Projected Opening Day lineups for each team

Detroit Tigers

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Angels face a lefty on Opening Day, so regular first baseman Jared Walsh isn’t expected to be in the lineup. Gio Urshela will also see plenty of time around the infield. The closer spot isn’t set after Estévez struggled this spring. — Rhett Bollinger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As he works his way back from August left shoulder surgery, Votto’s status for Opening Day remains unclear and if he’s not ready, the lineup could be altered. — Mark Sheldon

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

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

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

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

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

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