We are less than a week from the Opening Day and it’s time to put out our final roster prediction. I got together with Chris Halicke of Sports Illustrated and Alex Plinck of Dallas Sports Fanatic to do a series of predictions for final roster spots. We did one for the Rangers Nation Podcast first. Then we got back together for another try on the Dallas Sports Fanatic Podcast. Our final roster predictions came on North Texas Nine Podcast last night.

With that all done, it is time for my final roster prediction and opening day lineup to be put in writing. This season MLB will allow 26 man rosters. I have broken down my 26 man roster by each position with backups. Starters will be in bold.

PITCHING STAFF

Rotation (7)

Kyle Gibson RHP, Kohei Arihara RHP, Jordan Lyles RHP/Taylor Hearn LHP, Mike Foltynwicz RHP, Dane Dunning RHP/Wes Benjamin LHP

* Notes: Chris Woodward has said that in two rotation spots there will be tandem teams, that he would like to keep right and left handed if possible. They are not considered starters in my book.*

Bullpen (6)

Matt Bush RHP, Ian Kennedy RHP, John King LHP, Kyle Cody RHP, Brett de Geus RHP, Josh Sborz RHP

Notes: relief pitchers are not starters so no bold here. There will likely be no closer at first as Woodward uses a closer by committee until things settle in. That means Bush and Kennedy likely get the 9th for now. My podcast prediction was Hunter Wood, but it was announced that Kyle Cody has made the team.

POSTION PLAYERS

Catcher

Jose Trevino, Jonah Heim

Notes: Trevino may be considered the starter here, but Heim is young and will probably get close to half the starts. I think the Rangers see him as a potential everyday player.

First Base

Ronald Guzman, Nate Lowe

Notes: There is no clear cut starter as of today. Both Guzman and Lowe have had good springs. However, with all things being equal, Guzman is the better defender.

Second Base

Nick Solak, Charlie Culberson

Notes: Holt has made the team. Culberson is a better shortstop and second baseman. Keeping Culberson means  I am going with only four outfielders.

Third Base

Rougned Odor, Brock Holt

Notes: Give Odor credit, he earned a job for the first time in 4 years. He has looked good at third base. But this is temporary job until Josh Jung gets here.

Shortstop

Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, Charlie Culberson

Notes: Holt has made the team. Sticking with Culberson is a risk n my part. Injuries are the only reason both might make opening day roster. Keep an eye on Andy Ibanez. He might play the spoiler.

Left Field

David Dahl, Eli White

Center Field

Leody Taveras, Eli White

Right Field

Joey Gallo, Eli White

Notes: Eli White has made this team and may have a bigger role than expected. He has been really good this spring. Don’t forget, he was a infielder coming up. That means if his bat continues to produce, he has a lot of spots he could move.

DH

Nate Lowe, Charlie Culberson, Ronald Guzman,

Notes: With Khris Davis injured, a right handed option to DH lies in the spot of Charlie Culberson. Although Eli White is right handed, if he is in the lineup it won’t be at DH. He is too valuable a defender to only hit. That is why Culberson is the right handed option. Lowe is not a goo defender as Guzman, but will be in the lineup against right handers.

OPENING DAY LINEUP

Rangers will most likely face right hander Brad Keller of the Royals.

  1. Isaiah Kiner-Falefa SS
  2. David Dahl LF
  3. Joey Gallo RF
  4. Nick Solak 2B
  5. Nate Lowe DH
  6. Rougned Odor 3B
  7. Ronald Guzman 1B
  8. Jose Trevino C
  9. Leody Taveras CF

Starting Pitcher Kyle Gibson (Already Announced)

That is final prediction and I am sticking with it.

Nerd Out!

Featured Image: Elaine Thompson AP (Kyle Cody)

 

 

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