In sports, it's something that you cannot control.
In essence, you are given your schedule for the year, and have to learn how to prepare for the season with the teams, regardless of their record or talent, on the list.
Baseball isn't similar to basketball. There is no statistic, such as RPI, that can be used to measure a team's strength of schedule. A team's record throughout each month of the season could be used to determine just how difficult a schedule is.
For the Miami Marlins, a tough schedule could be the cause of a 2-10 record through 12 games. Though manager Mike Redmond has proven that he is refusing to make excuses, the Marlins arguably have one of the toughest April schedules in all of baseball.
Despite the fact that the Marlins have been quiet offensively, and could struggle to score many runs without Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup, the team's schedule to open the season had them playing National League East opponents several different times.
Washington has one of the better pitching staffs in the National League, and the Mets continue to get better and play well, led by former Marlin John Buck.
On their first homestand at Marlins Park, the team hosted first the Atlanta Braves and then the Phillies. Atlanta is expected to compete with the Nationals for the NL East title, while the Phillies are seemingly always in contention by the trading deadline.
Miami will also host Washington and New York to end April, while the team's next road trip will take them to Cincinnati and Minnesota for a two game series with the Twins.
Playing several games against teams within a division in which the Marlins were expected to finish last appears to have hurt the team. However, the Marlins have to compete with the marquee teams in their division every year, and despite the fact that they are off to a slow start, must learn to be competitive and aggressive in the games that really matter.