Lineup Takeaways: Opening Day recap!

Mike Kurland reacts to Opening Day(s) of the MLB season and reacts to the early lineup trends, production, and other information we should keep an eye on.

Opening Day has come and gone and it just felt so great to have the sport we all love back. I know I said this article would wait until Monday but baseball has me dying to discuss the early happenings. There is a very small sample size but we will react to what we have seen as of now regardless. This will be a Monday through Friday article starting this Monday 4/11. Just wanted to give you an early look of what to expect.

Reminder: The full team-by-team daily lineup notes will be exclusively on the Patreon. We offer a lot of exclusive content over there so feel free to check that out. Otherwise, let’s get into what to expect from this article daily.

Lineup Takeaways

This is simple. I will give you the top 3 most notable takeaways from the day prior. It could be something as simple as someone possibly platooning to someone getting the odd leadoff appearance that we should keep an eye on. It could also be a note about an overall team trend.

Platoons, platoons, and more platoons

Platoons are happening more and more with the expanded rosters and teams possibly treating the early part of the season as an extension of spring training. Teams I have noticed that are already platooning or have mixed and matched early on. These teams I am paying closer attention to their lineups daily until they begin to settle into their regulars:

  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Texas Rangers
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Cleveland Guardians

New York Mets

  • The first two games of the season for the Mets have featured Robinson Cano. This has come at the expense of Dominic Smith. The Mets have faced both an RHP and LHP and Smith has sat for both. Smith has been utilized as a pinch-runner in one game and a pinch hitter in the other. He is clearly on the outside looking in to start the season. Cano is 3-7 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. It is his job to lose
  • Jeff McNeil is coming in hot. Batting .625 over the first 8 at-bats with 1 home run. VERY SMALL SAMPLE. I am aware. The idea is to remind you of how this article will work in-season when we have true samples.

Houston Astros

  • After talks of Jose Altuve not leading off he is starting the year leading off.
  • Kyle Tucker is batting 6th after all. In both games of the season, he has batted 6th and there is no path to move up until there is an injury or underperformance of those around him.
  • Jeremy Pena has settled into the 7-spot. Not terrible and there is sneaky RBI potential there.

We’re Going Streaking

A real original of a name, I know. This is just a spot to highlight three players who are running hot or cold. I will give three Players of note running hot and/or cold that deserve our attention and the potential fallout from it all. We have one to two games of data so do not read into these names too much.

  • Bryson Stott is starting his MLB career swinging a solid bat. Worth mentioning is he started Opening Day over Alec Bohm at third base. This was against an RHP. (Bonus lineup takeaway here). He went 2-4 in his debut with a double, 1 RBI and 1 run scored. This is coming off the heels of a strong spring training where he hit .406 with a 1.076 OPS. He had more walks (7) than strikeouts (6). Let’s see if he continues to force himself into the everyday lineup.
  • Jo Adell starting the opposite of how he hit in spring training. He started one game and sat vs the RHP (possible platoon to watch) and he is currently 0-5 in his 5 at-bats with 5 strikeouts. Not great, Bob.
  • Alex Bregman showing health early on with 2 home runs in as many games. He has 4 hits through 8 at-bats and no strikeouts or walks. He is showing signs of being the player he showed us in the past he could be but too early to say he’s back. Still a very positive sign overall.

On The Peripheral

This is simply a spot to drop a name or two playing often that are deep league relevant and why they are intriguing to me and belong on your watch list at the very least.

One name that has caught my attention to start the season is Thairo Estrada of the San Francisco Giants.

Notable Injuries and Lineup Fallout

The title of this section says it all. We will breakdown the most notable injuries from the day prior and discuss those who gain from the increased opportunity.

Here is more fuel to the fire to the Jo Adell platooning idea.

We hope you enjoy this new daily concept. If you have questions please follow and reach out on Twitter. You can reach me @Mike_Kurland.

If you want a daily write up of the lineup trends in a team-by-team format, a weekly schedule trends chart, a daily position eligibility watch chart, and more check us out on Patreon. We offer a few options but the $3 Tier is where you can gain access to all this. Hope to see you there


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