Projected Opening Day lineups for each team

March 27th, 2023

Opening Day is upon us, and with it comes the celebration of a new Major League season. One of the biggest questions surrounding each of the 30 MLB clubs heading into Thursday's season opener is: What will the very first starting lineup of the regular season look like?

With the help of each beat writer, here's a look at the projected Opening Day starting lineup for each team:

American League East

Blue Jays:

  1. RF George Springer
  2. SS Bo Bichette
  3. 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  4. DH Brandon Belt
  5. C Alejandro Kirk
  6. LF Daulton Varsho
  7. 3B Matt Chapman
  8. 2B Whit Merrifield
  9. CF Kevin Kiermaier

SP: RHP Alek Manoah, RHP
CL: RHP Jordan Romano, RHP

This lineup will change almost daily, with Santiago Espinal, Cavan Biggio and Danny Jansen all earning regular reps while giving manager John Schneider some very useful bench options from game to game. -- Keegan Matheson


  1. Cedric Mullins, CF
  2. Adley Rutschman, C
  3. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B
  4. Anthony Santander, RF
  5. Gunnar Henderson, 3B
  6. Austin Hays, LF
  7. Adam Frazier, 2B
  8. Jorge Mateo, SS
  9. Kyle Stowers, DH

SP: Kyle Gibson, RHP
CL: Félix Bautista, RHP

The O’s will rotate the DH spot around this season, but it makes sense to use it to get Kyle Stowers’ left-handed bat in the lineup on Opening Day, when the Red Sox will send right-hander Corey Kluber to the hill. -- Jake Rill


  1. Yandy Díaz, 1B
  2. Wander Franco, SS
  3. Randy Arozarena, LF
  4. Brandon Lowe, 2B
  5. Harold Ramírez, DH
  6. Isaac Paredes, 3B
  7. Manuel Margot, RF
  8. Christian Bethancourt, C
  9. Jose Siri, CF

SP: Shane McClanahan, LHP
CL: Pete Fairbanks, RHP

The Rays used 158 different batting orders each of the last two years, and few teams use their entire roster like Tampa Bay, so expect plenty of mixing and matching all season long. Manager Kevin Cash will use his relievers based on matchups, with Fairbańks and Jason Adam getting the most high-leverage work. -- Adam Berry

Red Sox:

  1. Alex Verdugo, RF
  2. Rafael Devers, 3B
  3. Justin Turner, DH
  4. Masataka Yoshida, LF
  5. Adam Duvall, CF
  6. Triston Casas, 1B
  7. Christian Arroyo, 2B
  8. Reese McGuire, C
  9. Kiké Hernández, SS

SP: Corey Kluber, RHP
CL: Kenley Jansen, RHP

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he won’t go with a set leadoff hitter, at least early in the season, but Verdugo will get the nod against righties out of the gate. -- Ian Browne


  1. DJ LeMahieu, DH
  2. Aaron Judge, CF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Giancarlo Stanton, RF
  5. Josh Donaldson, 3B
  6. Gleyber Torres, 2B
  7. Aaron Hicks, LF
  8. Anthony Volpe, SS
  9. Jose Trevino, C

SP: Gerrit Cole, RHP
CL: Clay Holmes, RHP

Harrison Bader is not expected to return to center field until at least late April, which will prompt manager Aaron Boone to be creative with his outfield alignment. Judge could see starts at all three positions. Volpe has outperformed Oswald Peraza and Isiah Kiner-Falefa this spring, but it remains to be seen if he’ll get the nod for Opening Day. -- Bryan Hoch

AL Central


  1. Steven Kwan, LF
  2. Amed Rosario, SS
  3. José Ramírez, 3B
  4. Josh Bell, DH
  5. Josh Naylor, 1B
  6. Oscar Gonzalez, RF
  7. Andrés Giménez, 2B
  8. Mike Zunino, C
  9. Myles Straw, CF

SP: Shane Bieber, RHP
CL: Emmanuel Clase, RHP

The only question is whether the Guardians will have Bell or Naylor at first base. The other will DH. Outside of that, the club has very few questions when it comes to its starting lineup. -- Mandy Bell


  1. Bobby Witt Jr., SS
  2. MJ Melendez, LF
  3. Salvador Perez, C
  4. Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B
  5. Franmil Reyes, DH
  6. Michael Massey, 2B
  7. Hunter Dozier, 3B
  8. Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
  9. Kyle Isbel, CF

SP: Zack Greinke, RHP
CL: Scott Barlow, RHP

The bottom of the lineup is flexible, as manager Matt Quatraro will utilize his bench often, and it still isn’t confirmed whether Bradley (or Reyes, also a non-roster invitee) is going to make the team -- or at which position. Edward Olivares could also start in the corner outfield on Opening Day. -- Anne Rogers


  1. Matt Vierling, LF
  2. Riley Greene, CF
  3. Javier Báez, SS
  4. Austin Meadows, RF
  5. Spencer Torkelson, 1B
  6. Miguel Cabrera, DH
  7. Eric Haase, C
  8. Jonathan Schoop, 2B
  9. Ryan Kreidler, 3B

SP: Matthew Boyd, RHP
CL: Alex Lange/José Cisnero, RHP

Expect this lineup to change often, with a likely platoon in left field and a potential three-man platoon at second and third base. -- Jordan Beck


  1. Joey Gallo, 1B
  2. Carlos Correa, SS
  3. Byron Buxton, DH
  4. Max Kepler, RF
  5. Jose Miranda, 3B
  6. Trevor Larnach, LF
  7. Christian Vázquez, C
  8. Nick Gordon, 2B
  9. Michael A. Taylor, CF

SP: Pablo López, RHP
CL: Jhoan Duran, RHP

There’s some question as to whether Miranda will be ready to play third base in time for Opening Day; if not, expect Kyle Farmer to man the hot corner. -- Do-Hyoung Park

White Sox:

  1. Tim Anderson, SS
  2. Luis Robert Jr., CF
  3. Andrew Benintendi, LF
  4. Eloy Jiménez, DH
  5. Yoan Moncada, 3B
  6. Andrew Vaughn, 1B
  7. Yasmani Grandal, C
  8. Oscar Colas, RF
  9. Elvis Andrus, 2B

SP: Dylan Cease, RHP
CL: Multiple relievers

Vaughn is working with lower back stiffness, but the team doesn’t seem concerned about his Opening Day readiness. Liam Hendriks continues his treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, so manager Pedro Grifol intends to go closer by committee in Hendriks’ absence, without specifically using that phrase. -- Scott Merkin

AL West


  1. Taylor Ward, LF
  2. Mike Trout, CF
  3. Shohei Ohtani, DH
  4. Anthony Rendon, 3B
  5. Hunter Renfroe, RF
  6. Brandon Drury, 1B
  7. Luis Rengifo, 2B
  8. Logan O'Hoppe, C
  9. Gio Urshela, SS

SP: Shohei Ohtani, RHP
CL: Carlos Estévez, RHP

The Angels face a lefty on Opening Day, so O'Hoppe gets the start with Max Stassi beginning the season on the injured list. With some moving pieces in the infield, manager Phil Nevin said Urshela will start the opener at short. -- Rhett Bollinger


  1. Jeremy Peña, SS
  2. Alex Bregman, 3B
  3. Yordan Alvarez, DH
  4. Kyle Tucker, RF
  5. José Abreu, 1B
  6. Chas McCormick, LF
  7. David Hensley, 2B
  8. Jake Meyers, CF
  9. Martín Maldonado, C

SP: Framber Valdez, LHP
CL: Ryan Pressly, RHP

Injuries to second baseman Jose Altuve (broken thumb) and left fielder Michael Brantley (recovering from shoulder surgery) have opened a couple of slots in the lineup, and that’s assuming Tucker (sprained ankle) and Alvarez (hand soreness) will be ready to go. -- Brian McTaggart


  1. Tony Kemp, 2B
  2. Aledmys Díaz, SS
  3. Seth Brown, LF
  4. Jesús Aguilar, DH
  5. Jace Peterson, 3B
  6. Ramón Laureano, RF
  7. Shea Langeliers, C
  8. Ryan Noda, 1B
  9. Esteury Ruiz, CF

SP: Kyle Muller, LHP
CL: Domingo Acevedo, RHP

Versatility will be a theme for the A’s this season, with left-right platoon situations likely at first base, second base and the corner outfield spots. -- Martín Gallegos


  1. Julio Rodríguez, CF
  2. Kolten Wong, 2B
  3. Ty France, 1B
  4. Teoscar Hernández, RF
  5. Cal Raleigh, C
  6. Eugenio Suárez, 3B
  7. Jarred Kelenic, LF
  8. Cooper Hummel, DH
  9. J.P. Crawford, SS

SP: Luis Castillo, RHP
CL: Andrés Muñoz, RHP

The Mariners used 129 different lineups last year, and that diversity will probably continue as the club deploys its deepest roster since manager Scott Servais arrived in 2016. -- Daniel Kramer


  1. Marcus Semien, 2B
  2. Corey Seager, SS
  3. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B
  4. Adolis García, RF
  5. Robbie Grossman, LF
  6. Josh Jung, 3B
  7. Mitch Garver, DH
  8. Jonah Heim, C
  9. Bubba Thompson, CF

SP: Jacob deGrom, RHP
CL: Jonathan Hernández, RHP

An oblique injury will likely keep center fielder Leody Taveras from starting on Opening Day, but the rest of the lineup falls perfectly behind the core four of Semien, Seager, Lowe and García. -- Kennedi Landry

National League East


  1. Ronald Acuña Jr., RF
  2. Matt Olson, 1B
  3. Austin Riley, 3B
  4. Marcell Ozuna, DH
  5. Ozzie Albies, 2B
  6. Michael Harris II, CF
  7. Sean Murphy, C
  8. Eddie Rosario, LF
  9. Orlando Arcia, SS

SP: Max Fried, LHP
CL: A.J. Minter, RHP

The Padres are the only NL team that can come close to rivaling Atlanta’s top-of-the-lineup power potential. -- Mark Bowman


  1. Luis Arraez, 2B
  2. Jorge Soler, DH
  3. Jazz Chisholm Jr., CF
  4. Garrett Cooper, 1B
  5. Avisaíl García, RF
  6. Jesús Sánchez, LF
  7. Jean Segura, SS
  8. Joey Wendle, 3B
  9. Jacob Stallings, C

SP: Sandy Alcantara, RHP
CL: Matt Barnes, RHP/A.J. Puk, LHP

Newcomer Arraez, the 2022 AL batting champion, fits in nicely at the top of the order for a club that didn’t have a traditional table-setter last season. As of now, Miami seems content mixing and matching in late-inning situations. -- Christina De Nicola


  1. Brandon Nimmo, CF
  2. Starling Marte, RF
  3. Francisco Lindor, SS
  4. Pete Alonso, 1B
  5. Jeff McNeil, 2B
  6. Mark Canha, LF
  7. Daniel Vogelbach, DH
  8. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
  9. Omar Narváez, C

SP: Max Scherzer, RHP
CL: David Robertson, RHP

This is essentially the same lineup the Mets used in the playoffs last season, with free-agent acquisition Narváez splitting catching duties with incumbent Tomás Nido. -- Anthony DiComo


  1. Lane Thomas, RF
  2. Dominic Smith, 1B
  3. Joey Meneses, DH
  4. Corey Dickerson, LF
  5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  6. Luis García, 2B
  7. Keibert Ruiz, C
  8. CJ Abrams, SS
  9. Victor Robles, CF

SP: Patrick Corbin, LHP
CL: Kyle Finnegan, RHP

The Nationals are looking to be athletic with a focus on extra-base hits, and the leadoff hitter could vary throughout the season as they do so. -- Jessica Camerato


  1. Trea Turner, SS
  2. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  3. J.T. Realmuto, C
  4. Darick Hall, 1B
  5. Nick Castellanos, RF
  6. Bryson Stott, 2B
  7. Alec Bohm, 3B
  8. Brandon Marsh, CF
  9. Josh Harrison, DH

SP: Aaron Nola, RHP
CL: Seranthony Dominguez, RHP

Don’t be surprised if the lineup looks completely different on Opening Day, other than Turner in the leadoff spot. Phillies manager Rob Thomson can go different ways, especially with Rhys Hoskins lost for the season. -- Todd Zolecki

NL Central


  1. Christian Yelich, LF
  2. Willy Adames, SS
  3. Jesse Winker, DH
  4. William Contreras, C
  5. Rowdy Tellez, 1B
  6. Luis Urías, 3B
  7. Garrett Mitchell, CF
  8. Brian Anderson, RF
  9. Brice Turang, 2B

SP: Corbin Burnes, RHP
CL: Devin Williams, RHP

The Brewers have great starting pitching and will go as far as their bullpen and lineup can carry them. -- Adam McCalvy


  1. Brendan Donovan, 2B
  2. Tyler O’Neill, CF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  5. Willson Contreras, C
  6. Nolan Gorman, DH
  7. Jordan Walker, LF
  8. Lars Nootbaar, RF
  9. Tommy Edman, SS

SP: Miles Mikolas, RHP
CL: Ryan Helsley, RHP

If O’Neill and platoon outfielder Dylan Carlson have big bounce-back seasons, Goldschmidt and Arenado continue to resemble the best 1-2 punch in baseball and top prospect Jordan Walker flashes his five-tool arsenal, the Cardinals might have the NL’s deepest and most dynamic offense. But will they pitch well enough? -- John Denton


  1. Nico Hoerner, 2B
  2. Dansby Swanson, SS
  3. Ian Happ, LF
  4. Cody Bellinger, CF
  5. Trey Mancini, RF
  6. Edwin Ríos, DH
  7. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
  8. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  9. Tucker Barnhart, C

SP: Marcus Stroman, RHP
CL: Michael Fulmer, RHP

This version of the revamped Cubs’ nine features six free agents reeled in over a busy winter, while the bullpen will be anchored by veteran free-agent additions Fulmer and Brad Boxberger without the “closer” label officially applied to either. -- Jordan Bastian


  1. Oneil Cruz, SS
  2. Bryan Reynolds, CF
  3. Carlos Santana, DH
  4. Andrew McCutchen, RF
  5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B
  6. Jack Suwinski, LF
  7. Ji-Man Choi, 1B
  8. Rodolfo Castro, 2B
  9. Austin Hedges, C

SP: Mitch Keller, RHP
CL: David Bednar, RHP

The Pirates feature their most intriguing blend of young talent and established veterans in years, and if all goes well, they could add even more youth to their lineup by the end of the summer. -- Justice delos Santos


  1. Jonathan India, 2B
  2. Jake Fraley, DH
  3. Wil Myers, RF
  4. Tyler Stephenson, C
  5. Spencer Steer, 3B
  6. TJ Friedl, LF
  7. Jason Vosler, 1B
  8. Jose Barrero, SS
  9. Will Benson, CF

SP: Hunter Greene, RHP
CL: Alexis Díaz, RHP

As he works his way back from August left shoulder surgery, Votto will start the season on the IL, leaving Vosler to get the nod at first base. -- Mark Sheldon

NL West


  1. Corbin Carroll, CF
  2. Ketel Marte, 2B
  3. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., LF
  4. Christian Walker, 1B
  5. Evan Longoria, 3B
  6. Gabriel Moreno, C
  7. Kyle Lewis, DH
  8. Nick Ahmed, SS
  9. Jake McCarthy, RF

SP: Zac Gallen, RHP
CL: Scott McGough/Miguel Castro, RHP

Alek Thomas will get a majority of the playing time in center field with Carroll in left, and Josh Rojas will get the bulk of the playing time at third base. But against Dodgers lefty Julio Urías, it would not be a surprise to see manager Torey Lovullo try to get more right-handed bats in there. -- Steve Gilbert


  1. Mookie Betts, RF
  2. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  3. Will Smith, C
  4. Max Muncy, 3B
  5. J.D. Martinez, DH
  6. David Peralta, LF
  7. Miguel Vargas, 2B
  8. James Outman, CF
  9. Miguel Rojas, SS

SP: Julio Urías, LHP
CL: Evan Phillips, RHP

From Betts to Martinez, there’s a very good chance that’s how the Dodgers stack up their lineup at the top. The bottom of the order could look a little different, but this allows the Dodgers to stay neutral in the lineup. -- Juan Toribio


  1. LaMonte Wade Jr., 1B
  2. Michael Conforto, RF
  3. David Villar, 3B
  4. Joc Pederson, DH
  5. Thairo Estrada, 2B
  6. Brandon Crawford, SS
  7. Mike Yastrzemski, CF
  8. Blake Sabol, LF
  9. Joey Bart, C

SP: Logan Webb, RHP
CL: Camilo Doval, RHP

With Mitch Haniger (Grade 1 left oblique strain) and Austin Slater (left hamstring strain) both iffy for Opening Day, the Giants seem likely to carry Sabol, a Rule 5 Draft pick who can split time between catcher and the outfield. -- Maria Guardado


  1. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  2. Juan Soto, LF
  3. Manny Machado, 3B
  4. Jake Cronenworth, 1B
  5. Matt Carpenter, DH
  6. Ha-Seong Kim, 2B
  7. Trent Grisham, CF
  8. Austin Nola, C
  9. David Dahl, RF

SP: Blake Snell, LHP
CL: Josh Hader, LHP

The Padres are still awaiting the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. In the meantime, they’ll platoon at DH and in right field. Facing Rockies righty Germán Márquez, Carpenter starts over Nelson Cruz and Dahl starts over José Azocar. -- AJ Cassavell


  1. Jurickson Profar, LF
  2. Kris Bryant, RF
  3. Ryan McMahon, 2B
  4. C.J. Cron, 1B
  5. Charlie Blackmon, DH
  6. Elehuris Montero, 3B
  7. Elias Díaz, C
  8. Yonathan Daza, CF
  9. Ezequiel Tovar, SS

SP: Germán Márquez, RHP
CL: Daniel Bard, RHP

The late spring addition of Profar gives the lineup a proven bat at the top -- and Profar has a chance to go against his old club in the opener at San Diego’s Petco Park. -- Thomas Harding