Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Complete guide to all 30 Opening Day lineups

MLB.com reporters break down what you need to know
MLB.com @_dadler

This is it. Opening Day is about to be here. The MLB regular season starts Thursday, and there should be nonstop action, with all 30 clubs playing their first game on the same day.

Teams are setting their rosters, and now the big question is: What will each team's Opening Day starting lineup look like?

This is it. Opening Day is about to be here. The MLB regular season starts Thursday, and there should be nonstop action, with all 30 clubs playing their first game on the same day.

Teams are setting their rosters, and now the big question is: What will each team's Opening Day starting lineup look like?

The MLB.com beat reporters took their best crack at predicting just that. Here are the projected season-opening lineups for all 30 teams, along with everything else you need to know for Opening Day.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Red Sox
Keep an eye on J.D. Martinez when the Sox open their AL East title defense. He'll be anchoring the middle of the lineup, with the rest of Boston's core of young stars filling in around him. And Chris Sale is always a must-watch on the mound. More >

Yankees
Giancarlo Stanton's Yankees debut. Luis Severino's first career Opening Day start. Aaron Judge in the leadoff spot? With a stacked lineup and pitching staff, the Bronx Bombers enter the regular season looking like a major World Series contender. They could make a powerful first impression on Opening Day. More >

Rays
The Rays enter the 2018 season with plenty of new faces set to play big roles, like Carlos Gomez and C.J. Cron. But one that hasn't changed: staff ace Chris Archer, who'll be making his fourth straight Opening Day start for Tampa Bay. More >

Blue Jays
Coming off back-to-back solid seasons with Toronto, left-hander J.A. Happ is scheduled to make his first career Opening Day start. Newcomers Curtis Granderson and Randal Grichuk should help deepen a lineup anchored by perennial MVP candidate Josh Donaldson. Roberto Osuna is the Jays' closer, but the rest of the late-inning spots are up for grabs. More >

Orioles
It's unclear who will hit leadoff for Baltimore, with Trey Mancini, Tim Beckham and even Chris Davis up for consideration; Mancini has the early edge. Right-hander Brad Brach will serve as closer with Zach Britton (Achilles) out until at least early June. Dylan Bundy gets the nod on Opening Day for the first time in his career, and Colby Rasmus, a career .252/.318/.463 hitter versus righties, should add to an already potent Orioles lineup. More >

AL CENTRAL

Indians
Opening Day for the Tribe means Cy Young winner Corey Kluber on the mound and young superstars Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez at the top of the lineup. New first baseman Yonder Alonso will also be making his Indians debut. More >

Twins
The Twins will start the season with many of the same position players who got them to the AL Wild Card Game last year, including franchise cornerstones Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier and the electric Byron Buxton, but the pitching staff has been revamped. And slugger Logan Morrison will see his first action in the middle of the Minnesota order after signing as a free agent. More >

Royals
Danny Duffy, dealing with shoulder tightness, is expected to be Kansas City's Opening Day starter. He should be fine for Thursday. Newcomer Jon Jay should give the Royals a solid leadoff option while fellow free-agent signee Lucas Duda will add some pop. More >

White Sox
Yoan Moncada's first full season in the big leagues has White Sox fans eager to see if this young club can compete in 2018. Opening Day starter James Shields is expected to mentor a youthful staff. Manager Rick Renteria has yet to name his closer, but Nate Jones is the early favorite for the job. More >

Tigers
Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez should be good to go on Opening Day, and both veterans will be out to prove they've still got a lot left in their bats. Behind those longtime stars, the Tigers will also have high expectations for players like Nicholas Castellanos in 2018. More >

AL WEST

Astros
The Astros are returning nearly all the key players from their World Series championship team. Yuli Gurriel will start the season on the DL, but Houston has plenty of depth. The Astros' title defense will start with the ball in the hands of Justin Verlander, making his first Opening Day start for Houston. More >

Angels
For the Angels, everything starts with superstar Mike Trout. But Opening Day 2018 will feature a new-look roster for the Halos -- and all eyes around the baseball world will be on Shohei Ohtani as he begins his Major League journey. More >

Mariners
No active hurler has more consecutive Opening Day starts than Felix Hernandez, who gets the ball for the 10th straight time to begin a regular season. Newcomer Dee Gordon will add speed to the top of a Seattle lineup spearheaded by sluggers Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. More >

Rangers
Cole Hamels is no stranger to Opening Day starts, as he'll be making the fourth of his career and second with Texas, but the Rangers' closer situation will be one to monitor. Players to watch in the lineup will include speedster Delino DeShields at the top of the order and big bopper Joey Gallo behind him. More >

A's
The A's should have one of the more interesting, young and talented lineups in the Majors. Last year's rookie sensation Matt Olson might draw the most attention, but keep an eye out for the likes of Matt Chapman, Boog Powell, Stephen Piscotty and Dustin Fowler, too. More >

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Nationals
The Nats will be missing one key lineup piece on Opening Day with Daniel Murphy recovering from offseason knee surgery, but they have plenty of star power to make up for it. Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Trea Turner and the returning Adam Eaton will spearhead the NL East champs. Oh, and Cy Young winner Max Scherzer will be on the mound. More >

Marlins
Miami's offseason trades have made room for a lot of up-and-coming talent. Top prospect Lewis Brinson should be in the lineup from Game 1, and more could follow. The Marlins will be without some key players early, though, as J.T. Realmuto, Dan Straily and others recover from injuries. More >

Braves
Top prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. will be with the team soon enough, but the Braves' Opening Day lineup will still have a lot of players to watch, from Ender Inciarte to Freddie Freeman to Julio Teheran. More >

Mets
The Mets have made it through Spring Training mostly healthy, and their Opening Day lineup is set to feature a good deal of the players they hope will lead them back to the playoffs, from starter Noah Syndergaard to slugger Yoenis Cespedes to the returning Jay Bruce. Michael Conforto will hopefully be back soon, too. More >

Phillies
There will be a lot of excitement when the Phillies open their season after a very eventful winter. Carlos Santana will be making his debut, Rhys Hoskins will be starting his first full big league season, Aaron Nola will get the ball looking to make the leap to ace status, and Jake Arrieta's first start will be on the horizon. More >

NL CENTRAL

Cubs
The Cubs' offense looks scary as they seek another NL Central title in 2018, with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo at the forefront but only the tip of the iceberg. The pitching staff is scary, too, with Jon Lester leading the way on Opening Day -- and Yu Darvish's debut soon to follow. More >

Brewers
The Brewers made multiple big splashes this offseason as they look to improve on their surprising success last year. Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich will be key new bats at the top of the lineup. And Ryan Braun will be playing first base on Opening Day. More >

Cardinals
Exciting right-hander Carlos Martinez is set to make his second straight Opening Day start while the addition of Marcell Ozuna could push the St. Louis offense to new heights. With Luke Gregerson on the DL, righty Dominic Leone and lefty Tyler Lyons could split save chances early. More >

Pirates
The Pirates are about to see what their young team can do. Opening Day will feature the debut of Colin Moran at third base and Corey Dickerson's first game with his new team. Pirates fans can expect to see several different lineups this season -- what will it be for Game 1? More >

Reds
Veteran Homer Bailey is tabbed for his first career Opening Day start. Billy Hamilton's speed and defensive skills are always exciting to watch, but if he struggles to get on base, he could give way to Jose Peraza at the leadoff spot. Joey Votto hasn't won the NL MVP since 2010 despite being one of MLB's best players annually; perhaps that changes in '18. More >

NL WEST

Dodgers
After falling one win short in a thrilling World Series, the Dodgers have sky-high expectations for 2018. With Clayton Kershaw on the mound for an eighth Opening Day and Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Co. keying the lineup behind him, it all starts here for Los Angeles. More >

D-backs
Arizona is expected to lean on offseason addition Jarrod Dyson and incumbent Chris Owings with Steven Souza Jr. beginning the season on the DL.  Brad Boxberger was officially named closer on Tuesday with Archie Bradley returning to his multi-inning relief role and Yoshihisa Hirano working as a setup man. Slugger Paul Goldschmidt is still the D-backs player to watch while he vies for his first ever NL MVP Award. More >

Rockies
The Rockies' lineup will look a lot like the one that led them to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2009. They're especially stacked at the top of their order -- Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado are a fearsome troika. More >

Padres
A new era in San Diego begins, as first baseman Eric Hosmer, shortstop Freddy Galvis and right-hander Bryan Mitchell have been added to the club and look to propel the Padres back to contention. Expect to see lefty Brad Hand in a variety of high-leverage situations. Manuel Margot should excite with his premier speed at the top of the order. More >

Giants
Newcomers Evan Longoria, Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson figure to lead the way for the new-look Giants, who are down three key hurlers: Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith and Jeff Samardzija. Early-season performance will dictate which of Sam Dyson, Hunter Strickland and Tony Watson will earn the setup role behind closer Mark Melancon. More >

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.