Examining Lineups: NL Edition by Jeff Zimmerman April 6, 2018 Yesterday, I examined the American League lineups. Today it’s the National League’s turn. Braves Their lineup has been consistent with Nick Markakis hitting cleanup and Preston Tucker batting 5th. I sort of wrote Tucker off coming into the season and need to re-evaluate him and his .467 BABIP. Brewers A major platoon has been used so far with Eric Thames facing righties and Domingo Santana going against lefties. Otherwise, it’s tough to find any reasoning behind some of the changes. I’m a little worried about Orlando Arcia’s stolen base chances as he’s getting slotted into the 8th spot in front of the pitcher. Cardinals Consistent. (courtesy of Baseball-Reference) Cubs A platoon is being used by Joe Maddon. Ian Happ is facing righties while Albert Almora Jr. is facing lefties. If this trend continues, Happ’s will max out around 500 PA. This kills part of his potential. His owners may try to move him to another team who may not have noticed this trend. There is not much movement in the infield with Javier Baez only sitting once and Addison Russell playing each game. Most of the playing time issues are in the outfield with Ben Zobrist, Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, and Ben Zobrist joining Happ and Almora. Baez is getting the stolen base death sentence by hitting in front of the pitcher. Diamondbacks Ketel Marte has been batting second since Jake Lamb went on the DL. Chris Owings has batted 5th against all lefties. Also, he’s played everyday since Lamb went on the DL. I expect some lineup changes once Steven Souza Jr. and Lamb return from the DL. If you own anyone but Goldschmidt, check the lineup once players start returning to see what has changed. Dodgers With Justin Turner out, the cleanup spot has been a rotation of Enrique Hernandez, Cody Bellinger, Matt Kemp, and Yasmani Grandal. Joc Pederson and Austin Barnes have played twice this season while Kyle Farmer has some how made into three games. Matt Kemp has played in all but one game. Giants For now, Hunter Pence and Austin Jackson are in a platoon with Jackson facing lefties and Pence righties. Joe Panik is hitting first or second. With the offseason trades, the lineup’s top looks like it would have been great five years ago. It’s OK now. The bottom half is anemic. Marlins The lineup’s consistent. And horrible. Now, that doesn’t mean owners should be looking for value to fill their corner or middle infield spots or last outfielder. The line seems set with Brian Anderson sneaking his way up to the 4th or 5th spot. Derek Dietrich isn’t a horrible play in deep on-base leagues. Mets There’s not too much out of the ordinary with them. Amed Rosario bats 9th instead of 8th when he plays (sat twice in six games) which could help boost his steals. Michael Conforto led off in his first game back from the DL. Asdrubal Cabrera got moved around the most hitting anywhere from first to fifth. Nationals The big news here is with Trea Turner batting sixth. I’m sure his owners didn’t expect this drop in plate appearance and the opportunities to accumulate counting stats. While someone is likely to get injured at some point (like Eaton earlier this week) which will move him up. If he hits this low in the lineup, it’ll cost him $5 in value by season’s end. There seems to be quite a bit of shuffling going on with Michael Taylor, Brian Goodwin, and Howie Kendrick. Michael Taylor (.360 OPS) will need to start hitting or he may head to the bench, especially with Victor Robles ready in the minors. Kendrick may be a sneaky pickup since he’s hit 5th when playing. Padres With Christian Villanueva’s great start, Chase Headley has only played in two games so far. Hunter Renfroe has only started against lefties. He’s not no value in mixed leagues being on the short side of a platoon. Who is Carlos Asuaje and why is he playing second base for a major league baseball team? Phillies They are set at the top except they have used four different players (Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr, and Scott Kingery) in the three hole. Maikel Franco, J.P. Crawford, and Kingery have been rotating into the infield rotation. The Phillies are going to need to see how long they are willing to roll with J.P. Crawford and his .153 OPS (no typo). The key to such a move comes down to how good is Kingery’s shortstop defense. Pirates No big surprised near the lineup’s top expect with Josh Harrison constantly batting in the number one or two hole. The Pirates have only faced one lefty so far and Corey Dickerson sat for Sean Rodriguez. Dickerson isn’t a complete sink against lefties (.710 OPS on his career) so he may play more against them. His owners need to monitor this situation to see how it evolves over the next few weeks. Reds Billy Hamilton has hit first, eighth, and ninth so far. He seems to be leading off against righties. It looks like for now the Reds are going with a four-person outfield with Scott Schebler, Adam Duvall, and Jesse Winker joining Hamilton in the mix. Each as sat at least one game with Schebler drawing the short straw. I’d not be surprised if the team eventually goes with a normal three guys. Right now, Hamilton (.118 OBP) and Duvall (.167 OBP) are the two struggling to get on base. Rockies For a team with the opportunity to setup platoons in the outfield and first base, they gone with the same guys in Ian Desmond (6 games), Gerardo Parra (6 games), and Carlos Gonzalez (6 games). The big loser early on is Ryan McMahon who has started only one game so far.