National League Lineup Analysis

As the regular season nears, I’m trying to stay on top of any lineup changes. It’s the National League’s turn to go under the microscope.

Arizona

  • The Diamondbacks lineup is in flux with Steven Souza Jr. possibly having a messed up knee. Adam Jones may have stumbled into some full-time reps and possibly Jarrod Dyson if Jones’s defense is subpar.
  • Ketel Marte has not been playing in the outfield, so the center field experiment may be over before it even started. The problem is that there aren’t enough infield spots to go around. The biggest issue is that Nick Ahmed has played shortstop in five of the last seven games. Eduardo Escobar seems entrenched at third. So the Wilmer Flores experiment may be over at second base (Marte’s spot) and Flores and Jake Lamb will platoon at first.

Atlanta

Chicago

  • The Cubs may be working into separate versus lefty and righty lineups. Against righties, Ben Zobrist leads off with Kyle Schwarber fifth, and Albert Almora ninth. Against a lefty, it was Almora leading off, Zobrist batting sixth and Schwarber last.
  • Jason Heyward is batting seventh.
  • In the last five games, they have batted the pitcher 8th with a cast of characters batting 9th.

Cincinnati

Name: OPS
Schebler: 1.121
Puig: 1.088
Kemp: .875
Winker: .742

Colorado

Los Angeles

Miami

  • Does it even really matter?
  • In the last two games, Lewis Brinson has been buried in the sixth and seventh spots.

Milwaukee

New York

  • Brandon Nimmo is leading off with Peter Alonso batting second quite a bit.
  • A sneaky value play may be Keon Broxton for steals as he may be locking up the center field spot with a .788 OPS in Spring Training while Juan Lagares is just hitting just a .496 OPS. Broxton’s 20+ steals in 2016 and 2017 might be hard to pass on. Potential Broxton owners will need to keep an eye on the strikeouts. In Spring Training so far, he only has a 28% strikeout rate while his career mark is 37%.

Philadelphia

  • The Phillies seems set with the only red flag being where Cesar Hernandez hits. Hopefully, he can stay out of the eighth spot.

Pittsburgh

San Diego

  • I’ve taken quite a bit of heat by giving Franmil Reyes a 600-plate appearance projection. The Padres have constantly hit him third or fourth. They aren’t going to sit one of their top bats just so worse hitters can play. With Myers also playing fulltime, Manual Margot, Hunter Renfroe, and Franchy Cordero will need to fight over the last outfield spot.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. has been playing a ton. If Luis Urias or Ian Kinsler are struggling and Tatis gets off to a hot start, Tatis may be in the majors in less than a month.

San Francisco

  • I took one for the team and looked at their lineups. /shivers
  • The good news is that Brandon Crawford is no longer batting cleanup, Brandon Belt has become the run producer.

St. Louis

  • The Cardinals lineup seems set with a possible outfield platoon with Dexter Fowler facing righties and Jose Martinez facing lefties.
  • I’m a little worried about Harrison Bader’s stolen base potential since he’s getting slotted in as the seventh or eighth lineup spot.

Washington

  • I’m also worried about Turner’s stolen base potential with him batting second. Adam Eaton is an on-base machine and Turner will have Eaton ahead of him on the bases. Maybe I’m over thinking it, but to hit the magical 70 stolen base number, Turner should be leading off.
  • Victor Robles has been batting ninth so the Nationals may be hitting the pitcher eighth.

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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 three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Austin
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Austin

Ozzie will be batting leadoff against LHP