National League Lineup Analysis

I decided to dive into the latest Spring Training lineups to see if any possible trends are emerging. Today, I’ll start with the National League.

Note: I just looked through the lineups and didn’t read up on each team. There is probably a good chance the manager has stated a different plan during the season.



  • Now that Ronald Acuna is cemented into the cleanup spot, the only question is the leadoff hitter with Ender Inciarte and Ozzie Albies battling for the spot. It a big deal to be the winner of this battle. The winner gets the extra plate appearances and has the two to four hitters after him instead of seven to nine. Albies has the better projection (.332 wOBA vs .315 wOBA) but Inciarte has the better spring training stats (.667 OPS vs .631 OPS). I am a little worried about Albies still nursing the effects of an early hit-by-pitch since he hasn’t hit a single extra-base hit this spring.


  • The Cubs are so tough to figure out during the season, it’s even tougher to figure out their plan in Spring Training. The only four hitters I feel deserve full-time projected plate appearances from their positions are Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Willson Contreras.


  • The Reds still seem to be working out a set lineup. The only item of interest to me is that when Matt Kemp plays, he has hit third. Kemp might be a streaming option in daily-lineup leagues.


Los Angeles

  • I didn’t even want to look but I did. It’s as bad as I thought with everyone playing everywhere. The only item I found of interest in Alex Verdugo leading off a couple of times.


  • Curtis Granderson will be leading off.
  • Martin Prado has been getting time at first base and hitting in the lineup’s top half. I thought the Prado experience was over.


  • With the resigning of Mike Moustakas, the lineup seems similar to the Brewers playoff roster. The only question will be who replaces Braun when he sits.

New York



San Diego

San Francisco

  • The order of the putrid Giants lineup doesn’t matter. It’s like mixing manure. Brandon Crawford (.713 career OPS) is the likely cleanup hitter.

St. Louis

  • The Cardinals seem to have Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna batting somewhere between 2nd and 4th, but the rest seems to be a total mystery. Matt Carpenter missing time complicates the issue even more.
  • Tyler O’Neill has been getting some play in the 4th and 5th spot while hitting .191/.309/.553 this spring.


  • The Nats have hit Adam Eaton leadoff and have Victor Robles batting 8th. Batting near the bottom could kill Robles’s stolen base value.
  • Also, I’m a little leery of Ryan Zimmerman’s value as Matt Adams has been platooning with him.

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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3 years ago

The Braves lead off spot is not a mystery or a competition. It will be a platoon given Albies’s massive splits. Inciarte will lead off against rights, and Albies will lead off against lefties.

3 years ago
Reply to  cavebird

Thank you for this, cavebird. This is a great way for everyone to share their local knowledge. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything interesting regarding the Mariners. Only don’t let Ichiro’s early PT fool ya! 🙂