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MLB Opening Day 2017: What is your ideal Tigers starting lineup?

Opening Day is drawing nearer, but the lineup isn’t much clearer.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With Opening Day just around the corner, the anticipation of real baseball being played is growing. The sights and sounds of the ballgame are like no other. Of course, that also means that the choices that will shape the Detroit Tigers’ season are going to be made soon, and that includes the batting lineup.

While many fans were expecting spring training to clear up some of the questions about who to roster during the regular season, it really has done the opposite. Subpar performances from Mikie Mahtook and Tyler Collins has left the center field competition wide open, and JaCoby Jones has done everything in his power to take the spot. However, there is also talk of leaving him in the minors in order to further his development and extend club control.

This issue was complicated even further by J.D. Martinez’s recent foot injury. While it will not keep him out for too long (hopefully), he also will not be healthy in time for the season opener.

There is also the matter of who to bat second. Justin Upton was anointed the two-hole hitter at the beginning of the 2016 season, and promptly had the worst slump of his career, leaving a bad taste in the mouth of most fans. J.D. Martinez was there for a stint, but he is far from an ideal candidate, even when healthy. Despite the howlings of sabermetrically-incined fans to give Miguel Cabrera a chance, Nick Castellanos has all but been given the spot, and he will likely open there.

Finally, there are multiple opinions on who should be the cleanup hitter. Victor Martinez has traditionally hit in the four-hole, but he is on the decline. However, with the other Martinez out, is he still the best candidate for the spot or should someone else be given a chance there?

According to the Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis tool, the ideal lineup on Opening Day, using Steamer’s projected 2017 stats and scoring 4.829 runs per game, would look like this:

Miguel Cabrera
Justin Upton
Ian Kinsler
Nick Castellanos
Victor Martinez
Mikie Mahtook
Tyler Collins
James McCann
Jose Iglesias

All problems these problems need solutions, so why not give it a shot? Armchair managing is one of the many pastimes of avid baseball fans, so indulge yourself, and try to come up with the ideal lineup. Post a comment with the nine you would bat, along with rationale. We look forward to reading your responses!

Opening Day 2017 Preview!

Nai-post ni Bless You Boys: For Detroit Tigers Fans noong Miyerkules, Marso 29, 2017