Batting second in the dream 2024 Astros lineup, Yordan Alvarez in LF
At first glance, this decision is going to look a little wonky because playing Yordan in the field isn't always the most sound defensive decision, but should make more sense as we go along. Other than dealing with his own injury in 2023, Alvarez was great once again with a .293/.407/.583 slash line and 31 homers in just 114 games. Yordan simply makes this Houston offense go and not keeping just wouldn't feel right.
Dusty Baker preferred to bat Yordan in the third or fourth spot, However, Dusty has retired and the fact is that you generally want your best hitters to get the most plate appearances possible which means batting them higher in the lineup. There is an argument for batting him at leadoff honestly, but giving deference to Altuve who is an excellent choice as well plays a role with this decision.
One additional upside to putting Yordan at the #2 also allows us to alternate handedness in the lineup. Houston's offense (especially with our new "additions" that are coming up shortly) has enough of both lefties and righties to alternate them without sacrificing much. This makes making bullpen decisions against the lineup much more difficult since we won't have have such large groupings of righties as was the case with Dusty's lineups.