Opening Day is finally here and the SF Giants are getting ready to employ their first lineup of the season. The Giants are set to face off against the Seattle Mariners to begin the year with Kevin Gausman set to take the mound for San Francisco. But who will fill out the lineup behind him at the plate and defensively?
Southpaw Marco Gonzalez will take the mound for the Mariners. Last season, Gonzalez made 11 starts, threw 69.2 innings, struck out 64, walked seven, and posted a 3.10 ERA. The Giants will hope to replicate their success against lefties last year in 2021. The team posted a .838 OPS against them. Nevertheless, some regular contributors, like Alex Dickerson and Brandon Belt, may start the year on the bench in favor of someone who can better handle southpaws.
What should the SF Giants the Opening Day lineup look like?
This is the beginning of the third season since Farhan Zaidi has taken over as team president of baseball operations. We know that the team will continue to leverage platoon advantages while building a roster that has depth and length.
On the other hand, the Giants received some good news over the weekend as it seems that third baseman Evan Longoria is healthy enough to take the field after appearing in a couple of games at the end of camp. The 35-year-old’s status for Opening Day had been up in the air as he dealt with a plantar fasciitis issue. He was healthy enough to swing the bat but was unable to take the field for much of the Cactus League. I am going off of the assumption that he will be able to hold down the hot corner, rather than appear as the designated hitter.
Without further adieu, here is my lineup that the Giants should roll out on Opening Day:
- LF Austin Slater
- RF Mike Yastrzemski
- 2B Donovan Solano
- 1B Wilmer Flores
- DH Darin Ruf
- C Buster Posey
- 3B Evan Longoria
- SS Brandon Crawford
- CF Mauricio Dubón
The notable change is that I would bat veterans Buster Posey and Evan Longoria lower in the order in favor of Donovan Solano (.864 OPS in 2020) and Wilmer Flores (.975 OPS in 2020), who have proven to be adept at handling southpaws. In total, the Giants would go with seven righties and just two lefties (Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Crawford).
One notable omission is Tommy La Stella, who was one of the Giants’ biggest signings this past winter. As a left-handed bat, La Stella will likely not see his name in the lineup against lefties considering his .702 career OPS against them.
Baseball is finally back and the SF Giants look like they will have a deeper lineup in 2021. When they face off against a lefty, the expectation is that they will go with a lineup that looks not too dissimilar to the one above. Do you have an opinion on this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.