Predicting the Angels Opening Day Lineup.

Updated: March 23, 2017

After it was announced that Luis Valbuena was going to miss at least four to six weeks today due to a hamstring injury, the Angels’ opening day lineup became a lot more easy to predict. C.J. Cron will get the start over Valbuena at first base, now, and after a strong Spring Cron will get the opportunity to prove it wasn’t a fluke and that he’s ready to take that next step in his development. Danny Espinosa, Andrelton Simmons, and Yunel Escobar will round out the infield at second, short stop, and third base, respectively, and Espinosa and Simmons will combine to be one of the best defensive middle infields in all of baseball. Cameron Maybin, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun will be in the outfield from left to right, and Albert Pujols will man the designated hitter spot.

The catcher position may still be up in the air, but it will most likely be Martin Maldonado behind the plate for the majority of the time unless Carlos Perez makes a huge leap in the batter’s box, because as good as Perez is defensively, Maldonado might be even better. It will take an uncharacteristically strong offensive showing from Perez to leap over Maldonado at this point. It appears that Matt Shoemaker will get the call as the Opening Day starter, as Garrett Richards is penciled in to start a game just three days before the season starts. Shoemaker has earned it after being the Halos’ best starter last season and by having a strong Spring Training so far. Richards is going to be slowly eased into regular season action, as well, and will likely be on a pitch count to start the season. The only thing left is the batting order, which should look like this:










The Angels have the potential for a decent lineup, although the second half of that lineup could easily struggle mightily. If everyone is healthy, then they should have strong on-base ability, speed on the base paths, and they won’t strike out often. Those are things that can help an offense avoid slumps, and should lend itself to a consistently decent Angels’ offense. We are right around the corner from regular season action!

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