Yu Darvish (SD) 8/7 vs. ARI 8/12 @ ARI 8/17 @ COL 8/22 vs. PHI
Having not pitched since July 31, Yu Darvish will take a full week of rest into his next start. He will see the D-Backs, one of the lightest-hitting opponents in the league. Darvish got hit around in his last outing, giving up three home runs to the Rockies in six innings (5 ER). It hasn’t exactly been a great stretch for Darvish since returning from the injured list on July 20. He’s allowed 17 earned runs in his last four starts (19 2/3 IP), but the easiest lineups in the NL West await in his net three outings. He already primed himself for Coors Field too, with four scoreless frames on May 12.
Zack Greinke (HOU) 8/6 vs. MIN 8/11 vs. COL 8/16 @ KC 8/21 vs. SEA
Houston closes out August with some lower-tier big-league offenses. Zack Greinke is on pace to see one opponent with an above-average wRC+ through the remainder of the month, and that squad is the Minnesota Twins, a team that saw some offense depart at the trade deadline. Greinke matched a season-high four runs allowed in his last start, however, and they came on four solo shots by the Giants in four total innings.
Kwang Hyun Kim (STL) 8/6 vs. KC 8/11 @ PIT 8/17 vs. MIL 8/22 vs. PIT
Kwang Hyun Kim just made his shortest start of the year, a 2 2/3-inning performance against Cleveland, where allowed a season-high five runs. He had allowed six home runs all year going into that start; he allowed four last Thursday. Kim held his opponents to just two runs in his previous 25 innings before that, and he will eye a return to form against some lighter-hitting opponents. He’s scheduled to face the 23rd, 29th, 21st, and 29th-ranked wRC+ in his upcoming stretch.
Zach Plesac (CLE) 8/8 @ DET 8/13 @ DET
*Avoids CIN 8/9, OAK 8/10-12
Detroit continues to show some of the stronger bats in the league, so this road ahead is good based on the opponents Zach Plesac ‘doesn’t’ see. He’s also thrown well against the Tigers this year (2 G, 13 IP, 2 R), so he will definitely be on a good schedule if he keeps that up. Detroit has posted the 11th-best wRC+ over the past two weeks, but their season figure ranks 18th. Plesac avoids Cincinnati, the team atop the wRC+ leaderboard since July 23.
Anthony DeSclafani (SF) 8/7 @ MIL 8/12 vs. COL 8/17 vs. NYM
As the Giants look to stay ahead in the NL West, their pitching staff will roll through some easier offensive opponents. Anthony DeSclafani finds himself with a prime schedule until at least August 22 when the Giants cross the water into Oakland. The D-Backs chased him early in his last start (4 1/3 IP, 4 ER). He was bashed further against the Dodgers before that (2 2/3 IP, 4 ER). DeSclafani has allowed three or more runs in his last four starts but will look to turn it around with bottom-third wRC+ coming up.
Sean Manaea (OAK) 8/10 @ CLE 8/15 @ TEX ***8/20 vs. SF***
*Avoids CHW 8/16-19
This is spectacular fate in avoiding a four-game set with the White Sox, but it quickly turns sour with the Giants right after. Sean Manaea will first match up with Cleveland and Texas; he’s seen only the Rangers this year (5 IP, 4 ER), but both haven’t measured up to other offensive figures in their divisions. Manaea allowed five runs in his last outing, his second-highest figure of the year, but it came immediately after shutting out a similar Padres lineup over six innings. Manaea has also struck out 26 in his last 17 1/3 innings.
Steven Brault (PIT) 8/10 vs. STL 8/15 vs. MIL 8/20 @ STL 8/25 vs. ARI
*Schedule could change (season debut was 8/4, returning from lat strain)
After tossing his first four innings of the year on Wednesday, Steven Brault could be in line for the 24th, 21st, 24th, and 27th-ranked wRC+ through the month. He is making his return from a lat strain that has sidelined him for virtually all of the year to this point. Brault allowed one run in his first start of the season (4 IP), and has posted a 1.42 ERA with Triple-A Indianapolis in 2021 (11 IP).
Chase Anderson (PHI) 8/10 vs. LAD 8/15 vs. CIN 8/20 @ SD
*Avoids ARI 8/17-19
Here’s an NL West tour at an inopportune time. Chase Anderson gets the Dodgers and Padres this month as the two high payrolls are desperately looking to keep up with San Francisco. Anderson avoids the D-Backs in the process and will look to ramp up his pitch count after not pitching from June 1-July 26 (COVID list).
The Blue Jays have a doubleheader against the Red Sox on Saturday. José Berríos and Robbie Ray are set to take the mound for each start. One of them will stick on the listed schedule while the other will likely have the Mariners on the 13th (a better schedule).
Zac Gallen (ARI) 8/10 @ SF 8/15 vs. SD 8/20 @ COL
Zac Gallen has not fared particularly well in his last three starts, allowing 12 earned runs in his last 15 2/3 innings. He did so against the Cubs, Dodgers, and Giants, and the tough stretch will continue with the Giants again, the Padres and Coors Field. Gallen holds a career-high 4.62 ERA this year and is also walking a career-high 10.9% of his batters faced.
Sandy Alcantara (MIA) 8/6 @ COL 8/11 @ SD 8/16 vs. ATL
After cruising through seven shutout frames against the Yankees, Sandy Alcantara will take his momentum a mile above sea level. Tonight will be his second career outing at Coors Field. He allowed two runs in seven innings in his last visit to Denver (August 16, 2019), so his ‘bad’ schedule is more on the Padres and Braves looking to close some divisional standings. Challenge lies in the Rockies at home, where they hold a 34-20 record.
Bailey Ober (MIN) 8/6 @ HOU 8/11 vs. CHW ***8/16 vs. CLE*** 8/21 @ NYY
No analysis needed: the top two wRC+ figures in baseball are coming up next for Bailey Ober. He tossed four innings to the Cardinals in his last start, allowing one run. He’s yet to pitch into the seventh inning in his 11 starts this year, and has already seen the White Sox three times (a combined 12 1/3 IP, 12 ER).
Reid Detmers (LAA) 8/8 @ LAD 8/13 vs. HOU 8/18 @ DET
Reid Detmers is getting thrown to the wolves for career starts number two and three. He faces the league’s third- and first-ranked wRC+. Even the Tigers have been swinging it pretty well (see Zach Plesac – Good Schedules). Detmers, the 10th overall pick in the 2020 draft, debuted against Oakland last Sunday. He allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Jon Gray (COL) 8/10 @ HOU 8/15 @ SF
Here’s the only Rockies starter that has to face both the Astros and Giants in the team’s upcoming stretch. Jon Gray will work through some top-10 wRC+ over this stretch, and the Giants will likely see the upcoming Colorado series as an essential one to stay ahead in the standings. The Rockies won’t be off easy with the Padres immediately after.
Soon To Be A Great Schedule
Brett Anderson (MIL) 8/8 vs. SF 8/13 @ PIT 8/18 @ STL
As soon as the Giant roadblock is gone, Brett Anderson will look forward to some bottom-third wRC+ and two teams that are at least 10 games back in their division. Anderson has allowed one run in his last 11 innings and has allowed one run to both Pittsburgh and St. Louis over a combined three starts this year. He has not faced the Giants yet, and their bats are keeping them atop the NL West.
Soon To Be A Bad Schedule
Logan Gilbert (SEA) 8/10 vs. TEX 8/15 vs. TOR 8/20 @ HOU
Once the Texas lineup is gone, Logan Gilbert will get his first taste of both Toronto and Houston this year. Gilbert just allowed four earned runs to the Rangers at the end of July (5 2/3 IP), so he’s got a tough road ahead based on previous showings and tough lineups he hasn’t seen.
The “Dream” Schedules
Andrew Heaney (NYY) 8/7 vs. SEA 8/12 “@” CHW (Field of Dreams)
Angels transplant Andrew Heaney will take on an old divisional foe on a Saturday ‘good’ schedule. It will quickly turn more challenging as he takes on the White Sox next Thursday. That game between the Yankees and White Sox will be the Field of Dreams Game, so Heaney instead has the ‘awesome’ schedule. He’ll take on the tough-hitting Red Sox after that.
Carlos Rodón (CHW) 8/7 @ CHC 8/12 “vs.” NYY (Field of Dreams)
Heaney is scheduled to face off against Carlos Rodón in the cornfields. This schedule will be interesting for travel as each team makes their way to remote Dyersville, Iowa. The White Sox have six road games leading up to it, and they will resume the Yankees series in Chicago after a Friday off day.
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