David Price (LAD) 8/22 vs. NYM 8/27 vs. COL 9/1 vs. ATL 9/6 @ STL
*Avoids SD 8/24-26, SF 9/3-5
David Price is on pace to avoid the biggest foes in the NL West and go to work against some struggling offenses. The biggest roadblock on his road ahead is the Braves, a team that has put forth a strong effort at the top of the NL East standings, but Price will otherwise face the 18th, 29th, and 22nd-ranked wRC+ into September. Price, a starter-turned-reliever-turned-starter, has surpassed the five-inning mark just once in his past three starts.
Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) 9/20 vs. SEA 8/25 vs. KC 8/30 @ SEA
Seattle currently holds the 21st-ranked wRC+ in baseball, while Kansas City ranks 26th. Lance McCullers Jr. has fared well against some tough offenses this month, holding the Angels to two runs in his last start (5 2/3 IP) and shutting out the Dodgers in a start earlier this month (8/3, 6 2/3 IP). These starts could be an opportunity for Houston to pull further away from Oakland atop the AL West.
Austin Gomber (COL) 8/20 vs. ARI 8/25 @ CHC 8/30 vs. TEX
*Avoids LAD 8/27-29
Austin Gomber and his wife Rachel welcomed their second child this week. Newborn Charlie has really come through for his dad, as the paternity leave has set up a great road ahead. Austin will anticipate the 27th, 23rd, and 28th-ranked wRC+ in his next three starts, and he won’t be in line to face the Dodgers (4th).
Reynaldo Lopez (CHW) ***8/22 vs. TB*** 8/27 vs. CHC 9/1 vs. PIT
The White Sox take on the Rays or Blue Jays for seven straight games starting tonight. Reynaldo Lopez only has one start during that span (unlike his two-start counterparts—see ‘Bad Schedules’). It isn’t an ‘ideal’ road ahead for Lopez, but it is far more favorable than it otherwise could be. Lopez was previously being used as a one-to-three inning reliever for the White Sox but has made two consecutive starts; he hasn’t allowed a run in those outings (a combined eight innings pitched).
Wil Crowe (PIT) 8/23 vs. ARI 8/28 vs. STL 9/2 @ CHC
*Avoids CHW 8/31-9/1
After taking on the Dodgers, Wil Crowe will embrace an easier road ahead with three teams that are either out or falling out of playoff contention. He pitched four innings at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, allowing two runs to a Dodger squad that is clawing for the NL West lead. Crowe’s upcoming starts with the Diamondbacks and Cubs aren’t exactly head-turning outings, but he could build some momentum and lower his 5.23 ERA closer to his xFIP (4.85).
Kris Bubic (KC) 8/21 @ CHC 8/26 @ SEA 8/31 vs. CLE
*Avoids HOU 8/23-25
Kris Bubic is coming off his worst start of the season—a 1 1/3 inning, seven-run showing against the Cardinals. He will likely embrace his easier road ahead, although his opposing wRC+ figures through August aren’t much different than the St. Louis figure he just saw. Bubic is also coming off back-to-back starts against the Cardinals, while he has yet to face the Cubs and Mariners this year.
Jaime Barria (LAA) 8/20 @ CLE 8/25 @ BAL ***8/30 vs. NYY*** 9/4 vs. TEX
The Yankee lineup on August 30 appears to be the toughest matchup in this road ahead. Jaime Barria is set to make his fifth start of the season tonight against Cleveland, after allowing three earned runs to Houston over three innings. Three of his four starts this year have been for six innings or more, so there is a chance Barria could have a long leash and go to work against some desirable opponents.
Chris Sale (BOS) 8/20 vs. TEX 8/26 vs. MIN ***8/31 @ TB*** 9/5 vs. CLE
Saturday was the big league introduction for Chris Sale’s Tommy John scar. He went five innings, allowing two runs to the Orioles on two solo homers, but otherwise striking out eight. He’s still got the iconic, sidewinding delivery people have known for years, while the Rangers and Twins have each posted below-average wRC+ over the last two weeks. A showdown awaits with the Rays toward the end of August, however.
Luis Castillo (CIN) 8/24 @ MIL 8/29 @ MIA 9/3 vs. DET
Luis Castillo appeared to be settling in for a good portion of July (3 ER, 25 1/3 IP from 7/6-24), but a tough showing against Cleveland (3 1/3 IP, 8 ER) was a big tip of the scale. Castillo has allowed 11 runs in his last two starts (10 IP), but his road ahead features the 16th, 25th, and 19th-ranked wRC+, all below average. Milwaukee is atop the NL Central, however, and Castillo has them on Tuesday.
TBD (BOS) 8/24 vs. MIN 8/29 @ CLE 9/3 vs. CLE
*Avoids TB 8/30-9/2
The Red Sox have yet to announce a Tuesday starter, but this could be a slot in the rotation that yields serious momentum as they fight to stay alive in the AL East.
Keegan Akin (BAL) 8/20 vs. ATL 8/25 vs. LAA 8/30 @ TOR 9/4 @ NYY
This schedule avoids the Rays (8/27-29) and is still bad. All of the Orioles’ starters will have their hands full at the start of next week with the Angels, Rays, Blue Jays, and Yankees coming up. Keegan Akin has also allowed nine runs in his last seven innings, so he will continue an already tough stretch.
Lucas Giolito (CHW) 8/20 vs. TB 8/25 @ TOR
Dallas Keuchel (CHW) 8/21 vs. TB 8/26 @ TOR
Only two starters in the White Sox rotation will anticipate both the Rays and Blue Jays in this upcoming seven-game stretch. Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel will have some help with the Pirates after their next two starts, but it will quickly pick up for them as the A’s, Red Sox, and Angels await into September.
Michael Wacha (TB) 8/20 vs. CHW 8/25 @ PHI 8/30 vs. BOS
*Avoids BAL 8/27-29
The White Sox have separated themselves in the AL Central, while the Phillies will look to hold some ground in the wild card and NL East standings. Michael Wacha will look to keep his Rays atop the AL East but will do so while holding an 11.57 ERA this month. He was hit hard against the Twins in his last start (5 IP, 7 ER).
Taylor Widener (ARI) 8/22 @ COL 8/27 @ PHI 9/1 vs. SD
*Avoids PIT 8/23-25
The Rockies have a 41-21 record at home, and Coors Field is not a favorable place to pitch. Taylor Widener will take the Sunday start in some warmer Colorado air, followed up by the Phillies and Padres who are desperately trying to play catch-up in their division. This could be tough billing for a D-Backs squad holding the worst record in the National League.
Sean Manaea (OAK) 8/21 vs. SF 8/26 vs. NYY ***8/31 @ DET*** 9/5 @ TOR
The exciting Bay Series will throw down this weekend and Sean Manaea takes the hill on Saturday. After taking on the best record in baseball, Manaea will work through the 12th, 19th, and second-best wRC+.
Cal Quantrill (CLE) 8/22 vs. LAA 8/27 vs. BOS
*Avoids TEX 8/24-26
Cal Quantrill becomes arbitration-eligible in 2022. This could call for a revenue-driving stretch for his future paycheck, as he will fight to keep his ERA in the low threes despite a 4.51 xFIP. He’s allowed five runs in his past two starts (11 IP), and the 13th and seventh-ranked wRC+ is ahead.
Charlie Barnes (MIN) 8/20 @ NYY 8/25 @ BOS 8/30 @ DET 9/4 @ TB
*Avoids MIL 8-27-29
The Yankees and Red Sox are playing catch-up with the division-leading Rays right now, and Charlie Barnes gets them before the standings begin to settle. He just so happens to get the Rays when the schedule turns to September, however.
Drew Hutchison (DET) 8/22 @ TOR 8/27 vs. TOR 9/1 vs. OAK
*Schedule may change (one appearance this year)
On Sunday, Drew Hutchison pitched in the big leagues for the first time since 2018. He tossed 1 2/3 innings of six-run (two earned) baseball, allowing five hits to Cleveland. The second-ranked wRC+ awaits for his next two presumed starts, although Detroit may opt to change his spot in the rotation with such a limited body of work.
Kolby Allard (TEX) 8/22 @ BOS 8/27 vs. HOU ***9/2 vs. COL*** 9/6 @ LAA
*Avoids CLE 8/24-26, ARI 9/7-8
The seventh, first, 29th, and 13th-ranked wRC+ awaits Kolby Allard, and he misses the 24th and 27th-ranked figures. He just took on the eighth-ranked A’s and held them to three runs over 6 1/3 innings. Allard has a 3.44 ERA this month, so he’s been throwing it better than his season-long 4.88 may suggest.
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