Arizona Diamondbacks

Projecting The 2019 Opening Day Lineup For All 30 Teams

The calendar turned two weeks ago and March was summoned. Spring training has more than begun, and after a rather long stall in the free agent market, all major position players have been signed with the exception of a few that still under the trap of the otherwise re-invigorated market. All of this aside, let’s take a look into the 2019 season. To do that, we have to begin with Opening Day. What will each Major League lineup look like?

The Arizona Diamondbacks

DBacks outfielders Steven Souza and David Peralta. (Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

SS Ketel Marte
3B Eduardo Escobar
LF David Peralta
1B Jake Lamb
RF Steven Souza Jr

CF Adam Jones
2B Wilmer Flores
C Alex Avila
P Zack Greinke
Bench: Socrates Brito, Jarrod Dyson, Carson Kelly, Ildemaro Vargas, Nick Ahmed
My projected win total: 84-78; misses playoffs. Lineup of solid hitters with moderate pop. Strength will be in rotation (Greinke, Robbie Ray, Luke Weaver, Zack Godley) but the losses of Patrick Corbin and Paul Goldschmidt over the offseason will be heavily amplified. I expect a third place finish.

The Atlanta Braves

Braves’ young phenoms Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. (Jim McIsaak)

CF Ender Inciarte
3B Josh Donaldson
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Ronald Acuna
SS Johan Camargo
2B Ozzie Albies
C Brian McCann
RF Nick Markakis
P Julio Teheran

Bench: Tyler Flowers, Adam Duvall, Alex Jackson, Charlie Culberson, Pedro Florimon
My projected win total: 93-69. 1st place in the NL East.
I forsee the Braves to repeat in the NL East, but by a slimmer margin. They’re bringing back the team they won with in 2018 and added former MVP Josh Donaldson who’ll slot nicely into the 2-hole and brought back Braves icon Brian McCann. They’ll win 3 more games with the added offensive and further development of young pitching.

The Baltimore Orioles

Orioles designated hitter Mark Trumbo. (Baltimore Sun)

2B Jonathan Villar
3B Renato Nunez
1B Chris Davis
DH Mark Trumbo
LF Trey Mancini
RF Joey Rickard
C Chance Cisco
SS Richie Martin
CF Cedric Mullins
P Dylan Bundy
Yikes.
My projected win total: 50-112. Not a remote chance at the playoffs.

The Boston Red Sox

Boston’s MVP and MVP candidate. (credit: MLB)

RF Mookie Betts
LF Andrew Benintendi
SS Xander Bogaerts
DH J.D. Martinez
1B Mitch Moreland
2B Dustin Pedroia
3B Rafael Devers
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
C Sandy Leon
P Chris Sale
My project win total: 106-56. 1st place in AL East.

Another strong year from Boston. The bullpen will be a struggle but it won’t matter until the postseason with teams they can beat up on all around their schedule. Mookie and J.D. will once again be MVP candidates. Pedroia is primed for a bounceback and look for development out of Benny and JBJ.

The Chicago Cubs

Albert Almora, Jason Heyward and Willson Contreras celebrate after Anthony Rizzo’s walk-off. (Jon Durr/Getty Images)

CF Albert Almora
2B Ben Zobrist
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
SS Javy Baez
C Willson Contreras
LF Kyle Schwarber
RF Jason Heyward
P Jon Lester
Bench: Ian Happ, David Bote, Victor Carantini, Taylor Davis, Daniel Descalso
My projected win total: 93-69. Barely misses playoffs.
It’ll be another year where the Cubs do nothing but win, but it also won’t payoff. After a wild card 2018 year where they were stunned by the Brewers and then subsequently the Rockies, the Cubs will once again watch October baseball from their couch in heart-wrenching fashion because they were a top 5 team in the National League, but not the best team in their division.

The Chicago White Sox

White Sox 1B Jose Abreu. (NBCSports)

RF Jon Jay
2B Yoan Moncada
1B Jose Abreu
SS Tim Anderson
DH Yonder Alonso
C Willington Castillo
3B Yolmer Sanchez
LF Nicky Delmonico
CF Adam Engel
P Lucas Giolito
My projected win total: 81-81. Misses playoffs.
They don’t look very good…again. However, expect some nice improvements, partly due to the Tigers and Royals being as bad as they are. Chicago should have a wealth of young talent coming up mid-season.

The Cincinnati Reds

Former NL MVP Joey Votto. (Jamie Sabua/Getty Images)

2B Scooter Gennett
3B Eugenio Suarez
1B Joey Votto
CF Yasiel Puig
RF Matt Kemp
C Tucker Barnhart
LF Jessie Winker
SS Jose Peraza
P Sonny Gray
Bench: Scott Schebler, Alex Blandino, Curt Casali, Blake Trahan, Phillip Ervin, Kyle Farmer.
My projected win total: 81-81. Misses playoffs.
There’s no doubt the team has improved in a big way since the end of 2018 and have been one of the most active teams in baseball. However, with an abysmal rotation (the acquisitions of Gray, Alex Wood and Tanner Roark do help a tad) and a horrific bullpen, they break even. The bullpen can’t do everything; especially with the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers in the Central.

The Cleveland Indians

The dynamic duo of Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor. (Getty)

LF Rajai Davis
2B Jason Kipnis
3B Jose Ramirez
SS Francisco Lindor
DH Carlos Santana
1B Jake Bauers
RF Tyler Naquin
CF Leonys Martin
C Roberto Perez
P Corey Kluber
My projected win total: 87-75. Barely misses playoffs.
The Cleveland Indians have been a staple in the playoffs this decade, including an appearance in the 2016 Fall Classic. However, as of late, they’ve made it solely because of the division’s lack of competitiveness. They lost Encarnacion, Donaldson, Gomes, Brantley and a lot of major lineup thump. Meanwhile, the Twins have upgraded considerably. I think the Indians just miss out, even though Lindor and Ramirez are once again MVP candidates.

The Colorado Rockies

Trevor Story (pictured) is one of MLBs premiere shortstops. (USAToday)

CF Charlie Blackmon
2B Daniel Murphy
3B Nolan Arenado
SS Trevor Story
1B Mark Reynolds
LF Ian Desmond
RF David Dahl
C Chris Ianetta
P Kyle Freeland
Bench: Pat Valaika, Tony Wolters, Ryan McMahon, Noel Cuevas, Raimel Tapia, Josh Fuentes.
My projected win total: 98-64. 1st place in NL West.
The Rockies will barely sneak out and win the NL West. The bullpen is questionable but the Dodgers had a quite interesting offseason and are bringing back a lesser team than last year. The Rockies pushed it to the final game of the season last year, so with some of the improvements they’ve made (with the exception of losing Adam Ottavino), they’ll be a force.

The Detroit Tigers

Future Hall of Fame slugger Miguel Cabrera. (Forbes)

2B Josh Harrison
3B Jeimer Candelario
RF Nick Castellanos
DH Miguel Cabrera
1B Niko Goodrum
SS Jordy Mercer
C Grayson Grenier
LF Christin Stewart
CF JaCoby Jones
P Michael Fulmer
My projected win total: 65-97. Misses playoffs.
This has to be one of the worst lineups I’ve seen. There’s literally very minimal experience. This is a team that not long ago had a prime (not aging) Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton and Victor Martinez in its everyday lineup. Not a good look for the Ford City, but they’ll not be in the basement. Just wait until we get to Kansas City.

The Houston Astros

The heart of Houston’s championship core: Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and George Springer. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

CF George Springer
2B Jose Altuve
3B Alex Bregman
SS Carlos Correa
1B Yuli Gurriel
LF Michael Brantley
RF Josh Reddick
DH Tyler White
C Robinson Chirinos
P Justin Verlander
My projected win total: 104-58. First place in the AL West.
The lineup lost Marwin and McCann but Brantley is a very formidable replacement. It’ll be intriguing to see how Chirinos performs. The rotation lost a step (McCullers hurt, lost Morton and presumably Keuchel to free agency). But, should once again be Series favorites.

The Kansas City Royals

Royals’ 2B Whit Merrifield (credit: KC Royals).

CF Billy Hamilton
2B Whit Merrifield
LF Alex Gordon
DH Jorge Soler
RF Jorge Bonifacio
3B Hunter Dozier

C Martin Maldonado
SS Chris Owings
1B Ryan O’Hearn
P Danny Duffy
My projected win total: 51-111. Misses playoffs.
If it wasn’t for the vaunted Baltimore Orioles lineup, Kansas City’s would be unmatched. That’s why we have 1 more win for them here at Pro Sports Extra. With 1-dimensional speed guys such as Hamilton, and full glove guys such as Gordon, it’s a miracle they can even win 50. Whit Merrifield will be a bright spot on an otherwise dreadful Royals team that just won the Series 4 seasons ago. Those 4 seasons, however, seem like an eternity. The great core consisting of Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Wade Davis, Yordano Ventura, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez is virtually non-existent now that Perez (6x All-Star) is out for the 2019 season and everybody else has parted with the franchise.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Two of the greatest to ever play. (Getty Images)

SS Andrelton Simmons
CF Mike Trout
LF Justin Upton
1B Albert Pujols
DH Shohei Ohtani
RF Kole Calhoun
C Jonathan Lucroy
3B Zack Cozart
2B David Fletcher

P Tyler Skaggs
My projected win total: 88-74, misses playoffs.
Another disappointing ending for the best player in baseball. The best player of this (and the previous) generation will miss the postseason again despite have an exceptional season compared to its 2018 counterpart. The pitching depth has improved, but isn’t enough to give their deep lineup a chance to get to the Promise Land.

The Los Angeles Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw’s regular season dominance has been unmatched this decade. (Dodgers)

CF AJ Pollock
SS Corey Seager
3B Justin Turner
RF Cody Bellinger
1B Max Muncy
LF Joc Pederson
2B Chris Taylor
C Russell Martin
P Clayton Kershaw

Bench: Enrique Hernandez, Andrew Toles, Austin Barnes, David Freese, Alex Verdugo
My projected win total: 96-66. Second in NL West; hosts Wild Card.
The Dodgers are going to be great again, but so are the Rockies. I feel the trade getting rid of Wood, Farmer, Puig and Kemp hurts the lineup and rotation without warranting anything commanding back. I don’t think Martin is that strong of an option anymore and Pollock won’t replace the production value lost from Puig and Kemp when you factor in the fact that the numbers he’s put up has been aided by the hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field. Those won’t translate to the dimension of Dodger stadium. One of the better teams in the NL, but lost too much to make it 3 straight Series appearances.

The Miami Marlins

All-Star 2nd Baseman Starlin Castro (Sun Sentinel)

LF Curtis Granderson
2B Starlin Castro
1B Neil Walker
RF Brian Anderson
C Jorge Alfaro
CF Lewis Brinson
SS J.T. Riddle
3B Martin Prado
P Jose Urena
Bench: Austin Dean, Rossell Herrera, Miguel Rojas Peter O’Brien, Bryan Holaday, Isan Diaz
My projected win total: 50-112; playoffs? That’s an excellent joke.
The Marlins, under second season with new ownership, will once again be the laughingstock of the league. They traded the last two NL MVPs last offseason, as well as multi-time All-Star Marcell Ozuna and All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon. This year, they continued the firesale with MLBs most prized catcher, J.T. Realmuto, and he went within the division. The Marlins are looking at a rather nifty (depending on your outlook) window opening in 2024. Until then, it’s slim-pickings. They have quality veterans such as Granderson, Prado (at an inflated price), Walker and reliever Sergio Romo, but they have no superstar player and quite a few unproven prospects. Having seen Anderson and Riddle live, they could be the real deal. Time will tell.

The Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee’s MVP duo. (AP)

CF Lorenzo Cain
RF Christian Yelich
LF Ryan Braun
1B Jesus Aguilar
3B Mike Moustakas
2B Travis Shaw
C Yasmani Grandal
SS Orlando Arcia
P Jhoulys Chacin
Bench: Eric Kratz, Manny Pina, Eric Thames, Hernan Perez, Ben Gamel, Cory Spangenberg
My projected win total: 100-62. 1st in NL Central.
The Brewers repeat their run, but this time make the World Series. They have the deepest lineup in the NL, and a bench full of solid players that can fill in and rake as needed. Their rotation is questionable, however, they have the best bullpen in the NL (Jeffress, Knebel, Hader, Albers, Claudio). I expect another big season in a loaded division.

The Minnesota Twins

CF Byron Buxton (Fangraphs)

CF Byron Buxton
LF Eddie Rosario
1B CJ Cron
DH Nelson Cruz
3B Marwin Gonzalez
2B Jonathon Schoop
RF Max Kepler
SS Jorge Polanco
C Jason Castro
P Jose Berrios
My projected win total: 88-74. 1st in AL Central.

The lineup is strong but has holes and will be prone to strikeouts. The pitching is middle of the pack, but beating up on some awful teams and with the Indians losing all of the players that they did, I think they just pull it out and return to the postseason.

The New York Mets

Todd Frazier. (NYDN)

RF Brandon Nimmo
LF Michael Conforto
2B Robinson Cano
C Wilson Ramos
1B Todd Frazier
3B Jed Lowrie
CF Juan Lagares
SS Ahmed Rosario
P Jacob deGrom
Bench: Keon Broxton, Peter Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Travis D’Arnaud, Dwight Smith
My projected win total: 80-82; misses playoffs.
It’ll be another wasted year of the primes of the three headed monster (deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler) as the Mets improved their team but not by much. Last year, they were 77-85 after a late flurry of young players flashed greatness. However, they responded by taking on 25 million of a 36-year old second baseman who just got popped for PEDs, a journeyman utility player who is also older and had his best career year last year, and probably the best pickup Wilson Ramos. A lot of these players are coming off of injury, and in the most Met way possible. Brandon Nimmo, for example, just got hurt because he undercooked his chicken dinner. The Mets will Met.

The New York Yankees

Aaron Hicks and Judge during the 2017 playoffs (Al Bello/Getty Images)

LF Brett Gardner
RF Aaron Judge
DH Giancarlo Stanton
1B Miguel Andujar
C Gary Sanchez
3B Gleybar Torres
SS Troy Tulowitzki
2B DJ LeMahieu
CF Aaron Hicks
P James Paxton
My projected win total: 104-58; 2nd in AL East. Hosts wildcard game.
Strong pen and one of the most powerful lineups in the game that’s complimented by great contact hitters such as Gardy and DJ. I feel the loss of Severino will harm them early, and they’ll get off to a slow start, which just gives Boston the division edge.

The Oakland Athletics

A’s 2018 MVP candidate Matt Chapman (USAToday)

CF Ramon Laureano
3B Matt Chapman
RF Stephen Piscotty
DH Khris Davis
2B Jurickson Profar
SS Marcus Semien
1B Matt Olson
LF Robbie Grossman
C Chris Herrmann
P Mike Fiers
My projected win total: 87-75. Misses playoffs.
The A’s lineup will rake again, but it’s becoming a recurring theme that the pitching isn’t up to par. Mike Fiers is a solid #3 guy, but not an ace. After him is Marco Estrada, followed by Dave Mengden. This team will be good, but not great in 2019.

The Philadelphia Phillies

Phils’ All-Star first baseman Rhys Hoskins.

SS Jean Segura
RF Bryce Harper
1B Rhys Hoskins
C J.T. Realmuto
LF Andrew McCutchen
CF Odubel Herrera
3B Maikel Franco
2B Cesar Hernandez
P Aaron Nola
My projected win total: 90-72; misses playoffs.
If they were in any other division (except NL Central), they’d win 100 games easily. I see them finishing third, with a better record than some teams in the playoffs. Their pitching is solid if Arrieta has a bounceback year and the Robertson signing pays off, and the lineup additions are massive after finishing .500 last year. I just think Atlanta and Washington are more complete.

The Pittsburgh Pirates

Corey Dickerson (USAToday)

CF Starling Marte
RF Gregory Polanco
LF Corey Dickerson
1B Josh Bell
C Francisco Cervelli
3B Colin Moran
2B Adam Frazier
SS Erik Gonzales
P Jameson Taillon
Bench: Lonnie Chisenhall, Jose Osuna, Kevin Newman, Kevin Kramer, Elias Diaz, Nick Franklin
My projected win total: 79-83. Misses playoffs.
This is a product of mediocrity. From the teams “aces” (Taillon and Chris Archer) to their lineup, the entire squad has a history of producing underwhelming results compared to their touted ceilings. I think my favorite thing about this team is the Kevin’s that have the last names of my two favorite Seinfeld characters.

The San Diego Padres

Padres outfielder Wil Myers (AP)

2B Ian Kinsler
3B Manny Machado
1B Eric Hosmer
LF Wil Myers
RF Hunter Renfroe
SS Luis Urias
C Austin Hedges
CF Manuel Margot
P Chis Paddack
Bench: Francisco Mejia, Frenchy Cordero, Franmil Reyes, Greg Garcia.
My projected win total: 75-87; misses playoffs.
The lineup can do heavy lifting but is locked up longterm. The Padres are paying for the future, not for 2019. They had the worst statistical pitching staff in 2018. To put into perspective how bad it is, Chris Paddack wasn’t expected to even make the roster, and now he’s eyeing the #1 spot in the Padres rotation. They had a great offseason, but didn’t do enough to be taken seriously just yet.

The San Francisco Giants

Buster Posey following the 2010 World Series victory. (Getty images)

SS Brandon Crawford
2B Joe Panik
C Buster Posey
1B Brandon Belt
3B Evan Longoria
CF Steven Duggar
RF Austin Slater
LF Drew Ferguson
P Madison Bumgarner
Bench: Pablo Sandoval, Mac Williamson, Alen Hanson, Aramis Garcia, Yangervis Solarte
My projected win total: 62-100; what even are the playoffs?
The Giants are looking for their first championship since 2012, however, they likely don’t even have a chance. The highest OPS in their outfield is under .700 (on-base plus slugging), former MVP Buster Posey’s health is a question mark, and their best hitter is Brandon Belt. They owe Longoria an albatross contract from a trade that hasn’t aged well with the Rays and have a very mediocre bench. If batting Madison Bumgarner in the 3-hole on Opening Day made more sense, I probably would’ve went that route.

The Seattle Mariners

Ms All-Star outfielder Mitch Haniger. (Kevin Jairaj, USAToday)

CF Mallex Smith
2B Dee Gordon
RF Mitch Haniger
1B Edwin Encarnacion
LF Jay Bruce

SS Dylan Moore
3B Tim Beckham
C Omar Narvaez
DH Ichiro Suzuki
P Marco Gonzales
My projected win total: 69-93; misses playoffs for 18th straight season.
This’ll be a fun Mariners team, but not a good one. It’s another year of seemingly endless transition for Seattle. They’ll open the series in Japan, and that’ll be the big send-off for Ichiro Suzuki unless he can continue to defy time and somehow prove to be a productive spark-plug once again. The first 5 lineup spots look great, but 4 of them will likely be traded by the All-Star game. Marco Gonzales ends the rule of the King; as for the first time in 11 seasons, Felix Hernandez is not their Opening Day starter.

The St. Louis Cardinals

Franchise icon Yadier Molina. (Scott Rovak)

3B Matt Carpenter
C Yadier Molina

1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Marcell Ozuna
SS Paul DeJong
RF Dexter Fowler
CF Harrison Bader
2B Kolten Wong
P Miles Mikolas
Bench: Tyler O’Neill, Jose Martinez, Jed Gyorko, Yairo Munoz, Francisco Pena, Drew Robinson
My projected win total: 95-67; 2nd Wild Card.
The Cardinals barely missed the playoffs last year, as the Cubs and Brewers were just a tad better and ended up playing in a division-deciding 163 game. The Cubs didn’t improve at all, and I feel the Brewers just did enough improvement to win the division (Yasmani Grandal, full season of Moose). However, the Cardinals added an elite reliever to close (Miller) and the best first baseman in the game (Goldschmidt). A healthy Ozuna will do dividends and the Cardinals will return to the postseason.

The Tampa Bay Rays

Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. (MLB.com)

3B Matt Duffy
2B Joey Wendle
RF Tommy Pham
DH Avisail Garcia
SS Willy Adames
1B Ji-Man Choi
CF Kevin Kiermaier
LF Austin Meadows
C Mike Zunino
P Blake Snell
My projected win total: 96-66. 2nd Wild Card.
The Rays quietly won 90 games last season, while signing Charlie Morton to bolster the rotation and Avisail Garcia to add some lineup pop. They didn’t lose any major free agents, and with Oakland significantly being weaker, the Rays should ease right into the second Wild Card spot. At some point during the season, top prospect Brent Honeywell is expected to debut his nasty screwball following Tommy John Surgery, and we should also see this influx of young talent (Adames, Wendle, Meadows, etc) continue to improve off of their 2018 campaigns. Snell just won the Cy Young, and they’ll have a full season of Tyler Glasnow in the rotation and Pham in the lineup. Don’t sleep on these Rays. The opener theory worked in 2018, but we’ll see how it goes with more of the league in tune to the strategy. It’ll be even more interesting to see if the club extends Ryan Yarborough and Yonny Chirinos innings wise, as both were career starters in the minor leagues.

The Texas Rangers

2x All-Star shortstop Elvis Andrus (USAToday)

DH Shin-Soo Choo
3B Asdrubal Cabrera
RF Nomar Mazara
LF Joey Gallo
SS Elvis Andrus
1B Ronald Guzman
2B Roughned Odor
C Jeff Mathis
CF DeLino DeShields
P Mike Minor
My projected win total: 59-103. Misses playoffs.
The rebuild continues for a team that looked like it had a large window as recently at 2016. However, the first year of a non-Adrian Beltre led Rangers will be an embarrassment. With a weak, strikeout prone lineup that’s not complimented very well by a solid pitching staff, that new ballpark cannot come fast enough for the fans in Arlington.

The Toronto Blue Jays

First baseman Justin Smoak (sportsnet.ca)

RF Teoscar Hernandez
3B Brandon Drury
1B Justin Smoak
LF Randal Grichuk
DH Kendrys Morales
SS Freddy Galvis
CF Kevin Pillar
2B Devon Travis
C Danny Jansen

P Marcus Stroman
My projected win total: 75-87. Misses playoffs. Not a fun Jays team. However, MLBs top prospect and son of an MLB Hall of Famer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will come up at the end of April and put on a show for the Northern fans. In a tough division, this team of mediocrity won’t do a lot of damage.

The Washington Nationals

Nationals’ franchise superstar Anthony Rendon. (USAToday)

RF Adam Eaton
SS Trea Turner
LF Juan Soto
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Brian Dozier
C Yan Gomes
CF Victor Robles
P Max Scherzer
Bench: Kurt Suzuki, Wilmer Difo, Howie Kendrick, Spencer Kieboom, Matt Adams, Michael A. Taylor
My projected win total: 92-70; just misses playoffs.
The final team on our list is the Washington Nationals who will find themselves locked in another “bang-bang” division race with the Braves and Phillies following a great off-season (despite
<strong><em>losing Bryce Harper). </em></strong>They’ll finish one game back of the Braves and not do enough to earn themselves Wild Card berth. A deep lineup and great pitching staff (3-time Cy Young Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg, Anibal Sanchez, and Jeremy Hellickson) will ultimately be let down by their bullpen.

That concludes our projections. How is your team projected to do? Do you agree with it?
Tweet us your thoughts: @ProSportsExtra, or me personally, @TheJameus.

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