Batting third in the dream 2024 Astros lineup, Alex Bregman at 3B
While Altuve hasn't shown signs of slowing down just yet, that hasn't exactly been the case with Alex Bregman the last couple of years. His peak in 2018 and 2019 was insane where he was hitting close to .300 and averaging around 35 homers a season, but he is still an .800ish OPS hitter who gets on base at a high clip.
This is the spot that feels like it is in the most flux. If Bregman declines next season, there is certainly a chance that moving him further down the lineup would be the correct choice. However, his ability to get on base, hit for some power, and the fact that he is the next best righty for our "alternate handedness" plan gives him the edge here.
Putting Bregman at the third spot does go against the prevailing wisdom that you want your best hitters hitting higher in the lineup and, in this dream Astros lineup, there are 2-3 hitters that could end up being better. However, the difference shouldn't be huge enough to overcome the strategic value of constructing the lineup so that opposing teams can go hunting for favorable bullpen matchups with a big emphasis on "shouldn't".