MLB 2016 Predictions: Ranking Top 15 Predicted Opening Day Lineups

It’s Spring Training time! Pitchers and catchers are reporting, and I’m feeling like making predictions and rankings lists. Here’s how the top lineups stack up, with projected WAR (wins above replacement) next to each player’s name according to Fangraphs’ FANS and Depth Charts projections (note: Dexter Fowler is presumed to be an Oriole and Ian Desmond a Rockie in this exercise):

  1. Toronto Blue Jays (32 projected WAR):
    1. Michael Saunders LF  (1.3 WAR)
    2. Josh Donaldson 3B (7.4 WAR)
    3. Jose Bautista RF (4.8 WAR)
    4. Edwin Encarnacion DH (3.6 WAR)
    5. Troy Tulowitzki SS (5.0 WAR)
    6. Chris Colabello 1B (0.5 WAR)
    7. Russell Martin C (4.4 WAR)
    8. Kevin Pillar CF (3.5 WAR)
    9. Ryan Goins 2B (1.5 WAR)
  2. Chicago Cubs (33.2 projected WAR)
    1. Jason Heyward CF (5.5 WAR)
    2. Ben Zobrist 2B (3.3 WAR)
    3. Kris Bryant 3B (6.5 WAR)
    4. Anthony Rizzo 1B (5.5 WAR)
    5. Kyle Schwarber LF (3.1 WAR)
    6. Jorge Soler RF (2.2 WAR)
    7. Miguel Montero C (2.2 WAR)
    8. Pitcher
    9. Addison Russell SS (4.9 WAR)
  3. Houston Astros (27 projected WAR)
    1. Jose Altuve 2B (4.3 WAR)
    2. George Springer RF (4.8 WAR)
    3. Carlos Correa SS (6.3 WAR)
    4. Carlos Gomez CF (3.9 WAR)
    5. Colby Rasmus LF (2.0 WAR)
    6. Evan Gattis DH (0.5 WAR)
    7. Luis Valbuena 3B (2.0 WAR)
    8. Jon Singleton 1B (1.4 WAR)
    9. Jason Castro C (1.8 WAR)
  4. Boston Red Sox (26.4 projected WAR)
    1. Mookie Betts RF (5.1 WAR)
    2. Dustin Pedoia 2B (4.0 WAR)
    3. Xander Bogaerts SS (4.7 WAR)
    4. David Ortiz DH (2.3 WAR)
    5. Hanley Ramirez 1B (1.3 WAR)
    6. Pablo Sandoval 3B (1.2 WAR)
    7. Rusney Castillo LF (1.6 WAR)
    8. Blake Swihart C (2.3 WAR)
    9. Jackie Bradley Jr CF (3.9 WAR)
  5. Detroit Tigers (29.3 projected WAR)
    1. Ian Kinsler 2B (3.6 WAR)
    2. Justin Upton LF (3.9 WAR)
    3. Miguel Cabrera 1B (6.1 WAR)
    4. JD Martinez RF (4.8 WAR)
    5. Victor Martinez DH (0.9 WAR)
    6. Nick Castellanos 3B (2.5 WAR)
    7. Cameron Maybin CF (1.7 WAR)
    8. James McCann C (2.2 WAR)
    9. Jose Iglesias SS (3.6 WAR)
  6. Texas Rangers (21.9 projected WAR)
    1. Delino DeShields CF (3.4 WAR)
    2. Shin Soo Choo RF (2.9 WAR)
    3. Adrian Beltre 3B (4.0 WAR)
    4. Prince Fielder DH (2.2 WAR)
    5. Mitch Moreland 1B (2.0 WAR)
    6. Josh Hamilton LF (0.5 WAR)
    7. Rougned Odor 2B (3.1 WAR)
    8. Elvis Andrus SS (2.0 WAR)
    9. Robinson Chirinos C (1.8 WAR)
  7. Baltimore Orioles (27.5 projected WAR)
    1. Dexter Fowler RF (3.0 WAR)
    2. Manny Machado 3B (6.7 WAR)
    3. Adam Jones CF (4.4 WAR)
    4. Chris Davis 1B (4.1 WAR)
    5. Matt Wieters C (3.0 WAR)
    6. Mark Trumbo DH (0.4 WAR)
    7. Jonathan Schoop 2B (2.6 WAR)
    8. JJ Hardy SS (1.6 WAR)
    9. Hyun-Soo Kim LF (1.7 WAR)
  8. Kansas City Royals (27 projected WAR)
    1. Alcides Escobar SS (1.8 WAR)
    2. Mike Moustakas 3B (3.9 WAR)
    3. Lorenzo Cain CF (6.0 WAR)
    4. Eric Hosmer 1B (3.3 WAR)
    5. Kendrys Morales DH (2.1 WAR)
    6. Alex Gordon LF (4.7 WAR)
    7. Salvador Perez C (3.4 WAR)
    8. Omar Infante 2B (0.0 WAR)
    9. Jarrod Dyson RF (1.8 WAR)
  9. Washington Nationals (21.2 projected WAR)
    1. Ben Revere CF (1.4 WAR)
    2. Anthony Rendon 3B (4.5 WAR)
    3. Bryce Harper RF (7.7 WAR)
    4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B (1.5 WAR)
    5. Jayson Werth LF (2.o WAR)
    6. Daniel Murphy 2B (1.9 WAR)
    7. Wilson Ramos C (1.7 WAR)
    8. Danny Espinosa SS (0.5 WAR)
    9. Pitcher
  10. Los Angeles Dodgers (21.7 projected WAR)
    1. Howie Kendrick 2B (1.9 WAR)
    2. Corey Seager SS (2.9 WAR)
    3. Justin Turner 3B (2.3 WAR)
    4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B (2.8 WAR)
    5. Yasiel Puig RF (4.4 WAR)
    6. Andre Ethier LF (1.6 WAR)
    7. Yasmani Grandal C (2.5 WAR)
    8. Joc Pederson CF (3.3 WAR)
    9. Pitcher
  11. San Francisco Giants (31.2 projected WAR)
    1. Denard Span CF (3.3 WAR)
    2. Joe Panik 2B (4.7 WAR)
    3. Matt Duffy 3B (3.9 WAR)
    4. Buster Posey C (6.5 WAR)
    5. Hunter Pence RF (4.1 WAR)
    6. Brandon Belt 1B (4.5 WAR)
    7. Brandon Crawford SS (4.2 WAR)
    8. Angel Pagan LF (0.0 WAR)
    9. Pitcher
  12. Colorado Rockies (16.2 projected WAR)
    1. Charlie Blackmon CF (2.1 WAR)
    2. DJ Lemahieu 2B (1.9 WAR)
    3. Nolan Arenado 3B (4.6 WAR)
    4. Carlos Gonzalez RF (2.0 WAR)
    5. Ian Desmond SS (2.5 WAR)
    6. Mark Reynolds 1B (0.8 WAR)
    7. Gerardo Parra LF (0.6 WAR)
    8. Nick Hundley C (1.7 WAR)
    9. Pitcher
  13. Arizona Diamondbacks (19.6 projected WAR)
    1. AJ Pollock CF (5.6 WAR)
    2. Jake Lamb 3B (2.2 WAR)
    3. Paul Goldschmidt 1B (6.4 WAR)
    4. David Peralta RF (2.6 WAR)
    5. Welington Castillo C (1.9 WAR)
    6. Yasmany Tomas LF (-0.2 WAR)
    7. Chris Owings 2B (0.2 WAR)
    8. Jean Segura SS (0.9 WAR)
    9. Pitcher
  14. New York Mets (27.8 projected WAR)
    1. Curtis Granderson RF (3.6 WAR)
    2. David Wright 3B (3.3 WAR)
    3. Yoenis Cespedes CF (4.0 WAR)
    4. Lucas Duda 1B (3.0 WAR)
    5. Michael Conforto LF (4.4 WAR)
    6. Neil Walker 2B (2.9 WAR)
    7. Travis d’Arnaud C (4.5 WAR)
    8. Asdrubal Cabrera SS (2.1 WAR)
    9. Pitcher
  15. Minnesota Twins (20.9 projected WAR)
    1. Byron Buxton CF (2.7 WAR)
    2. Brian Dozier 2B (3.5 WAR)
    3. Joe Mauer 1B (1.5 WAR)
    4. Miguel Sano RF (4.3 WAR)
    5. Trevor Plouffe 3B (2.7 WAR)
    6. Byung-Ho Park DH (1.9 WAR)
    7. Eddie Rosario LF (2.2 WAR)
    8. John Ryan Murphy C (1.1 WAR)
    9. Eduardo Escobar SS (1.0 WAR)

Just missed: Yankees, Angels, Cardinals, Pirates, White Sox

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