Predicting Every MLB Team's Opening Day Lineup 1 Month Out

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2021

Predicting Every MLB Team's Opening Day Lineup 1 Month Out

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    The last major domino on the MLB free-agent market finally fell last week when Jackie Bradley Jr. signed with the Milwaukee Brewers, making this the perfect time for an updated version of our Opening Day roster predictions.

    Two previous rounds of predictions were made on Jan. 8 and Feb. 12, and those earlier versions were chock-full of anticipated free-agent signings and hypothetical trades.

    This time around, we're focusing solely on in-house talent to inform our picks for how each team will take the field on Opening Day.

    Last season's lineup data from Baseball Reference, the projected roster from FanGraphs and a healthy amount of speculation went into compiling each team's batting order.

    Let the debate begin.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Pavin Smith
    Pavin SmithRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. 2B Ketel Marte
    2. RF David Peralta
    3. 1B Christian Walker
    4. 3B Eduardo Escobar
    5. LF Pavin Smith
    6. C Carson Kelly
    7. SS Nick Ahmed
    8. CF Tim Locastro
    9. SP Zac Gallen


    What Could Change?

    With Kole Calhoun sidelined for the foreseeable future with a torn meniscus, a spot has opened up in the Arizona outfield. Tim Locastro, Daulton Varsho and Stuart Fairchild are all candidates to benefit from the opportunity.

    However, don't count out Pavin Smith, who hit a respectable .270/.341/.405 in 44 plate appearances in his MLB debut last season. He has proved to be a capable corner outfielder in the minors after starting his career as a first baseman, and with his draft pedigree (No. 7 overall in 2017), the D-backs may feel compelled to give him a shot if he goes on to have a big spring.

Atlanta Braves

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    Cristian Pache
    Cristian PacheTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. RF Ronald Acuna Jr.
    2. 1B Freddie Freeman
    3. LF Marcell Ozuna
    4. C Travis d'Arnaud
    5. 2B Ozzie Albies
    6. SS Dansby Swanson
    7. 3B Austin Riley
    8. CF Cristian Pache
    9. SP Max Fried


    What Could Change?

    The only real question in the Atlanta Braves starting lineup is whether Cristian Pache will seize the starting center field job or if it will be defensive-minded Ender Inciarte to start the year while Pache gets a bit more seasoning in the minors.

    Left-handed-hitting Jake Lamb could eventually play his way into a platoon role with right-handed-hitting Austin Riley at third base, but Riley will be the guy to open the year.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Ryan Mountcastle
    Ryan MountcastleKathy Willens/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. CF Cedric Mullins
    2. SS Freddy Galvis
    3. LF Ryan Mountcastle
    4. 1B Trey Mancini
    5. RF Anthony Santander
    6. C Pedro Severino
    7. 3B Rio Ruiz
    8. DH Austin Hays
    9. 2B Yolmer Sanchez
    SP John Means


    What Could Change?

    With Ryan Mountcastle ticketed for the everyday left field job following his stellar debut last year, and a healthy Trey Mancini likely to be the primary first baseman, there's an opening at the DH spot for the Baltimore Orioles.

    High-priced Chris Davis could see some at-bats there, but ideally young outfielders Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays would both perform well enough to justify everyday playing time. The bigger slice of the catcher platoon pie is also up for grabs between Pedro Severino and former top prospect Chance Sisco.

Boston Red Sox

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    Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec
    Rafael Devers and Bobby DalbecAssociated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. CF Alex Verdugo
    2. 3B Rafael Devers
    3. SS Xander Bogaerts
    4. DH J.D. Martinez
    5. C Christian Vazquez
    6. RF Hunter Renfroe
    7. LF Franchy Cordero
    8. 1B Bobby Dalbec
    9. 2B Enrique Hernandez
    SP Nathan Eovaldi


    What Could Change?

    Rookie Bobby Dalbec has slugged three home runs in his first 12 plate appearances this spring, so he's making a strong early case for the starting first base job. Michael Chavis and utility man Marwin Gonzalez are also in the mix.

    Will Franchy Cordero return from a positive COVID-19 test with enough time to win the left field job? Will Nathan Eovaldi get the Opening Day nod over Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound? Those are among the other questions that will need to be answered.

Chicago Cubs

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    Nico Hoerner
    Nico HoernerJae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. CF Ian Happ
    2. 3B Kris Bryant
    3. 1B Anthony Rizzo
    4. SS Javier Baez
    5. LF Joc Pederson
    6. C Willson Contreras
    7. RF Jason Heyward
    8. 2B Nico Hoerner
    9. SP Kyle Hendricks


    What Could Change?

    The Chicago Cubs used 54 different batting orders to get through a 60-game season last year, so take that projected lineup with a grain of salt.

    The only real position battle is at second base, where veteran Eric Sogard was signed to a minor league deal to push Nico Hoerner for playing time. There's also a chance super-utility man David Bote could wind up as the everyday guy there if Hoerner is sent back to the minors and Sogard is preferred in a bench role.

Chicago White Sox

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    Zack Collins
    Zack CollinsJeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. SS Tim Anderson
    2. 3B Yoan Moncada
    3. 1B Jose Abreu
    4. LF Eloy Jimenez
    5. C Yasmani Grandal
    6. CF Luis Robert
    7. RF Adam Eaton
    8. DH Zack Collins
    9. 2B Nick Madrigal
    SP Lucas Giolito


    What Could Change?

    "Andrew Vaughn is very much in the mix to make this club," Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters at the start of spring training.

    The No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 draft has only played 55 games in the minors and has yet to play above the High-A level, but he left the University of California as one of the most polished collegiate hitters in recent memory.

    If he's demoted to begin the year, Zack Collins looks like the only real candidate for the DH job, though Eloy Jimenez could also see time there with Adam Engel manning left field.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Kyle Farmer
    Kyle FarmerRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. CF Shogo Akiyama
    2. RF Nick Castellanos
    3. 1B Joey Votto
    4. 3B Eugenio Suarez
    5. 2B Mike Moustakas
    6. LF Jesse Winker
    7. SS Kyle Farmer
    8. C Tucker Barnhart
    9. SP Sonny Gray


    What Could Change?

    Once again, figuring out where Nick Senzel fits into the picture for the Cincinnati Reds is a bit of a head-scratcher. Shogo Akiyama finished the 2020 season hitting extremely well, but Senzel could still push him for playing time in center field while also seeing time at the corner outfield spots and perhaps some second base.

    Sonny Gray vs. Luis Castillo for the Opening Day start is also up in the air. It was Gray who took the ball last season, which would seem to give him a leg up, but Castillo has been every bit as important to the team's success the past few years.


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    Bobby Bradley
    Bobby BradleyCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. 2B Cesar Hernandez
    2. 3B Jose Ramirez
    3. LF Eddie Rosario
    4. DH Franmil Reyes
    5. RF Josh Naylor
    6. C Roberto Perez
    7. 1B Bobby Bradley
    8. SS Andres Gimenez
    9. CF Oscar Mercado
    SP Shane Bieber


    What Could Change?

    Former top prospect Jake Bauers has a middling 85 OPS+ in 811 plate appearances in the majors, but he is out of minor league options, so he'll need to find his way onto the Opening Day roster in some capacity or risk being lost to waivers. He'll be a factor in the wide-open first base battle.

    Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario are jostling for playing time at shortstop, and don't count out Jordan Luplow, Bradley Zimmer, Daniel Johnson and Harold Ramirez as candidates for playing time in the outfield alongside free-agent addition Eddie Rosario.

Colorado Rockies

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    Sam Hilliard
    Sam HilliardDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. LF Raimel Tapia
    2. SS Trevor Story
    3. RF Charlie Blackmon
    4. 1B C.J. Cron
    5. 3B Ryan McMahon
    6. CF Sam Hilliard
    7. 2B Brendan Rodgers
    8. C Dom Nunez
    9. SP German Marquez


    What Could Change?

    Slugger C.J. Cron is in camp on a minor league deal, so he'll need to win his spot on the roster. Josh Fuentes and prospect Colton Welker are among the 40-man roster options who could push him for the first base job, while Ryan McMahon slides over to third base to replace Nolan Arenado.

    Dom Nunez and Elias Diaz are the only catchers on the 40-man roster, and both will see playing time, but Nunez offers a bit more upside as a 26-year-old with a solid track record of minor league production. He posted a .921 OPS with 17 home runs in 61 games at Triple-A in 2019.

Detroit Tigers

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    Willi Castro
    Willi CastroRon Schwane/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. LF Robbie Grossman
    2. SS Willi Castro
    3. DH Miguel Cabrera
    4. 3B Jeimer Candelario
    5. 2B Jonathan Schoop
    6. C Wilson Ramos
    7. 1B Renato Nunez
    8. RF Nomar Mazara
    9. CF JaCoby Jones
    SP Spencer Turnbull


    What Could Change?

    Willi Castro impressed at the plate as a rookie, but the defensive metrics (-7 DRS, -7.1 UZR/150) did not love his work at shortstop. He probably fits best at second base long-term, but the decision to re-sign Jonathan Schoop creates a short-term roadblock there.

    Non-roster invitee Renato Nunez would add some welcome power if he claims the first base job, but the team could also use Jeimer Candelario at first base and clear a path for Isaac Paredes to be the primary third baseman.

    Expect a lot of moving parts on this roster as the 2021 season progresses.

Houston Astros

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    Myles Straw
    Myles StrawDavid J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. 2B Jose Altuve
    2. 3B Alex Bregman
    3. DH Yordan Alvarez
    4. LF Michael Brantley
    5. SS Carlos Correa
    6. RF Kyle Tucker
    7. 1B Yuli Gurriel
    8. C Jason Castro
    9. CF Myles Straw
    SP Zack Greinke


    What Could Change?

    With Jackie Bradley Jr. officially off the market, it looks like it will be speedy Myles Straw as the new everyday center fielder for the Houston Astros. He's a good defender with the wheels to steal 50-plus bases with regular playing time and the on-base ability to put his best tool to good use.

    Jason Castro (33) and Martin Maldonado (34) should be a straight platoon at the catcher position in an effort to keep both guys fresh, and we've seen similar situations pay dividends in the past. Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes with the Washington Nationals immediately come to mind.

Kansas City Royals

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    Hanser Alberto
    Hanser AlbertoCarmen Mandato/Getty Images

    Projected Lineup

    1. RF Whit Merrifield
    2. SS Adalberto Mondesi
    3. C Salvador Perez
    4. DH Jorge Soler
    5. 1B Carlos Santana
    6. LF Andrew Benintendi
    7. 3B Hunter Dozier
    8. CF Michael Taylor
    9. 2B Hanser Alberto
    SP Brad Keller


    What Could Change?

    The Kansas City Royals will have at least three new faces in the starting lineup with Carlos Santana and Michael Taylor both added in free agency and Andrew Benintendi acquired from the Boston Red Sox.

    That number could grow to four if non-roster invitee Hanser Alberto beats out Nicky Lopez for the second base job, and considering Lopez still has three minor league options and has shown very little offensively to this point in his career, that's a very real possibility.

    It looks like Brad Keller vs. Danny Duffy vs. Mike Minor for the Opening Day start.

Los Angeles Angels

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    Jared Walsh
    Jared WalshTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. 2B David Fletcher
    2. SS Jose Iglesias
    3. CF Mike Trout
    4. 3B Anthony Rendon
    5. 1B Jared Walsh
    6. LF Justin Upton
    7. DH Shohei Ohtani
    8. RF Dexter Fowler
    9. C Kurt Suzuki
    SP Dylan Bundy


    What Could Change?

    Albert Pujols could see his name in the Opening Day lineup for nostalgia's sake, but expect the future Hall of Famer to move into more of a reserve role following the late-season breakout of Jared Walsh last year.

    Aside from Jo Adell, who will return to the minors for some further refinement, young players like Matt Thaiss, Taylor Ward and Luis Rengifo are also battling for playing time and could push their way into the lineup with strong spring performances.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Chris Taylor
    Chris TaylorEric Gay/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. RF Mookie Betts
    2. SS Corey Seager
    3. 3B Justin Turner
    4. CF Cody Bellinger
    5. C Will Smith
    6. 1B Max Muncy
    7. LF AJ Pollock
    8. 2B Chris Taylor
    9. SP Clayton Kershaw


    What Could Change?

    The torch has arguably already been passed from Clayton Kershaw to Walker Buehler as the headliner of the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation, but it would be a shock to see anyone but Kershaw selected to be the Opening Day starter.

    Ideally, Gavin Lux would seize the opening at second base and allow Chris Taylor to remain in the super-utility role where he has thrived throughout his time in Los Angeles. That's far from a foregone conclusion, though, given the fact that Lux looked lost at the plate in his brief MLB action last year.

Miami Marlins

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    Jon Berti
    Jon BertiJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. LF Corey Dickerson
    2. CF Starling Marte
    3. 1B Jesus Aguilar
    4. 3B Brian Anderson
    5. RF Adam Duvall
    6. SS Miguel Rojas
    7. 2B Jon Berti
    8. C Jorge Alfaro
    9. SP Sandy Alcantara


    What Could Change?

    Garrett Cooper hit .283/.353/.500 with six home runs and 20 RBI in 34 games last season, and even without an everyday spot to call his own, he should see semi-regular action between first base and the corner outfield spots.

    After spending the bulk of last season at the team's alternate site, Isan Diaz needs to prove he's still the second baseman of the future. That could mean starting the season in the minors while utility man Jon Berti handles second base duties on a regular basis for the first few months of the new campaign.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Luis Urias
    Luis UriasJae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. 2B Kolten Wong
    2. CF Lorenzo Cain
    3. LF Christian Yelich
    4. 1B Keston Hiura
    5. RF Jackie Bradley Jr.
    6. SS Orlando Arcia
    7. 3B Luis Urias
    8. C Omar Narvaez
    9. SP Brandon Woodruff


    What Could Change?

    Who is going to play third base for the Milwaukee Brewers?

    Non-roster invitee Travis Shaw is currently competing with backup middle infielder Luis Urias and free-agent addition Daniel Robertson. Maikel Franco is still available in free agency, and other fringe options will become available as teams start to trim their rosters.

    Avisail Garcia is better than the average fourth outfielder, and the team will have to get creative to find him regular playing time.

Minnesota Twins

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    Alex Kirilloff
    Alex KirilloffJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. RF Max Kepler
    2. 3B Josh Donaldson
    3. 2B Jorge Polanco
    4. DH Nelson Cruz
    5. 1B Miguel Sano
    6. LF Alex Kirilloff
    7. CF Byron Buxton
    8. C Ryan Jeffers
    9. SS Andrelton Simmons
    SP Kenta Maeda


    What Could Change?

    Alex Kirilloff is in a great position to break camp with a starting job after making his MLB debut last postseason, but he won't be rushed to the majors if he doesn't look ready this spring. The team could just as easily slot Luis Arraez in left field to declutter a crowded infield while giving him more time to develop in the upper levels of the minors.

    Eddie Rosario spent a lot of time hitting cleanup the last two seasons, so there are some decisions to be made on how to realign the middle of the order.

New York Mets

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    Michael Conforto
    Michael ConfortoAssociated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. CF Brandon Nimmo
    2. 2B Jeff McNeil
    3. SS Francisco Lindor
    4. 1B Pete Alonso
    5. RF Michael Conforto
    6. LF Dominic Smith
    7. 3B J.D. Davis
    8. C James McCann
    9. SP Jacob deGrom


    What Could Change?

    The New York Mets are going to have one of the better benches in baseball after adding Jonathan Villar, Kevin Pillar and Albert Almora Jr. in free agency, but none of those players look like a serious threat to steal a starting gig this spring.

    Michael Conforto spent much of last season hitting in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, but he makes more sense in a run-producing role after hitting .322/.412/.515 for a 156 OPS+ during a breakout 2020 campaign. Where will Pete Alonso land between his record-breaking 2019 season and an up-and-down performance last year?

New York Yankees

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    Gary Sanchez
    Gary SanchezFrank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. 2B DJ LeMahieu
    2. RF Aaron Judge
    3. CF Aaron Hicks
    4. DH Giancarlo Stanton
    5. 1B Luke Voit
    6. SS Gleyber Torres
    7. LF Clint Frazier
    8. 3B Gio Urshela
    9. C Kyle Higashioka
    SP Gerrit Cole


    What Could Change?

    Brett Gardner has been part of the New York Yankees lineup on Opening Day in 11 of the past 12 seasons, and he could get the nostalgia start over Clint Frazier in left field after re-upping with a one-year, $4 million contract. The bulk of the playing time should go to Frazier, though, after he turned a corner last season.

    Gary Sanchez is off to a nice start at the plate this spring with a pair of home runs in 11 plate appearances, but Gerrit Cole had more success pitching to Kyle Higashioka down the stretch last season. They might not go as far as making him Cole's personal catcher, but expect them to make their ace comfortable on Opening Day.

Oakland Athletics

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    Chris Bassitt
    Chris BassittRichard W. Rodriguez/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. CF Ramon Laureano
    2. LF Mark Canha
    3. 3B Matt Chapman
    4. 1B Matt Olson
    5. C Sean Murphy
    6. RF Stephen Piscotty
    7. DH Mitch Moreland
    8. SS Elvis Andrus
    9. 2B Chad Pinder
    SP Chris Bassitt


    What Could Change?

    Unless a late addition is made, it looks like Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder will platoon at second base after deadline pickup Tommy La Stella departed in free agency. That said, don't rule out veteran Jed Lowrie playing his way onto the roster after he was brought back on a minor league deal.

    The top of the lineup needs to be sorted out with Marcus Semien gone, and picking an Opening Day starter will also be a big decision. Chris Bassitt was the team's best pitcher in 2020, Jesus Luzardo has the brightest future, and Frankie Montas was the guy on Opening Day a year ago.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Scott Kingery
    Scott KingeryMatt Slocum/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. LF Andrew McCutchen
    2. 1B Rhys Hoskins
    3. RF Bryce Harper
    4. C J.T. Realmuto
    5. 3B Alec Bohm
    6. SS Didi Gregorius
    7. 2B Jean Segura
    8. CF Scott Kingery
    9. SP Aaron Nola


    What Could Change?

    The Philadelphia Phillies lineup is set beyond figuring out who handles center field between Scott Kingery and Roman Quinn, while Adam Haseley will start the season on the injured list after suffering a groin strain earlier this month. Following a domestic violence suspension, Odubel Herrera is also in the mix as he looks to play his way back onto the 40-man roster.

    Alec Bohm hit everywhere besides leadoff and ninth during his debut last season, so it will be interesting to see where he settles into the lineup. The No. 5 or No. 6 spot appears to be the most likely answer, at least to start the year.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Anthony Alford
    Anthony AlfordGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. 2B Adam Frazier
    2. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes
    3. LF Bryan Reynolds
    4. 1B Colin Moran
    5. RF Gregory Polanco
    6. C Jacob Stallings
    7. SS Kevin Newman
    8. CF Anthony Alford
    9. SP Steven Brault


    What Could Change?

    Anthony Alford is trying to hold off newly acquired Dustin Fowler and prospect Jared Oliva for a starting job in the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield. If he does, it will be fun to watch what the former five-tool top prospect can do with regular at-bats for the first time in his career.

    Adam Frazier, Kevin Newman, Cole Tucker and Erik Gonzalez are all vying for action at the middle infield spots, while veteran Todd Frazier could play his way into an expanded regular role if he continues his hot start to the spring.

San Diego Padres

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    Jake Cronenworth
    Jake CronenworthCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. CF Trent Grisham
    2. SS Fernando Tatis Jr.
    3. 3B Manny Machado
    4. 1B Eric Hosmer
    5. LF Tommy Pham
    6. RF Wil Myers
    7. 2B Jake Cronenworth
    8. C Austin Nola
    9. SP Yu Darvish


    What Could Change?

    Most teams have a clear-cut Opening Day starter, but that's not the case for the San Diego Padres, who will have to pick between newcomers Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, and 2020 breakout star Dinelson Lamet.

    It's a good problem to have.

    Likewise, they will need to sort out the second base position, where Jake Cronenworth and KBO star Ha-Seong Kim are both in the mix for playing time. Cronenworth probably fits better in a utility role, but he could get the Opening Day start as a nod to the contributions he made during a stellar rookie season.

San Francisco Giants

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    Donovan Solano
    Donovan SolanoJack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. RF Mike Yastrzemski
    2. 2B Tommy La Stella
    3. 1B Brandon Belt
    4. C Buster Posey
    5. LF Alex Dickerson
    6. 3B Evan Longoria
    7. SS Brandon Crawford
    8. CF Mauricio Dubon
    9. SP Kevin Gausman


    What Could Change?

    The Giants are going to do a lot of platooning this year. Don't forget, general manager Farhan Zaidi cut his teeth in the Los Angeles Dodgers front office, and few teams employ a more platoon-heavy approach.

    Tommy La Stella and Donovan Solano will both see time at second base, and they should see plenty of action together with La Stella shifting to third base to give Evan Longoria a chance to stay fresh. Wilmer Flores is also an option at those two positions after a terrific season as the team's primary designated hitter.

    This could be a team that uses 75 different lineups over a 162-game season.

Seattle Mariners

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    Dylan Moore
    Dylan MooreElaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. SS J.P. Crawford
    2. 2B Dylan Moore
    3. CF Kyle Lewis
    4. 3B Kyle Seager
    5. RF Mitch Haniger
    6. DH Ty France
    7. 1B Evan White
    8. C Tom Murphy
    9. LF Jake Fraley
    SP Marco Gonzales


    What Could Change?

    A knee injury is probably going to be reason enough for the Seattle Mariners to keep Jarred Kelenic off the Opening Day roster, even if he's healthy and back in action before camp breaks. That opens the door for Jake Fraley or Braden Bishop to make their case to be a long-term piece filling the void in left field.

    Dylan Moore now looks like the clear answer at second base with Shed Long projected to start the year on the injured list as he continues to recover from shin surgery.

    The lineup for Game 162 is going to look dramatically different than the Opening Day lineup.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Tommy Edman
    Tommy EdmanJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. 2B Tommy Edman
    2. SS Paul DeJong
    3. 1B Paul Goldschmidt
    4. 3B Nolan Arenado
    5. RF Dylan Carlson
    6. C Yadier Molina
    7. LF Tyler O'Neill
    8. CF Harrison Bader
    9. SP Jack Flaherty


    What Could Change?

    The St. Louis Cardinals will need a new second baseman and leadoff hitter following the surprising decision not to exercise a club option on Kolten Wong, and there's a good chance Tommy Edman will be the answer to filling both of those voids.

    Top prospect Dylan Carlson finished the season hitting in the cleanup spot, and while it's unlikely he'll remain there after Nolan Arenado was added this offseason, he could still be counted on in a key run-producing spot. Otherwise, who hits fifth?

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Willy Adames
    Willy AdamesChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. DH Austin Meadows
    2. 2B Brandon Lowe
    3. LF Randy Arozarena
    4. 1B Ji-Man Choi
    5. RF Manuel Margot
    6. 3B Joey Wendle
    7. SS Willy Adames
    8. CF Kevin Kiermaier
    9. C Mike Zunino
    SP Tyler Glasnow


    What Could Change?

    Yandy Diaz and Mike Brosseau will both see action against left-handed pitching, but the Opening Day lineup should look similar to the one the team used throughout the playoffs last year.

    Things get interesting if top prospect Wander Franco gets off to a hot start in the minors, and he could begin his MLB career at shortstop or third base depending on where he provides the biggest upgrade. There's no question his bat will play anywhere, and he's athletic enough to handle a position change on the fly.

Texas Rangers

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    Jose Trevino
    Jose TrevinoTony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa
    2. 2B Nick Solak
    3. LF Willie Calhoun
    4. RF Joey Gallo
    5. DH Khris Davis
    6. 1B Nate Lowe
    7. CF David Dahl
    8. 3B Rougned Odor
    9. C Jose Trevino
    SP Kyle Gibson


    What Could Change?

    This projected lineup is working under the assumption that catcher Sam Huff and center fielder Leody Taveras are both sent to Triple-A to start the 2021 season. They could just as easily see their names penciled into the Opening Day lineup, but for a team kicking off a rebuild, there's no reason to force the issue.

    With Nick Solak and Isiah Kiner-Falefa set to man the middle infield spots, Rougned Odor will need to win the third base job to stay in the starting lineup. The 27-year-old is still owed $27.7 million over the next two years, so he'll be given every chance to contribute.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Rowdy Tellez
    Rowdy TellezSteven Senne/Associated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. CF George Springer
    2. 2B Marcus Semien
    3. SS Bo Bichette
    4. RF Teoscar Hernandez
    5. 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
    6. LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
    7. 3B Cavan Biggio
    8. DH Rowdy Tellez
    9. C Danny Jansen
    SP Hyun Jin Ryu


    What Could Change?

    Is George Springer going to continue batting leadoff in Toronto?

    Just a year removed from a 39-homer season that saw him tally just 96 RBI hitting in the top spot for the Houston Astros, he could easily slide down to No. 3 in the order. That's especially true considering the addition of Marcus Semien, who hit primarily leadoff in Oakland.

    As for position battles, Randal Grichuk and Alejandro Kirk are both in the mix for DH playing time alongside Rowdy Tellez. Grichuk has been ousted from a starting outfield spot, while Kirk is simultaneously competing for the backup catcher job.

Washington Nationals

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    Victor Robles
    Victor RoblesAssociated Press

    Projected Lineup

    1. SS Trea Turner
    2. RF Juan Soto
    3. 1B Josh Bell
    4. LF Kyle Schwarber
    5. 2B Starlin Castro
    6. C Yan Gomes
    7. CF Victor Robles
    8. 3B Carter Kieboom
    9. SP Max Scherzer


    What Could Change?

    The offseason additions of Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber will provide some much-needed thump in the middle of the Washington Nationals lineup, and that should allow on-base machine Juan Soto to move into the No. 2 spot.

    Alternatively, Victor Robles could hit his way into the leadoff spot, and everyone at the top could slide down one spot.

    Carter Kieboom will once again be given every opportunity to win the third base job. The team could go with Starlin Castro at third base and Luis Garcia at second base if that's what performance dictates, while veteran Josh Harrison was signed to serve as a backup across the infield.


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.