Here’s a look at how the Houston Astros starting lineup could look this season.
As we wait with bated breath for Friday’s regular season opener, we do have a pretty good idea how the Houston Astros starting lineup is going to look under new manager Dusty Baker. The two exhibition games in Kansas City, which went quite well, gave us a nice glimpse.
George Springer will continue to lead off, so there’s no change there. But Baker appears to shuffle things up a bit after that, starting with putting Jose Altuve in the second spot. Altuve has hit there before, alternating between second and third last season with Michael Brantley. It looks to be the right spot for him.
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However, Baker has mixed things up by moving Alex Bregman to the third spot and Brantley to cleanup. This could be an effort to get Bregman’s high power, high on-base percentage bat an extra plate appearance every so often. There’s also no need to have the right-hander sit between the two lefties in Brantley and Yordan Alvarez given Alvarez’s absence.
Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa hit fifth and sixth, respectively, and that could well continue. Personally, I suspect Correa may outperform Gurriel this year and thus could induce Baker to flip them at some point. For now, though, they’re likely to stay put.
Josh Reddick will likely hit seventh on days he starts. Against left-handed pitchers, it looks like Aledmys Diaz will be the DH and hit eighth, with the catcher (either Martin Maldonado or Dustin Garneau) hitting ninth.
On days when Kyle Tucker DHs, it looks like he may hit ninth with the catcher hitting eighth. That’s what Baker did on Tuesday with the left-handed Garrett Stubbs getting the start at DH. Obviously there will be variations when players get days off and part-time players get a start, but this looks to be the primary order that Baker will use this season.