There are a lot of full roster predictions out there for opening day 2021. In fact the Rangers Nation Podcast did a ‘Way Too Early Prediction ” episode with Alex Plinck of Dallas Sports Fanatic and Chris Halicke of Sports Illustrated.
The plan is to do another one very soon. We haven’t decided which podcast it will air on. I thought today would be a good time to try and imagine the opening day lineup April 1st at Kansas City. The Royals have not yet names an opening day starter. Most predictors say it will be big right hander Brad Keller. That means the Rangers likely go with a left handed hitting lineup.
News has come out that Willie Calhoun will likely not be ready opening day because of a nagging groin strain, that they want to be careful with. This may actually allow the first base competition to carry over into the regular season, without worrying about that roster spot.
The new competition might be for the right handed DH platoon spot, between veteran Khris Davis and the younger Andy Ibanez. Ibanez is not good in the field and Davis is struggling at the plate. However, Davis is owed over $16 million this year. My prediction for that competition will come on the next podcast. But lets predict the opening day lineup against Keller on April 1st.
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa SS: IKF has been leading off a lot during the spring as Leody Taveras has apparently lost that job for now.
- David Dahl LF: A nagging shoulder injury has kept him out of LF so far this spring. But he will play there the last two weeks of spring.
- Joey Gallo RF: The best player this spring so far, Gallo hitting third means more at bats.
- Nate Lowe DH: Both Guzman and Lowe should make the opening day roster with Calhoun likely headed to the IL.`
- Ronald Guzman 1B: Don’t read into this too much. With a RHP on the mound and left handed heavy lineup, Guzman is the better defender of the two. So he plays first.
- Rougned Odor 3B: Not only a left hander, but as of right now, the best defender at the position on the team. He will have the shortest leash of them all in the lineup. If he doesn’t produce offensively, he will be a platoon player or utility guy until Josh Jung is ready.
- Nick Solak 2B: He will most likely win the 2B job. But he has struck out a lot this spring. Should he continue to struggle as he did last year, Odor may slide back over when Jung arrives. Solak is not a good defender and his bat is why he is on the team.
- Jonah Heim C: Jose Trevino might get the start because of sentiment. But Heim is a switch hitter and hits righties well.
- Leody Tavernas CF: Leody has lost the leadoff spot during spring training. The plan is for him to retake that leadoff spot at some point this year. But hitting ninth sets the table when the lineup rolls over to the top. Should Taveras be on base, he will garner attention on the base paths.
Kyle Gibson RHP: Gibson has been named the opening day starter for Texas
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Featured Image: The Athletic