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Power Ranking All 30 MLB Lineups Entering Opening Day

Doug MeadCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2013

Power Ranking All 30 MLB Lineups Entering Opening Day

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    With the exception of just a couple of teams, every MLB team is now set with its starting lineup heading into Opening Day.

    Many of those teams made drastic overhauls during the offseason while others stayed the course, hoping that last year's lineup can guide them to success once again.

    Here is an early look at each MLB team's Opening Day lineup and where it stands.

     

    Note: Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

30. Miami Marlins

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    LF Juan Pierre
    3B Placido Polanco
    RF Giancarlo Stanton 
    C Rob Brantly
    CF Justin Ruggiano
    2B Donovan Solano
    1B Casey Kotchman
    SS Adeiny Hechavarria
    Starting Pitcher

    If Logan Morrison were ready at the start of the season, I might have considered moving Miami up a slot from the cellar. But without him, Stanton has virtually no protection in front or behind him.

    Manager Mike Redmond is going to be challenged to score runs with this particular offense in his first season.

29. Houston Astros

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    2B Jose Altuve
    1B Brett Wallace
    DH Carlos Peña
    LF Chris Carter  
    RF Rick Ankiel
    CF Justin Maxwell
    C Jason Castro
    SS Ronny Cedeño
    3B Matt Dominguez

    The Astros signed Cedeno on Saturday and have already indicated he'll be the starting shortstop on Opening Day.

    Manager Bo Porter pointed to Ankiel as his primary right fielder as well. If Pena, Carter and Ankiel can provide ample pop in the middle of the order, the offense may not be absolutely terrible.

    But considering that Pena is coming off a .197 season and Ankiel is coming off a season in which he produced a 34.5 percent strikeout rate, the above statement is not a given.

28. New York Mets

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF Jordany Valdespin
    2B Daniel Murphy
    3B David Wright 
    1B Ike Davis
    LF Lucas Duda
    RF Colin Cowgill
    C John Buck
    SS Ruben Tejada
    Starting pitcher

    As of right now, both David Wright and Daniel Murphy are nursing intercostal strains. However, both have indicated that they'll be ready for Opening Day.

    This is simply not an offense that's going to scare anyone. Even if both Wright and Davis produce what's expected, it's a lineup devoid of elite power.

27. Chicago Cubs

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF David DeJesus
    SS Starlin Castro
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    LF Alfonso Soriano
    RF Nate Schierholtz
    3B Luis Valbuena
    C Welington Castillo 
    2B Darwin Barney
    Starting Pitcher

    Schierholtz will get the start against right-handed pitching with Scott Hairston drawing the start against southpaws.

    The addition of Hairston gives the Cubs additional power from the right side. Rizzo will look to continue his growth in his first full season as well.

    However, Soriano is now a year older—does he still have the ability to produce another 30/100 season? Can Castro become a premier spark plug at the top of the order?

26. San Diego Padres

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    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    SS Everth Cabrera
    3B Logan Forsythe
    1B Yonder Alonso 
    LF Carlos Quentin
    5 RF Will Venable
    2B Jedd Gyorko 
    CF Cameron Maybin
    C Nick Hundley
    Starting Pitcher

    The San Diego Padres offense has already taken a significant hit with the loss of Chase Headley to a fractured thumb. He's likely out for at least the first month with Forsythe taking over at third. Forsythe isn't a guarantee, either—he's been hobbled by plantar fasciitis and is still questionable for Opening Day.

    The Padres are also without Yasmani Grandal for the first 50 games of the season. Quentin's surgically repaired knee has given him trouble for much of the spring as well.

    Manager Buddy Black will have to make do with a patchwork offense that could be challenged to manufacture runs for at least the first month or two of the season.

25. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    LF Starling Marte 
    2B Neil Walker
    CF Andrew McCutchen
    3B Pedro Alvarez
    1B Garrett Jones
    C Russell Martin
    RF Travis Snider
    SS Clint Barmes
    Starting Pitcher

    Against left-handers, Gaby Sanchez will likely be at first base with Jones moving to right field.

    I don't dislike the Pittsburgh Pirates offense—I'm just not sure I trust it.

    Martin will add power and Alvarez joined the 30-home run club last year. Along with Jones, the Pirates have a decent amount of power.

    However, Marte has exactly 47 games of MLB experience under his belt and he'll be expected to be a table-setter. Alvarez has been positively awful at the plate for much of the spring. Barmes is a .225 hitter hitting in front of the pitcher.

    Unless a perfect storm exists where Sanchez can recapture his stroke, Alvarez practices better discipline and Marte becomes a force at the top of the lineup, I don't see the Pirates offense as being potent enough to compete in the NL Central.

24. Minnesota Twins

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF Aaron Hicks
    2B Brian Dozier
    C Joe Mauer 
    LF Josh Willingham
    1B Justin Morneau
    DH Ryan Doumit
    RF Chris Parmelee 
    3B Trevor Plouffe
    SS Pedro Florimon Jr.

    The Minnesota Twins are not only handing the center field job to Hicks, they're giving him the leadoff spot as well. That's a pretty heady proposition for a player who has never seen a game beyond the Double-A level.

    Losing both Ben Revere and Denard Span stung, but the Twins believe that Hicks is their center fielder of the future. They also believe that Parmelee can become a solid slugger as well.

    That's a lot of hope.

    Willingham and Plouffe will provide right-side power, and Morneau is always a threat to be a force. Mauer may not have the power, but the .319 average and solid run production last year were a plus.

    If Hicks, Parmelee, Plouffe and Dozier can prove their worth at the plate, the Twins will be higher up on this list later in the season.

23. Seattle Mariners

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    RF Michael Saunders
    3B Kyle Seager
    DH Kendrys Morales
    LF Michael Morse
    1B Justin Smoak 
    C Jesus Montero
    2B Dustin Ackley
    CF Franklin Gutierrez
    SS Brendan Ryan

    The good news is that with the Houston Astros moving to the American League, the Seattle Mariners likely won't finish last in runs scored for the fifth consecutive season.

    Bringing in Morales, Morse, Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay should help offensively. How much so obviously remains to be seen, but the Mariners can at least look forward to more runs.

    The fences came in at Safeco Field as well, so that will be of benefit. That could also work against the pitching staff, but this is clearly a more potent offense than Seattle fans have been used to seeing.

22. Cleveland Indians

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF Michael Bourn
    SS Asdrubal Cabrera
    2B Jason Kipnis
    1B Nick Swisher
    C Carlos Santana
    DH Mark Reynolds
    LF Michael Brantley
    3B Lonnie Chisenhall
    RF Drew Stubbs

    Much like the Seattle Mariners, the Cleveland Indians did much to bolster their offense as well. Swisher, Reynolds and Stubbs bring plenty of power potential, and Bourn brings a solid on-base presence with terrific speed at the top of the lineup.

    However, with the added power also comes the potential for a lot of wind to be created via flailing bats missing their intended target. Stubbs and Reynolds could produce 400 strikeouts between them.

    Manager Terry Francona will have options with Mike Aviles as well and the ability to move different pieces in and out to supply needed rest.

    Swisher, however, is not a natural cleanup hitter; he's more of a complementary addition to a lineup. Whether he can become one of the focal points of the offense is in question.

21. Tampa Bay Rays

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    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Desmond Jennings
    LF Matt Joyce
    3B Evan Longoria
    RF Ben Zobrist
    DH Luke Scott
    SS Yunel Escobar
    1B James Loney
    C Jose Molina
    2B Kelly Johnson

    Having Zobrist as the cleanup hitter should give an indication that the Tampa Bay Rays will be hard-pressed to supply power.

    Scott was brought back after an up-and-down season interrupted by two stints on the disabled list. The best the Rays could do at first base was Loney, who produced a .630 OPS last year.

    The Rays don't want to bring heralded hitting prospect Wil Myers up too early because of the service time issue with future payroll. But if he continues raking in the minors and the Rays are starving for run production, that plan could be thrown out the window.

20. Oakland Athletics

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF Coco Crisp
    SS Jed Lowrie
    LF Yoenis Cespedes
    1B Brandon Moss
    RF Josh Reddick
    DH Seth Smith
    C John Jaso
    2B Eric Sogard
    3B Josh Donaldson

    This might be more of a lineup that I'd like to see starting in Oakland.

    Against left-handed pitching, Chris Young could replace Smith in the lineup. Young will get looks in the outfield as well.

    Lowrie's bat will be somewhere in the lineup at third, short or second. He's clearly outhitting Hiroyuki Nakajima right now, who continues adjusting to life in American baseball.

    It's an offense with plenty of power, and Cespedes promises to keep getting better as well.

19. New York Yankees

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF Brett Gardner
    RF Ichiro Suzuki
    2B Robinson Cano 
    3B Kevin Youkilis
    DH Travis Hafner
    LF Vernon Wells
    1B Juan Rivera
    SS Eduardo Nuñez
    C Francisco Cervelli

    The addition of Wells helps to bolster a Yankees offense that will be severely challenged to start the season.

    The loss of Jeter, Granderson and Teixeira for any length of time will hurt. If Wells can continue the hot hitting displayed with the Los Angeles Angels during spring training, that will help take away some of the sting.

    But it's still an offense hard-pressed to produce. Hafner is hitting just .135 this spring and will be sitting against left-handed pitching. Manager Joe Girardi will mix and match to set up his lineup against southpaws.

    This will be a year that the Yankees rely on pitching more than in any season for quite some time.

18. Boston Red Sox

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    RF Shane Victorino 
    2B Dustin Pedroia
    1B Mike Napoli
    3B Will Middlebrooks
    DH Jonny Gomes
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    LF Jackie Bradley Jr.
    SS Jose Iglesias

    This very well could be the lineup that starts against the New York Yankees on Opening Day.

    Bradley has all but been assured he'll make the leap from Double-A ball. Manager John Farrell started an outfield consisting of three center fielders on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies with Bradley in left, Ellsbury in center and Victorino in right.

    Bradley in fact could be starting in center field if Ellsbury has to land on the disabled list after bruising his ankle in the first inning on Sunday.

    Gomes would then assume primary DH duties if both Ellsbury and Bradley are starting, and Iglesias will temporarily take over for Stephen Drew until he's free of concussion symptoms.

    It's a different looking offense without David Ortiz, who has no timetable for his return from inflammation in his heels.

    However, there's certainly enough talent there to suggest the Red Sox won't be run-deprived.

17. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    RF Gerardo Parra
    3B Martin Prado
    2B Aaron Hill
    C Miguel Montero
    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    LF Jason Kubel
    CF A.J. Pollock
    SS Cliff Pennington
    Starting Pitcher

    The loss of Adam Eaton and Cody Ross at the start of the season certainly cuts into the Diamondbacks offense.

    Eaton was scheduled to lead off with Ross adding sufficient power along with Hill, Goldschmidt and Kubel. That trio will have to come up big in providing production.

    Pennington is simply filler until Didi Gregorius has sufficiently healed from a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and gets some at-bats in the minors. Pollock will get a chance to show he can contribute during Eaton's absence.

    With Ross and Eaton healthy, the Diamondbacks could be a productive bunch. They'll need the replacements to hold down the fort for now.

16. Baltimore Orioles

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    2B Brian Roberts
    RF Nick Markakis
    CF Adam Jones
    C Matt Wieters
    1B Chris Davis
    SS J.J. Hardy
    LF Nate McLouth 
    3B Manny Machado   
    DH Wilson Betemit

    The Orioles could feature a lineup with a healthy Roberts for the first time in several seasons. If Roberts can indeed stay on the field and get back to being the pesky hitter that defined his healthy years, it changes the dynamics of the Orioles offense.

    Nolan Reimold will get at-bats in left field and at DH if he proves to be over the injuries that plagued him last season. Markakis, too, will be a key.

    Health will clearly define the O's offense this season. It might help if they could find another capable designated hitter as well.

15. San Francisco Giants

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    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Angel Pagan
    2B Marco Scutaro
    3B Pablo Sandoval
    C Buster Posey
    RF Hunter Pence
    1B Brandon Belt
    LF Gregor Blanco
    SS Brandon Crawford
    Starting Pitcher

    The health of Sandoval's elbow has everyone in the Bay Area a bit worried.

    Recent tests showed no new findings—it's an inflamed ulnar nerve that's at issue. Sandoval will rest and get treatment, and his status for Opening Day is still in question.

    The rest of the lineup is ready to go, and new addition Andres Torres will factor into the equation in left field as well.

    If Pence can get back to his form and Belt can continue his progression, the Giants will have an adequate offense to support MVP winner Buster Posey.

    Adequate, but by no means great.

14. Kansas City Royals

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    LF Alex Gordon
    SS Alcides Escobar
    DH Billy Butler
    3B Mike Moustakas
    C Salvador Perez 
    1B Eric Hosmer 
    RF Jeff Francoeur
    CF Lorenzo Cain 
    2B Chris Getz

    The Kansas City Royals return the same starting lineup they used for much of last year. The Royals finished in the middle of the pack in the majors in runs scored last year. That should improve some this year.

    Salvador Perez will be in the lineup and healthy. Hosmer and Moustakas could be huge keys if they can get past the inconsistency that plagued them last season. Butler and Gordon are focal points, and Francoeur needs a nice bounce-back season as well.

    It's an offense that has the ability to be explosive, especially if Hosmer, Moustakas and Francoeur can produce better numbers than last year.

13. Philadelphia Phillies

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    SS Jimmy Rollins
    2B Chase Utley
    3B Michael Young
    1B Ryan Howard
    LF Laynce Nix
    RF Domonic Brown
    CF Ben Revere
    C Erik Kratz
    Starting Pitcher

    This is a batting order in flux. Manager Charlie Manuel will tinker with it right up until Opening Day. Revere at some point could become the leadoff guy, especially with his terrific speed. Rollins would then take up space somewhere lower in the order.

    Until Delmon Young returns sometime later in the month of April, Nix and John Mayberry Jr. will likely share time in left field. Brown could move back to left when Young returns.

    Brown needs to show he can actually hit major-league pitching consistently during the regular season after hitting .354 with seven home runs and 16 RBI during spring training.

    As always, the continued good health of Utley and Howard could make or break the Phillies' chances in the competitive NL East.

12. Chicago White Sox

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF Alejandro De Aza
    3B Jeff Keppinger
    RF Alex Rios
    1B Paul Konerko
    DH Adam Dunn
    LF Dayan Viciedo
    SS Alexei Ramirez
    C Tyler Flowers
    2B Gordon Beckham

    The Chicago White Sox will feature Keppinger and Flowers in place of Kevin Youkilis and A.J. Pierzynski. Power is certainly there in the form of Rios, Konerko, Dunn and Viciedo. The Sox will hope that a natural age regression doesn't occur with Konerko (37) this season.

    Keppinger's on-base capabilities will be a welcome sight in the No. 2 hole. However, Flowers has hit just .205 in limited action during his career. How he responds to full-time duty remains in question.

11. Texas Rangers

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Elvis Andrus
    DH Lance Berkman
    3B Adrian Beltre
    RF Nelson Cruz
    LF David Murphy
    C A.J. Pierzynski
    1B Mitch Moreland
    CF Leonys Martin

    It will be a different-looking offense for the Texas Rangers without familiar faces Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Mike Napoli.

    A major question is whether Berkman can bounce back from two knee surgeries last year to add solid production in the No. 3 hole. Berkman has hit much better in recent spring games, raising his average to .275 with two home runs and nine RBI.

    Pierzynski has hit well this spring also, hitting .294 with a home run and seven RBI.

    Cuban-born outfielder Leonys Martin will get a chance to show off his considerable skills. If he can translate what he's done in the minors to the big leagues, the Rangers may not find the absence of Hamilton to be a bad thing at all.

10. Atlanta Braves

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    SS Andrelton Simmons 
    RF Jason Heyward
    LF Justin Upton
    1B Freddie Freeman
    CF B.J. Upton
    2B Dan Uggla
    3B Juan Francisco
    C Gerald Laird

    If there is any one offense that could see a profound difference from one year to the next, it's the Atlanta Braves'.

    The addition of the Upton brothers in the outfield along with Jason Heyward promises to be one of the most dynamic trios in the National League for years to come.

    Simmons is a potential .300 hitter who could be a nice spark at the top of the offense as well.

    A bounce-back year will be expected from Uggla, who suffered through the worst season of his career offensively last season. Francisco and Chris Johnson could form a terrific platoon at third.

    Brian McCann's return to form when he comes back in late April would also be beneficial as the Braves seek to overtake the Washington Nationals atop the NL East.

9. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    LF Carl Crawford
    2B Mark Ellis
    CF Matt Kemp
    1B Adrian Gonzalez
    RF Andre Ethier
    SS Luis Cruz
    C A.J. Ellis 
    3B Nick Punto

    Crawford expressed confidence that he would be ready for Opening Day. If Crawford isn't ready, it's entirely possible that Yasiel Puig—the 22-year-old Cuban outfielder hitting .527 with three home runs, 11 RBI and four stolen bases—could be out there in his place.

    A return to form for Kemp will be important to the success of the Dodgers offense as well. Kemp is still not 100 percent in his return from offseason shoulder surgery, hitting just .184 with one home run and five RBI. However, he's made significant progress at the plate since starting out hitless in his first 11 at-bats.

    Hanley Ramirez's thumb injury likely keeps him out of the lineup until mid-May, leaving manager Don Mattingly searching for answers at third base with Luis Cruz moving over to cover for Ramirez.

    It's a lot of ifs for a team that will set a record for the highest single-season team payroll in MLB history.

8. Colorado Rockies

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    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Dexter Fowler 
    2B Josh Rutledge   
    LF Carlos Gonzalez
    SS Troy Tulowitzki
    RF Michael Cuddyer
    1B Todd Helton
    C Wilin Rosario
    3B Chris Nelson
    Starting Pitcher

    Despite injuries that took significant chunks of time from the 2012 seasons of Tulowitzki, Helton and Cuddyer, the Rockies still managed to score the third-highest amount of runs in the National League last year.

    This year, Helton will get time off with Cuddyer moving to first and Eric Young getting outfield starts. Tulowitzki's return to health will obviously be a big lift.

    Hitting prospect Nolan Arenado is still in camp with six days to go until Opening Day—it's entirely possible he could supplant Nelson at third base.

    The Rockies may suffer with a pitching staff that looks dismal, but they'll once again show plenty of life on the offensive side of things.

7. Cincinnati Reds

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF Shin-Soo Choo
    2B Brandon Phillips
    1B Joey Votto
    LF Ryan Ludwick
    RF Jay Bruce
    3B Todd Frazier 
    SS Zack Cozart
    C Ryan Hanigan
    Starting Pitcher

    Now that the Cincinnati Reds have a legitimate leadoff hitter in Choo, they will have an offense considerably better than the offense that placed ninth last year in runs scored in the National League.

    Having Joey Votto healthy for the entire season will help as well. Votto led the league in walks despite missing nearly two months of action, and his .474 OBP led all of baseball.

    Ludwick, Bruce and Phillips will help lend power bats and Frazier will finally have a home at third base after roaming around for much of last season.

    Having Choo at the top, however, radically changes for the Reds, who haven't had a good natural leadoff hitter for quite some time.

6. Washington Nationals

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    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Denard Span
    RF Jayson Werth
    LF Bryce Harper 
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    1B Adam LaRoche
    SS Ian Desmond
    2B Danny Espinosa
    C Wilson Ramos
    Starting Pitcher

    The addition of Span at the top of the order only adds to a Nationals offense that finished fifth in the NL in runs scored last season.

    Span has the ability to hit close to .300, can steal some bases and adds an excellent table-setting option for the potent middle of the batting order.

    A full season with Bryce Harper will be of great benefit as well.

    Desmond is showing he's one of the elite shortstops in the National League, winning a Silver Slugger award despite missing a month of last season.

    If Werth can prove he's worthy of his contract and hit accordingly, and if Ramos can bounce back from the knee injury that cut short his 2012 season, this Nationals offense will be scary from top to bottom.

5. Miwaukee Brewers

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    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    RF Norichika Aoki
    2B Rickie Weeks
    LF Ryan Braun
    3B Aramis Ramirez
    C Jonathan Lucroy
    CF Carlos Gomez
    1B Alex Gonzalez
    SS Jean Segura 
    Starting Pitcher

    The Brewers led the National League in runs scored last year, despite season-ending injuries to Gonzalez and Mat Gamel.

    They'll start this season somewhat behind the 8-ball with Gamel again lost for the season and Corey Hart recovering from offseason surgery. Gonzalez will switch mitts and take over at first for the time being.

    Still, any offense that features Braun and Ramirez is going to produce. Lucroy missed over two months last season and still hit .320 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI. Carlos Gomez came into his own offensively as well.

    The Brewers could be a bit sluggish to start the season, but with Hart back in the lineup—possibly as early as late April—this is a lineup that will again be effective and dynamic.

4. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Jon Jay
    RF Carlos Beltran
    LF Matt Holliday
    1B Allen Craig
    C Yadier Molina
    3B David Freese
    2B Matt Carpenter
    SS Pete Kozma
    Starting Pitcher

    There is some concern about the availability of Freese for Opening Day.

    Freese received an injection for the inflammation in his back on Monday, and a recent MRI of Freese's back came back with positive results. His availability for Opening Day has not been ruled out.

    While Rafael Furcal's season-ending Tommy John surgery, Kozma appears ready to take the reins. Kozma has hit a robust .352 this spring with two home runs and 10 RBI.

    Carpenter has shown he's ready to handle the defensive demands at second base, and his bat will be a welcome full-time addition.

    With Holliday, Craig, Molina, Freese and Carpenter hitting third through seventh, it's hard to find a better hitting quintet in the middle of any team's batting order.

3. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    SS Jose Reyes
    LF Melky Cabrera
    RF Jose Bautista
    1B Edwin Encarnacion
    DH Adam Lind
    C J.P. Arencibia
    CF Colby Rasmus
    2B Emilio Bonifacio 
    3B Maicer Izturis

    With Brett Lawrie starting the season on the disabled list with a rib cage injury, Izturis will take over at third.

    No team changed the fortunes of its offense during the offseason more than the Toronto Blue Jays.

    With Reyes and Cabrera setting the table at the top of the order for Bautista, Encarnacion and Lind, the Blue Jays will have more than ample opportunities to score at will.

    Bonifacio and Izturis add speed at the bottom of the order, and if Rasmus and Arencibia can display better plate command, the Jays offense top to bottom will be explosive.

2. Detroit Tigers

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    CF Austin Jackson
    RF Torii Hunter
    3B Miguel Cabrera
    1B Prince Fielder
    DH Victor Martinez
    LF Andy Dirks
    SS Jhonny Peralta
    C Alex Avila
    2B Omar Infante

    The Detroit Tigers made it all way to the World Series last year, and they're primed to repeat that feat.

    And they'll do so with a better offense.

    Martinez returns after a torn ACL that robbed him of an entire season. Hunter replaces Delmon Young's bat in the lineup as well. Hunter hit .313 last year, the highest average of his stellar career.

    Add to that the Triple Crown talents of Cabrera, Fielder's second go-around in the American League and Austin Jackson's emergence as a leadoff hitter, and you have a Tigers offense that will again be dynamic and feared.

1. Los Angeles Angels

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    Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

    LF Mike Trout 
    SS Erick Aybar
    1B Albert Pujols
    RF Josh Hamilton
    DH Mark Trumbo
    2B Howie Kendrick
    3B Alberto Callaspo
    C Chris Iannetta
    CF Peter Bourjos

    The addition of Hamilton, along with a full year of Mike Trout, has the Los Angeles Angels at the top of the heap of starting lineups in the majors.

    Trout's exploits last season were stratospheric, and he won't even be 22 years of age until August. Hamilton's presence behind Pujols in the lineup should create a righty-lefty hitting duo rivaling that of any in the majors.

    The trade that sent Vernon Wells to the New York Yankees should take a big load off the shoulders of Bourjos, who will longer have to continually look behind him if he has a bad day.

    There's no question this is a lineup that will scare teams throughout the league.

     

    Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

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