The List 9/9: Analyzing All Starting Pitchers Based On ROS Schedules

If you missed the update two weeks ago, I’m reviewing the expected rest of season probable pitchers team-by-team to help you identify starts you want to chase. The next two Mondays will be one massive Sit/Start table.

I began doing this a few years ago when I realized how heavily I began shifting from ranking pitchers based on their skill set to heavily weighing their expected matchups as the season’s end approached on the horizon. There’s simply more value than ever knowing who pitchers are facing and there’s no reason beating around the bush.

I’ve also elected to just feature expected rotations today. I know, the buckets certainly helped, though I think at this point the biggest value lies in the matchups themselves for teams and it’s on you to figure out if it’s worth it or not on an individual basis. It’s really just such a small sample now.

Disclaimer: While just three weeks from the end makes it plenty easier to predict starts, I am certain to get plenty of these wrong. Considering how even my streaming picks one or two days out often changes, you can imagine how difficult it can be to accurately predict which teams every pitcher with face in the next five weeks. Reasons for displaced rotations can be:

  • Injuries
  • Days-off that skip a fifth rotation spot or a pitcher simply gets skipped
  • Days-off needed where teams make it a six-man rotation for a week or two
  • Call-ups that steal rotation spots
  • Double-headers and rain-outs
  • The Dodgers being the stupid Dodgers
  • Openers are a thing because I needed a proper bane for my existence

But I’m going to try my best because that’s all we can do at this point. I appreciate all of your for your patience as I had to color in every individual cell using Dan Wist’s awesome table tool & this would have taken even longer with Colin Charles’ amazing help outlining expected schedules.

Let’s do it.

Team Offense Ranks

 

I’ve elected to group opposing offenses into five categories and color-coded them to help y’all easily identify good and bad estimated schedules.

Update: There is nothing to update from last week. Yes, I’m keeping the Orioles in the bottom tier. Still not convinced.

Team Offense Ranks

I’m curious if you disagree or agree based on these, it can be hard to properly assess the strength of a team. Should it be over the full year? Since the second half? Based on wRC+? Strikeout rate? Etc.

And here are the updated expected schedules for each team moving forward. A week has passed and there is already so much to update.

 

Expected Matchups By Team

Arizona Diamondbacks
  • ARIZONA IS THE BEST. Smooth sailing with the same expected schedule as two weeks ago.
  • And it sounds like Zac Gallen is starting all the way through. Phew.

 

Atlanta Braves
  • Like Arizona, it’s the same old, same old. And that’s what’s up.
  • Be cautious with Teheran as he may not be worthwhile until that KC start.
  • Keep an eye on Mike Soroka and Max Fried as they could be limited down the stretch in favor of call-ups to be preserved for the playoffs.
  • It’s not the prettiest schedule, but most have two final starts worth while that I’d hold for.

 

Baltimore Orioles
  • It’s too bad the Orioles get some lovely schedules when we really don’t want to stream any of them (I’m looking at you Ty Blach and Aaron Brooks).
  • Seriously, Bundy nor Wojciechowski could handle the Rangers over the weekend. The only acceptable arm is John Means who gets one of the worst schedules of the lot. Baseball ain’t fair.

 

Boston Red Sox
  • Brian Johnson could take the callup spot as Johluys Chacin amazed us all to take over for the injured David PriceNo, you want nothing to do with Chacin. Or Johnson, duh.
  • Nathan Eovaldi is someone to add now for his schedule. I wonder how many pitches he’ll get moving forward as he was just under 80 last time out. I’d be starting him against the Jays and Giants.

 

Chicago Cubs
  • Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks swapped spots over the weekend and I feel for those that needed Hendricks’ second start last week, but have joy for those that will embrace it this week.
  • Still relatively good schedules across the board and for the most part, I’m letting them all fly.

 

Chicago White Sox
  • The White Sox have a double-header on the 27th, leaving the 28th open for a spot starter of their choosing. You want nothing to do with that.
  • Even with Dylan Cease getting the Mariners and Tigers, it’s hard not to have reservations after his wonky command last time out against the Angels. It’s a big risk/reward play.
  • Reynaldo Lopez doesn’t have the same velocity as August, but his slider command showed up in a big way. Mark him as a streamer against the Royals and Tigers.
  • Of all schedules to note, it’s hard to overlook Ivan Nova getting four straight poor starts. It could be a fun ride.

 

Cincinnati Reds
  • Tyler Mahle wasn’t as polished as we hoped on Friday, but with the Mariners ahead, he should get your attention at least for one start.
  • I didn’t love Anthony DeSclafani’s performance last time out and facing the Diamondbacks again could be trouble.

 

Cleveland Indians
  • With Corey Kluber a bit far out from returning to the rotation, Adam Plutko’s spot seems a bit more intact. Maybe worth the stream against the Tigers or ChiSox.
  • Zach Plesac is still a good option getting the Angels and Tigers next, while Aaron Civale still needs another week to be a good add.

 

Colorado Rockies
  • With all matchups inside Coors, I moved teams up two tiers, so hosting the Cardinals + Mets + Brewers = Top tier, while San Diego = 2nd tier.
  • Melville and Lambert weren’t so bad outside of Coors and could be desperate NL-Only stream options on the road in San Francisco.
  • Jeff Hoffman took over for the injured German Marquez and should not be on your radar.

 

Detroit Tigers
  • The Tigers have already messed everything up, doing combined Norris/VerHagen games and giving Edwin Jackson a rotation spot. I’m willing to wager something else will go down.
  • There is a double-header against the White Sox on the 27th, with Turnbull able to pitch on four-days rest, but Zimmermann just on three-days for the 28th. Likely one of the Norris/Verhagen for that day. They’ll figure something out.
  • I think you’re okay starting Matthew Boyd the rest of the way, as scary as that is. His strikeouts and ratios should generally be worth your while. Seriously.

 

Houston Astros
  • Man, what a disappointment Framber Valdez has been with his excellent schedule. I can’t trust him against TEX and @SEA unless he wildly impresses against the A’s.
  • You’re worried about Wade Miley after his six-batter game. Don’t. It’s six batters.

 

Kansas City Royals
  • The six-man rotation is gone as Eric Skoglund has been booted. Sorry fella.
  • None of that really matters though, as the last start to consider is tonight from Jakob Junis against the ChiSox and I don’t even like it.

 

Los Angeles Angels
  • The only pitcher to note moving forward is Andrew Heaneywho could be startable for all three, but most likely just for the Rays and Athletics.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Oh great, we’ve arrived at the Dodgers.
  • The current plan is for Ross Stripling to get a start as Hyun-Jin Ryu rests. It could be just one start and run with Ryu when he officially returns
  • Who knows if this will be the same next week. Rich Hill isn’t going to get many innings and I’d be surprised if he goes six by the time the Padres start arrives.

 

Miami Marlins
  • Not a whole lot of excitement here, but it’s possible all three of Sandy AlcantaraRobert Dugger, and Elieser Hernandez pull off a successful series in San Francisco.

 

Milwaukee Brewers
  • While I love Houser gets an extra start, it’s not cool that his final one would come in Coors.
  • Jordan Lyles is the only one outside of Houser I’d consider much here, still, save for back-to-back stream with Gio Gonzalez and maybe Zach Davies against the Marlins this week. And okay, Chase Anderson for that Miami start too, why not.

 

Minnesota Twins
  • Take note of those final two weeks for the Twins, it could be stream-city then.
  • Devin Smeltzer is getting an opener so far, but could be legit starting by the KC and @DET starts. Be aware.
  • It looks like Kyle Gibson could be back to take Michael Pineda’s spot in the rotation and it’s fortunate his DLH comes against a team we wouldn’t to start him against in the first place. A sneaky add thereafter, though.

 

New York Mets
  • Despite Matz’s hot streak, he has a rugged path to the finish line, without a single 4th or 5th tier matchup.
  • Marcus Stroman has continued to struggle and save for that Miami matchup, I think I’m sitting.

 

New York Yankees
  • The Yanks have a ton of lax games ahead, especially Paxton with 5/6 games coming from the two bottom tiers. Let’s cross out fingers about tonight.
  • CC Sabathia went and got himself hurt in his final month of the year, leaving a hole for September Callups to possibly get some interesting matchups down the stretch. If CC does return, he could be an interesting start.
  • J.A. Happ has looked better as of late and if he’s out there, I’d consider a pickup in the short term and possibly final two starts as well.

 

Oakland Athletics
  • Sean Manea has returned! And created a six-man rotation! Still!
  • With the call-up of Jesus Luzardoyou can’t help but wonder if he actually does slot in the rotation at some point. They say it’s just in relief, but that’s for now.
  • Chris Bassitt was pushed back two days last week, now giving him three easy starts the rest of the way and missing the Astros completely. Roll with him and Manaea, definitely.

 

Philadelphia Phillies
  • Would I like to start any of these arms outside of Aaron NolaNot really, except for maybe a final start for Drew Smyly if I were chasing something magical on the final day.
Pittsburgh Pirates
  • I’m hoping that Mitch Keller gets a proper start on Tuesday as he could truly excel against the Giants. I’d have some caution with Joe Musgrove the following day as I question if his velocity will still be elevated as he deals with a foot injury
  • James Marvel is not worth your time. Maybe a desperate NL-Only play against the Mariners, but I’m still not in favor.

 

San Diego Padres
  • Okay, it’s actually a six-man rotation now with Ronald Bolaños getting the start tomorrow. It means Paddack likely makes all three starts as he’s at 129.2 frames now.
  • Tough schedules all around, though, and I preach caution moving forward save for Paddack’s next two starts.

 

San Francisco Giants
  • With Johnny Cueto joining the team this week, we have another six-man rotation on our hands. I wouldn’t consider starting Cueto until the Rockies on the 24th.
  • Logan Webb disappointed us mightily against the Cardinals last week, but I’d still give him a chance against the Pirates this week if you need it
  • I’d consider Jeff Smardzija and Dereck Rodriguez for the Marlins next, but that’s it. Even the Marlins are a little risky for D-Rop, FWIW.

 

St. Louis Cardinals
  • We could still see some of Daniel Poncedeleon in Michael Wacha’s or Adam Wainwright’s rotation spot in the future.
  • Rough schedules all around, the only arm I’d trust, even if Poncedeleon shows up, is Flaherty. Start him blindly.

 

Seattle Mariners
  • Justus Sheffield entered the rotation spot of Wade LeBlanc and you’re wondering if he’s worth the pickup. He is, but there is more risk than his last start would suggest. I imagine some struggles against the Reds and a questionable stream against the ChiSox and Orioles after. Don’t go nuts for him unless you really need his two starts this week. Then I get it.

 

Tampa Bay Rays
  • Hey Rays, what’s happening.
  • Tyler Glasnow returned for two frames on Sunday, followed by Trevor RichardsExpect that pair moving forward as we’re all sad not to get a desperate two-start week out of Trevor. The only chance for Glasnow is 4-5 frames against the Jays on the 27th, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
  • McKay isn’t a must start against the rangers – likely 4-5 frames there – but he could still help you out. Don’t let the low pitch count turn you away.

 

Texas Rangers
  • I’m out completely on everyone not named Lance Lynn and Mike Minor.
  • I’m starting Minor and Lynn in all of their remaining starts.
  • It’s been real.

 

Toronto Blue Jays
  • It looks like it’s Wilmer Font and a collection of Brock Stewart + maybe Anthony Kay? I wouldn’t chase it.
  • I don’t want any of this outside of maaaaaybe considering Waguespack or Buchholz for the Orioles series (twice for Bucky!). I don’t want to, though, but let’s see if they survive their previous starts.
Washington Nationals
  • There is a spot-start for a double-header on the 25th against the Phillies, you won’t want that.
  • It makes sense for Max Scherzer to miss his final start as the Nationals could be in the Wild Card game and they’ll want Scherzer on the Hill. Scherzer + Stras + Corbin in the NLDS could be a scary thought…
  • I’d be starting Stras + Corbin + Scherzer in every start and only considering Anibal for that Miami start, while sitting out on Joe Ross (or Austin Voth).

 

I apologize that there aren’t any buckets this week to sort out all of the schedules, though I imagine the biggest help of this article is looking up a specific pitcher to see who he gets this week and next. Hopefully the notes under each team help guide you for making your choices and good luck! Go win that trophy.

Next Monday will be full-on Sit/Maybe/Start for the final two weeks.

Nick Pollack

Founder of PitcherList.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

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Comments


SJ

How do you see the Yankees’ plans to have Domingo German come on in relief of CC this Wednesday in Detroit affecting his usage the last few weeks? Is he worth holding onto ROS?

PitcherList Superfan

Wondering the same thing about German for tomorrow. Is it worth rolling him out there hoping for a W, or would you rather someone like Stripling vs. BAL? (although I’m not sure how many innings he’ll pitch either).

D

Royals schedule looks wonky. It goes from the 10th and 11th to the 17th and then back to the 13th?

Ryan

Hey Nick…..just a thought here

What about adding someone to write an identical column from the hitter standpoint at this point in the season?

I am benefiting big time from the work you’ve done from the pitcher standpoint for the playoffs. I think it would be a great addition to the site for someone to do the same for hitters. Maybe not individual hitters….but teams?

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