Adrian Houser (MIL) 6/13 vs. PIT 6/18 @ COL 6/23 @ ARI
It’s been a strong couple of starts for Adrian Houser since allowing six earned runs to the Reds on May 21; he’s followed it up with 15 1/3 innings of two-run baseball and rolls into an easier schedule with plenty of forward momentum. The Pirates and Rockies rank 29th and 30th in wRC+, and the Diamondbacks rank 23rd and just fired their hitting coach. A start in the Colorado elevation poses a unique challenge, but this is otherwise a prime June schedule for Houser to attack.
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) 6/11 vs. TEX 6/16 vs. PHI
If you give some 20th-or-worse wRC+ to a first-ballot Hall of Famer, he’s on pace to have a pretty good day. There are two of those matchups on the horizon for Clayton Kershaw but he’ll have a showdown against San Diego after that; those outings might be super intense if their previous action has been any indicator. Kershaw could use some time on the easier schedule list after his previous two starts, where he has allowed 10 earned runs in 12 innings. He’s allowed one run or fewer in six of his 13 starts, however.
Trevor Bauer (LAD) 6/12 vs. TEX 6/18 @ ARI
Trevor Bauer receives a similar fate to Kershaw but he will swap out the Phillies for the Diamondbacks, another team with below-average wRC+. Bauer will also get his taste of the Padres after this streak. He’s allowed three runs in each of his last starts (12 2/3 IP), but his opponents—Atlanta and St. Louis—suggest a little more of an offensive challenge than his next two foes.
Alex Cobb (LAA) 6/12 @ ARI 6/17 vs. DET
Alex Cobb will attack his next two starts against two teams with bottom-third wRC+. Detroit has held the 15th-best wRC+ over the past two weeks, however, which is far better than their season figure (28th). Cobb is also coming off a seven-inning start where he allowed five earned runs to the Mariners (his season-high in both innings and runs). Cobb allowed a combined one run in his three starts before that, however, and they came against Oakland, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay. It looks to be easier for him until at least June 22 when he is in line to face San Francisco.
Lucas Giolito (CHW) 6/11 @ DET ***6/16 vs. TB*** 6/22 @ PIT 6/27 vs. SEA
*Avoids HOU 6/17-6/20
There’s a lot of good to make out of Lucas Giolito’s future schedule, but he just saw the Tigers in his last start and allowed four runs in seven innings. Detroit crushed three homers off him and part of their recent spike in wRC+ is in part from Giolito’s outing. He gets an immediate crack at redemption, however, and if he is to work well in a June 16 start with the Rays, he will round out June with a desirable future outlook.
Randy Dobnak (MIN) 6/14 @ SEA 6/19 @ TEX 6/24 vs. CLE
*Avoids HOU 6/11-13, CIN 6/21-22
There have been six no-hitters in 2021, and two have been recorded this year against Seattle, Texas, and Cleveland. Those opponents are literally Randy Dobnak’s road ahead. His presumed opponents after Cleveland are the White Sox, Royals, and Tigers, so this schedule should stay relatively solid into July outside of the White Sox outing.
Tyler Anderson (PIT) 6/14 @ WAS 6/19 vs. CLE 6/24 @ STL
*Avoids CHW 6/22-23
Washington has posted the third-worst wRC+ in the past two weeks, while Cleveland and St. Louis also have season figures that are well below average. Tyler Anderson doesn’t pitch for a team that has dominated at the plate (29th in wRC+), but at least he’ll see some easier hitting foes in what could be some low-scoring contests. His last outing came against the tough-hitting Dodgers but he held them to two runs over six frames.
Drew Smyly (ATL) 6/13 @ MIA 6/18 vs. STL 6/23 @ NYM
*Avoids BOS 6/15-16, CIN 6/24-27
This schedule could be a little more favorable, but it could be far worse based on the opponents Drew Smyly will miss over the next three weeks. Boston and Cincinnati rank a respective 12th and 8th in wRC+, while his future opponents—the Marlins, Cardinals, and Mets—rank 22nd, 18th, and 14th. Smyly has been on the easy schedule for a short while, having faced the Phillies and Nationals in his last two starts (20th and 19th). His outings have been short, however; he didn’t complete five innings in either of them.
Patrick Corbin (WAS) 6/14 vs. PIT 6/19 vs. NYM 6/24 @ MIA
The Mets have been swinging some hot bats, ranking second in wRC+ over the last two weeks. Patrick Corbin won’t have to face them for another eight days, however, and their figure could cool back down to a season-long ranking of 14th. Corbin will open with Pittsburgh as they hold the second-worst record in the National League, and the Marlins are not too far ahead in overall record. There is a chance Corbin will take on the Dodgers and Braves into July, so June is likely his best bet to leap forward. His ERA for the year is 6.21.
James Kaprielian (OAK) 6/12 vs. KC 6/18 @ NYY 6/23 @ TEX 6/29 vs. TEX
*Avoids LAA 6/14-16, SF 6/25-27
This schedule avoids some of the toughest-hitting teams in the west; while the Yankees aren’t exactly an ideal opponent to face, it could be far worse. James Kaprielian has made five starts on the year and has allowed two or fewer runs in four of them. He’s worked through tough-hitting Angels and Red Sox lineups with pretty good success, he’s outlasted Coors Field after last weekend, and he will look ahead to a favorable schedule with the 21st, 15th, and 24th-ranked wRC+ through July.
José Ureña (DET) 6/12 vs. CHW 6/17 @ LAA 6/22 vs. STL 6/27 vs. HOU
It wasn’t a ‘great’ start for José Ureña in his last outing, but he held the White Sox to three runs over five innings. He gets an immediate crack at them again on Saturday, but after ending May with Kansas City and Cleveland, his future schedule has taken a sharp turn: the Angels, Cardinals, and Astros loom on the horizon. Despite the Angels’ losing record, they have the sixth-best wRC+ over the past 14 days and they rank ninth over the entire year.
Jon Duplantier (ARI) 6/14 @ SFG 6/19 vs. LAD 6/25 @ SD
He’s a mere three starts into his 2021 campaign and Jon Duplantier has been handed the NL West gauntlet. The Giants are still shocking everybody, and meanwhile, his Diamondbacks have suffered a frigid cold streak. The Dodgers and Padres are playing catch-up to the San Francisco surprise, but this means a collective challenge for Duplantier as he gets to see almost all of the challenges this division has to offer. The only NL West challenge he seems to be avoiding is a start at Coors Field.
Garrett Richards (BOS) 6/11 vs. TOR 6/16 @ ATL 6/22 @ TB
Toronto’s hot bats have continued into June; they hold the fourth-best wRC+ over the past week and the fifth-best overall. The Braves haven’t been as great in that two-week span (20th), but their season rank of 11 further suggests they could be approaching their 2020 figures that were near the top of the league. Garrett Richards will have to cap off those two teams with the Rays after that, and while they’ve posted the ninth-worst wRC+ in the past two weeks, their season figure still ranks 10th and they could heat back up before Richards faces them.
Bruce Zimmerman (BAL) 6/13 vs. TB 6/18 vs. TOR 6/23 vs. HOU
Bruce Zimmerman will hold a similar schedule to Richards but he will get the Rays on the front side. He will replace Atlanta with Houston, however, so this is an even tougher schedule. Houston ranks first in wRC+ over the whole season, as well as over the past two weeks.
Frankie Montas (OAK) 6/15 vs. LAA 6/20 @ NYY 6/25 @ SF
If the Angels are to cover ground in the AL West, they may be best served taking care of Oakland next week. The A’s are hanging onto a one-game lead in the AL West and Frankie Montas will see the Angels next week. He will then look forward to the Yankees holding some pressures of their own; they are currently six games back in the AL East and one game away from the divisional fourth. Montas will then look toward the bay rival Giants, and they have shocked many as they stand atop the Dodger and Padre-laden NL West.
Luis Garcia (HOU) 6/12 @ MIN 6/17 vs. CHW
The two toughest hitting opponents in the AL Central are next up for Luis Garcia. Minnesota ranks seventh in wRC+, the White Sox ranks second, and Garcia has not seen either of them this year. He has fared well in a tough stretch to this point, however, allowing a combined three runs to the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Blue Jays over 19 innings pitched.
Kris Bubic (KC) 6/13 @ OAK 6/18 vs. BOS 6/23 @ NYY 6/28 @ BOS
Kris Bubic will go coast to coast over the next calendar week, starting with the A’s and the fifth-best wRC+. He will then take on the Red Sox twice in his next three starts, and they are currently a game behind the Rays for the AL East lead. Boston’s wRC+ since May 29 has ranked 29th out of 30, however, and maybe Bubic will get them during their extended cold streak. They could also heat back up to a figure that has ranked them in the top 10 for much of the year.
Jordan Montgomery (NYY) 6/15 @ TOR 6/20 vs. OAK 6/25 @ BOS 6/30 vs. LAA
He holds a similar schedule to Bubic but will open with the Blue Jays; they have been strong at the plate for virtually the entire year. Toronto has posted a scorching 121 wRC+ over the past two weeks. Jordan Montgomery’s other future opponents have slightly declined in offensive production over the past week or so, but still fare in the top half of the league and could cement their strong figures once Montgomery gets a crack at them.
Chris Flexen (SEA) 6/15 vs. MIN 6/20 @ NYY 6/25 @ CHW 6/30 @ TOR
The Twins are still in the AL Central cellar, but their offensive figures show them with the seventh-best wRC+. The White Sox are the only team in that division with a better wRC+, but Chris Flexen will take on both over his next three starts. To make matters worse, he will see Toronto’s fourth-ranked wRC+ at the end of June. (At least none of these teams are divisional rivals.)
Mike Foltynewicz (TEX) 6/11 @ LAA 6/16 @ HOU 6/21 vs. OAK
Texas could really cover some ground in the division if they went on an extreme winning streak. Mike Foltynewicz will get the three toughest-hitting teams in his division over his next three starts. He also hasn’t started since June 3 in Colorado, so it could be another hurdle for him to regain his rhythm after missing his turn in the rotation.
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