Predicting the Detroit Tigers post-Spring Training Opening Day Lineup

Our final Opening Day lineup prediction may surprise you, or maybe it won't.

This article is part 3 of 4 in the series Detroit Tigers Opening Day Predictions

The Detroit Tigers have completed Spring Training and almost have their roster set. We've been here before, entering a season with a very unpredictable summer ahead of us, though we have given some pretty solid predictions. And, while one of our favorite names for this lineup prediction series, Andre Lipcius, isn't on the Opening Day roster that's okay.

Why it matters

The Tigers' spring was a mixed bag offensively. They hit the ball hard, and did hit some home runs, then would go quiet for stretches. Which, most likely signals what this season will be like. There will be a very much boom-bust aspect offensively.

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  • The Tigers had three players tied for third in Spring Training in barrelled baseballs.
  • They finished second in all of baseball with 46 home runs during the spring; 46 in 32 games.
  • As a team, the Tigers hit: .265/.336/.461
  • To see the difference in roster construction, they also drew walks in about 10% of their at-bats.
Detroit Tigers

Predicting the Tigers' Opening Day Lineup

In our previous installments, we could only guess who the Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day starter would be. However, now we know, it's Shane McClanahan. He's a lefty, who was quite dominant last season, and so to get the best lineup in the works, we have to be more right-handed hitting. The lineup will reflect as much.

The Tigers Opening Day Lineup prediction:

  1. Nick Maton, 3B – L
  2. Javy Baez, SS – R
  3. Riley Greene, CF – L
  4. Spencer Torkelson, 1B – R
  5. Eric Haase, C – R
  6. Jonathan Schoop, 2B – R
  7. Miguel Cabrera, DH – R
  8. Austin Meadows, RF – L
  9. Matt Vierling, LF – R
Detroit Tigers Opening Day

Reasoning behind these choices

We won't discuss them all because as things shook out the picture became more clear. However, some things do need an explanation. Let's start with Tork. Sure, you see him hitting clean-up and think, a .203 hitter in the four-spot? No thanks. I get it, but he's been hitting the ball quite well this spring, though a bit unlucky, and is poised for a massive breakout. It's game one, hit him there so you don't have to hit Miguel Cabrera anywhere near the top and give him that bode of confidence to start his sophomore season.

Austin Meadows also needs to probably hit down toward the bottom of the order. He hit .240/.304/.320 with four doubles, five walks, and nine strikeouts this spring. He can eventually be moved up, but should probably start in the bottom third of the order to start the season after only 36 games last year.

Final thoughts on the Tigers' Opening Day Roster

Look, things are hard to predict for a number of reasons. But there's one truth that keeps coming to mind when I think about the 2023 season: a fresh start. We're rid of the sins of Al Avila, and those should not be placed on Scott Harris. He's done a great job of moving on from players that shouldn't have been on the team and trying to build a certain profile of the players that he acquires. So sit back, pop open your favorite beverage, and enjoy the summer because Tigers baseball is back – for better or worse.

Series Navigation<< Detroit Tigers Opening Day Rotation 2023: Predictions and Expectations

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