodriguez were not great either, but I’m in on them for the next few weeks. Rodriguez more so, as his K-BB% has climbed above 20% and his FIP is somehow nearly three runs lower than his ERA. Both can be started against the Rays, Yankees, and A’s.
Eovaldi and Pivetta are quietly putting together two very consistent fantasy seasons and escaped the most difficult part of their schedule relatively unscathed. They are both startable right through the All-Star break.
Huzzah! Alzolay returns just in time for a two-start week. It’s a risk given his layoff so maybe don’t jump in the pool head first with the Dodgers looming if you have another good option.
I am excited for Hendricks to continue his marvelous season against every team that isn’t the Braves. To update the readers, Hendricks has allowed 14 ER in 7.2 IP (16.43 ERA) against Atlanta and 23 ER in 73 IP (2.84 ERA) against everyone else. Be thankful he’s missing the Dodgers and keep on chugging.
Davies continues to defy all odds on his march towards another effective season. His 3.4 K-BB% makes me ill and his 46.4 GB% is a wrung below the league’s best, but his ERA is shockingly 1.86 since May 1st. Avoid in LA before considering him the rest of the way.
Arrieta and Mills don’t excite me. Wait for the Pirates matchups.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox continues to hum and this rotation is a big reason why. This group of five has started all but four games so far this season, and three of those were double-headers. Incredibly impressive.
And look at that! Another very easy upcoming schedule! Get this White Sox in your lineup and enjoy the results.
Two things of note: Cease has had a rocky go of it recently. Of his last seven starts, three came against the Tigers and Orioles (at home). He had a 27:4 K:BB ratio in those starts and a 15:10 in the others.
Also, Rodón will catch the Orioles in Baltimore in a few weeks. As I mentioned before, the Orioles home-road splits are noteworthy. They also have a significant L/R split, with the lowest wOBA in baseball vs righties and fourth-highest vs lefties. I’m not benching him, but be aware this is not the smash-spot we may expect.
Let me be the first to welcome Castillo back as a fantasy ace. It was a long and winding road and it feels like our guy is finally back. He has 26 K over his last 24.2 IP and completed 6 IP in three of those four starts. Matchups with the Braves and Padres will not be a cake-walk, so strap in.
Mahle joins him as (what I consider to be) a fantasy ace. The Giants ripped him to shreds on May 20th. Since then, he has 36 K, 7 BB, and a 2.15 ERA in 29.1 IP. I’ll say it, he is matchup-proof.
Remain cautiously optimistic with the other three starters here. Santillan was OK in his major league debut and meh against the Padres. He’ll remain on my watchlist with some tough games on the horizon.
Gutierrez has been mildly effective within the NL Central, for whatever that’s worth, while Miley has bent without breaking. Be aware of Great American Ballpark’s Park Factor when using these three at him, especially with Gutierrez against the Braves and Padres.
The loss of Shane Bieber will drastically hurt this rotation. It didn’t seem too bad last week against the Orioles and Pirates, but you and I could probably be OK on the mound against those teams. There’s a chance they get Zach Plesac back during the stretch. That is far from a given, though.
Civale has hit his stride after a rough April. Let him loose for a two-step in Chicago and Minnesota before thinking long and hard about that matchup with the Astros.
Quantrill and Hentges both have my attention. I’ve long appreciated Quantrill’s slider and he’s been very good (mostly out of the bullpen) besides one start in Baltimore. Hentges was not effective as a starter, had a similar rough time in Baltimore (in relief of Quantrill), but has struck out seven in his last three innings out of the pen. That fastball has tons of life from the left side. Waiting and seeing with these two.
I don’t find Mejía very interesting. The stuff just isn’t there. Maybe he’s usable against the Tigers? The same goes for Morgan.
A nice week on the road has many of these Rockies pitchers seeming start-able. Freeland has not been good but in Seattle? Maybe? Same with Senzatela and González in Milwaukee.
Gomber and Márquez have pitched their way onto just about every mixed league radar. Gomber has done the impossible with his 0.95 ERA at home this season. A blow-up is in the cards here, do not buy all the way in. Continue to treat him like the matchup-dependent arm he is.
I’m genuinely excited for the Pirates series purely as a fan. Who knows what those three games are going to look like.
Manning’s long-anticipated debut went…just about as expected. His nerves were apparent and the Angels jumped all over him. Scoop him up if any owners in your league give up, the games against the Cardinals and Cleveland should be better.
Wow, Skubal has clicked. He’s walked just 3.5/9 since May 1st while striking out 12.9/9 over that same stretch. This has not been fueled by soft matchups either! He’s faced the Twins, Yankees, Cubs, and White Sox twice during this run. He needs to be owned everywhere moving forward.
The same goes for Mize. People are not the #1 overall pick by accident and the negativity pointed towards Mize early was unfounded. He does not have the gaudy strikeout totals like Skubal and is due for some regression, but this guy can pitch. That being said, I would be hesitant to use him against the Astros.
Ignore Ureña and whoever fills in this Thursday.
In comes the newest members of the six-man-rotation club! This actually makes a heap of sense with just one off-day between now and the break and a desire to keep everyone healthy/fresh for the long haul.
10 straight games against the Orioles and Tigers should be a welcome sight for this staff. I have no reservations about anyone here through this stretch. Truthfully, all six guys here are start-able right through the break. Even Odorizzi against the Yankees.
Kansas City Royals
Rough go of it here for the upstart Royals. That series in Texas this weekend is the eye of a pretty substantial storm. Some reshuffling of this rotation took a two-step away from Minor.
Singer has been awarded that double start week and has my attention as his strikeouts been ticking up (9.7/9 over his last 20.1 IP), but again, this schedule is murder.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The six-man rotation means we have fewer starts to forecast before the break. No matter, these Angels have a formidable rotation. The only starter here who can’t seem to figure it out is Bundy. I will not give up hope as his K% remains steady and his pitch shapes are all still viable. Weather the storm.
Heaney, Canning, and Cobb are not getting particularly great results while striking out the world. I’d avoid in Yankee Stadium and against the Red Sox while starting everywhere else.
Sandoval has my attention as well. His slider and changeup have both been awesome and he has some great streaming appeal against the Orioles and Mariners.
Ohtani is an ace, treat him as such.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers machine keeps on churning. Gonsolin returned last week and has had mixed results.
Otherwise, the Big Four remains steady. Bauer has struggled since the enforcement of sticky substances began. He dominated the Diamondbacks on Friday as he should, so take that as you will.
There may not be a pitcher in baseball that’s more rock-solid than Buehler. While his strikeouts are down, he has gone at least six innings in every start this season! A true marvel.
As for the lefties, Kershaw has turned in his highest K% since 2017 and Urías has cemented his status as a top 20 SP in my mind. There is no matchup in the league that could take any of these four out of your lineup.
A rough schedule will not break my confidence in Rogers, Alcantara, or López. All three are to be left in lineups until they proved otherwise.
Poteet made his return from the IL last Friday against the Cubs and looked pretty OK for someone who did not make a rehab start. Look for him to continue to build up his workload next week against the Nationals. If he does not look dominant (which he never has) I would fade afterward until the break.
Thompson caught a spot-start on Sunday against the Cubs and struck out seven over four innings. Last time out he struck out six over five innings against the Braves. The 27-year-old rookie has a legit three-pitch mix (cutter, fastball, and curveball) and is someone to watch.
Whole lotta green coming up for the Brew-Crew! Peralta and Woodruff both catch the Diamondbacks, Cubs, and Pirates while Burnes will see the Rockies at home. All three of these pitchers are aces and should be treated as such.
As for Anderson and Houser, both will be able to ride favorable matchups right into the break. Anderson’s two-step against the Diamondbacks and Rockies is particularly juicy.
This rotation looks a lot better with Maeda and without Matt Shoemaker. Kenta was great on Monday in Seattle and fine on Sunday in Texas. let’s keep building the momentum against Cleveland.
Berríos continues to be his very good yet unspectacular self and should be trusted for every matchup on the horizon.
Then, there’s the other three. Dobnak simply does not have it this year. That’s a shame because I was bullish on Dandy Randy’s heading into this season, but there is nothing there right now. Same with Happ. Fade each until we get to Detroit.
On the other hand, Ober has my attention. His slider and changeup have impressed me in limited exposure and his windup/release seem deceptive. You could do worse than him against the Cincy, Kansas City, and Detroit. Just be aware this may not last forever.
New York Mets
Predicting the Mets rotation is a futile exercise. An utter calamity, who knows what the future hold with 20 games in 19 days until the break. Is deGrom ok? Are Carlos Carrasco or Noah Syndergaard ever coming back? What happened to Joey Lucchesi? Who knows!
Peterson has put together back-to-back decent starts against the Cubs and Nationals to salvage his season. His fantasy ceiling isn’t great though and I’d avoid him until we get to Pittsburgh.
Stroman and Walker continue to put this Mets team on their respective backs, shattering any and all expectations of what they could be. None of their upcoming matchups scare me enough to bench them in deeper leagues. Perhaps avoid Walker in Atlanta, but that’s it.
New York Yankees
Cole is pretty broken up about not being able to use sticky substances anymore. That’s a shame. He’s still an ace, but may no longer be the 35% strikeout guy we’ve seen over the last handful of years.
Germán had been laboring over the last month before an OK start against the A’s. He’s struggled with HRs before and has allowed seven in his last 24.2 IP. Keep him on the shelf until Seattle.
Similarly to Bundy, I will not quit on Taillon. His 25% strikeout rate is too good to leave behind. Matchups against the Royals and Mets could pay dividends for the patient owners out there. Montgomery is in a similar boat and is unfortunate to catch the Red Sox in Fenway this weekend.
King is a translation for bullpen day. His stuff has flashed, but not enough for fantasy radars.
Is this rotation…sneaky really really good? Montas has turned the corner (as I prophesized last month) and gets a juicy two-start week against the Rangers and Giants. I will trust him against the Red Sox and Astros if there aren’t any hiccups on the way.
Manaea is becoming something of a stud. He has not allowed more than one ER in over a month and three of those outings came against the Angels. I’m still not ready to run him out there against the Astros, but don’t think it’s an awful option either.
Kaprielian navigated Yankee Stadium last Friday and his K% has been climbing steadily. The same goes for Bassitt. Both have really impressed me this season and each has three matchups with the Rangers over the next few weeks. Start confidently.
Irvin has two such matchups with the Rangers, start the soft-tossing righty less confidently while avoiding him against the Giants and Red Sox.
I’ll say it: Wheeler is the ace of this staff. Not that Nola has been bad (just slightly worse than his career averages), but Wheeler is that good. His K% is more than seven points higher than his career-best mark set way back in 2018 and he only continues to improve. Both are must-starts regardless.
Eflin has hit a bit of a rough patch. He has not won a game since May 7th and has a 5.59 ERA over that same stretch. The strikeouts are steady though and his FIP sits down in the high threes. I’m keeping the faith and starting him over his next three matchups.
Velasquez has been very himself as a starter this season. Some strikeouts, lots of walks, and general inconsistency. I’d steer clear. The same goes for Howard until he finds a groove.
Brubaker remains useful and can be trusted against the Cardinals and Brewers. Anderson less so after a recent cold spell and I’m tepid about him in a two-start week that kicks off Tuesday against the White Sox.
I’ve given Crowe some unnecessary flack in previous SP Previews. His repertoire is deeper than he thought and he showed it off last week against the Brewers with eight K in seven IP. He followed that up with a lackluster performance against Cleveland, but is still someone to watch as he navigates some tough matchups.
Kuhl and De Jong should not be on anyone’s radar.
San Diego Padres
We are blessed with another Padres-Dodgers series this week and the Padres are blessed that their best three starters lined up for the three-game set. Snell is the only member of the trio I would consider sitting, but it is important to note that he has a significant home/road split. His ERA at Petco Park is 1.65. On the road, it is 10.36. I don’t even know how to rationalize that.
Paddack is coming off his best two-start stretch of the season with 20 K, 1 BB, and 4 ER in 11 IP. This Friday’s matchup with the Diamondbacks should help him to build off his recent success.
Lamet continues to build up his workload. Be patient, the reward may be great over the next few months.
San Francisco Giants
This rotation just continues to impress. Gausman is right in the thick of the NL Cy Young conversation and is matchup proof. Cueto has turned back the clock and can be trusted through the break as well.
DeSclafani has righted the ship after being crushed by the Dodgers last month. That being said, I’m not sure what to do with him next week with a two-start week in Los Angeles and Arizona. You never want to sacrifice a start against the lowly Diamondbacks, just hold your breath for the game with the Dodgers.
Wood has fallen off a little but will benefit from a few soft matchups ahead. The same goes for the Littell-Long tandem. The A’s (at home), Diamondbacks, Cardinals, and Nationals don’t scare me at all.
America’s favorite six-man rotation will be switching to the more traditional five until the All-Star break. They will maintain an every sixth-day approach though since they somehow have four off-days over the next three weeks.
Gonzales’ return has given this sneaky strong staff a nice boon. However, he gets a tough matchup in Chicago this week and should be left on the bench. The White Sox hammer lefties and are 35-4 in their last 39 matchups with a left-handed pitcher.
That being said, I trust Gilbert and Kikuchi more so in Chicago. Gilbert has genuinely turned a corner though and can be trusted in difficult matchups moving forward if he’s able to keep the White Sox at bay. Kikuchi is very steady and it will be a good litmus test for him seeing the White Sox and Blue Jays back to back.
Flexen turned in the best start of his career last week against the Twins with 8 K, 4 H, 0 BB, and 0 ER in 8 IP. He threw his fewest fastballs and most changeups of the season that day and that adjustment might be able to take him to a different level.
Sheffield is simply not consistent enough to be trusted. I guess maybe against the Rockies if you’re genuinely down bad, but look around for a better option, please.
St. Louis Cardinals
This rotation is really hurting without Jack Flaherty. Luckily for them, they have four consecutive series against the four worst teams in baseball. Everyone here besides Gant (who I will never ever trust) can be started until the Cardinals head to Colorado. Oviedo has a sneaky amazing two-start week against the Tigers and Pirates after he held the Marlins scoreless for seven innings.
Tampa Bay Rays
Tyler Glasnow going on the shelf sucks. No two ways about it. As fantasy managers scramble to find replacements, the Rays have inserted Wacha into their rotation to try and shoulder some of the load. Well, the Mariners knocked him around last week and that makes me think we will see Luis Patiño soon.
Hill has fallen off over the last few weeks. That was bound to happen given his age and track record. I think he’s still useful, just not against the Red Sox or Blue Jays.
Yarbrough’s two-start week against the Red Sox and Angels will not be for the faint of heart. God bless anyone running him out there.
Could there be two more different pitchers more different than McClanahan and Flemming? Stuff vs. Command is on display when comparing these two. The results have been positive for each and while the difficult matchups make me hesitant, you could do worse.
This Rangers team is spiraling. They have JUST THREE wins since May 25th. If the Diamondbacks and Orioles weren’t also awful this cold spell would be getting much more shine. Nevertheless, this upcoming schedule is cake and this rotation remains interesting.
Gibson is awesome. That deep repertoire is keeping hitters off-balance and he continues to find success. Amazingly, he has not allowed more than three ER since opening day! I’m excited to see him catch on with a contender at the trade deadline.
Dunning also continues to impress. His slider and changeup both look like plus pitches and I like him to sail through the break. Allard might as well. The A’s will certainly get a very good look at him when it’s all said and done, but he has a 14:3 strikeout to walk ratio and it worth keeping an eye on.
Foltynewicz still has nothing. Avoid.
Toronto Buffalo Blue Jays
What was once a weakness is now a strength, the Blue Jays rotation is actually quite good. Ray and Ryu are rocking out at the top despite some recent struggles with Manoah and Stripling both pitching well as the three and four. This schedule is very soft over the next two weeks and I’m starting all four of these guys everywhere.
Again, I will note that the Orioles crush lefties and are especially dangerous at home. Watch out for Ryu and Ray at Camden Yards.
The Jays have given no indication as to who they are starting Wednesday as of late Sunday night. That spot has two beautiful matchups though so be on the lookout.
These last few weeks are a preview to all Nationals fans as to what life is going to look like after Max Scherzer is dealt next month.
Fedde shut the Mets down over six innings on Friday night and is quickly becoming someone to take note of. His 23.3 K% is a career-best and he seems to be improving. I’d avoid him out west still.
Corbin appears to be on track as well after shutting the Pirates and Mets down in consecutive starts. More importantly, his velocity was up across the board in that Mets game as his sinker got all the way up to 94.8 mph. A tough west coast swing will let us know if this hot streak is for real.
Ross has given up 18 of the 29 ER he’s allowed all year in two games. He should be good to go for matchups against the Marlins and Rays in deeper leagues. Lester will not be.
The Nationals have given no indication as to who they are starting Tuesday as of late Sunday night.
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