The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

National League Lineup Analysis 03/31

Lineup analysis is back for the 2024 season. This article series breaks down the most notable news and information from lineup construction around the league. The article also dives into how certain players are performing and how fantasy managers should be reacting. This series will feature both National League and American League editions at least three times a month. Keep reading for the first edition of the National League.

Please note that this article is finalized during the day on Saturday. I will do my best to update information as it comes in later that night.

Ready to make the 2024 MLB season the best yet? Fantrax offers a fantasy baseball league for everyone. Want to get started right away? Then jump into a Best Ball League or a Draft and Hold. Maybe you have an existing league but want the most customizable fantasy baseball platform in existence? Then you definitely need to check out the Fantrax Commissioner! And of course, whether you play roto or points, you can head to the Fantrax Mock Draft Lobby to start your draft prep for the 2024 fantasy baseball season.

Fantasy Baseball Lineup Takeaways: NL Edition

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Johan Rojas drew the Opening Day start in center field
    • After an abysmal postseason and a rough Spring Training, there was some talk about giving Cristian Pache a chance out there
    • The team decided to keep rolling with Rojas who provides elite defense in center field in hopes that his bat will continue developing
    • Rojas has as much speed as any player in baseball and could be an elite base-stealing option for fantasy teams. The best part is that he is widely available still
  • Nick Castellanos continues to bat toward the bottom of the lineup
    • Castellanos settled into the bottom third late last season and the Phillies are going to continue riding that
    • He still holds plenty of upside in a deep lineup
    • The real boost goes to Alec Bohm who is batting fifth for the Phillies
    • If Bohm, can tap into more game power, his fantasy value could skyrocket
  • Brandon Marsh appears likely to platoon
    • While Rojas is going to play center field every day, Marsh is likely to sit against left-handed pitchers
    • While Marsh is on the bench, Whit Merrifield is likely to get the majority of playing time in left field
    • Merrifield is not fantasy-relevant at this point but is an injury away from becoming a regular player in a great lineup

Miami Marlins

  • Nick Gordon and Avisail Garcia are platooning in left field
    • Gordon came over from the Twins this past off-season and appears in line to get a large share of the playing time
    • He has plus speed but has failed to show the ability to consistently impact the baseball
    • I am not looking to roster Gordon or Garcia
  • Bryan De La Cruz is batting in the middle of the lineup
    • De La Cruz hit a career-high 19 home runs last season and has the raw tools to be an impactful fantasy asset
    • A desirable spot in the lineup further boosts his fantasy value making him one of the more underrated targets for deep leagues
    • Batting directly behind Josh Bell and Luis Arraez should be ideal for his RBI opportunities
  • Tim Anderson is batting seventh in the lineup
    • After the trade of Jon Berti, there is not a lot of competition for Anderson to fend off in an attempt to revive his career
    • Anderson was a staple for fantasy managers much of the past decade but the wheels fell off last season. A move to Miami’s home ballpark is unlikely to change that much
    • That being said, he is likely to be in the lineup every day and is at least worth keeping on your radars

Atlanta Braves

  • Michael Harris II is out of the nine-hole!
    • Harris has been stuck toward the bottom of the Braves lineup over the past two seasons but is seemingly in a good position to move up
    • He hit sixth on Opening Day although I would expect him to bat lower against left-handed pitchers
    • Harris could be in for a huge breakout season and batting behind Olson, Riley, and Ozuna is going to provide a ton of RBI opportunities
  • Jarred Kelenic is going to get a chance against right-handed pitching
    • The narrative around Kelenic this off-season has gone from “excited for his fresh start” to, “he is never going to put it all together”
    • He is going to be on the bench against lefties, but batting ninth against righties puts him right in front of Acuna
    • The prospect pedigree surrounding Kelenic makes him worth keeping on your watch list just in case
  • Sean Murphy landed on the IL
    • After an off-season of hype surrounding Murphy securing the full-time job, Murphy is now going to be out of the lineup for some time
    • With Murphy out, d’Arnaud is going to get regular playing time at catcher
    • d’Arnaud has had moments of fantasy relevance in the past, but now 35, he is likely no more than a stremaer in shallow leagues

Washington Nationals

  • Nick Senzel quickly landed on the IL
    • A tragic injury after making the Opening Day roster, Senzel is forecasted to miss significant time with a finger injury
    • With Senzel out, Trey Lipscomb is up from Triple-A and appears likely to get a chance to prove himself at the Major League level
    • Lipscomb has legitimate power, but an aggressive approach could get him in trouble at the Major League level. He is not somebody I am targeting
  • Eddie Rosario is playing center field
    • Rosario has hit seventh in the lineup each of the first two days and is at least going to be playing against right-handed pitching
    • With Atlanta last season, Rosario hit 21 home runs and has some fantasy appeal in deeper leagues even with a rough lineup around him
  • Jesse Winker is batting third in the lineup against right-handed pitchers
    • Even after a down season, the Nationals are still giving Winker a chance in the middle of the order
    • Winker hit 24 home runs with a .305 average back in 2021 and is capable of putting together a fantasy-relevant season
    • I am not banking on him reviving his career

New York Mets

  • For anybody hoping the Mets would give Tyrone Taylor some run to start the season, you are going to be disappointed
    • The Opening Day start went to DJ Stewart seemingly putting Taylor on the short side of a platoon
    • Taylor has flashed significant power/speed upside throughout his career but has never put it all together
    • Stewart profiles to draw the majority of starts against right-handed pitchers so long as he continues to hit home runs. If not, Taylor could work his way into the lineup more frequently
    • Both players are likely to head to the bench once JD Martinez joins the team
  • Brett Baty appears to be platooning
    • This one is disappointing for a former top prospect who is trying to prove himself at the Major League level
    • Baty has plenty of upside, but his value is capped if the Mets are going to sit him against left-handed pitching
    • Zack Short entered the lineup against the lefty on Saturday

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

  • Christopher Morel is batting fourth in the lineup
    • For as much variance as Morel has, new management seems to be prioritizing getting Morel in a position to succeed
    • If Morel improves his hit tool even slightly he could become an elite fantasy asset
    • He has played DH and third base through two games and is likely to maintain multi-positional eligibility beyond the 2024 season
  • Yan Gomes is still the primary catcher
    • Some off-season buzz had Miguel Amaya as the catcher, but the team is still opting for the veteran backstop here
    • Gomes is not going to set the world on fire, but he is a reliable asset for those in deep two-catcher leagues
    • Amaya is not worth holding onto at this point

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Alec Burleson is on the strong side of the DH platoon
    • Burleson is getting extra at-bats with Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson, and Tommy Edman on the IL
    • He has put up exceptional Minor League numbers but has struggled in each of his opportunities at the Major League level
    • This could be the last chance for him to prove that he is a Major League player. If he struggles, Ivan Herrera or Matt Carpenter could see their playing time increase
  • Victor Scott II is fast
    • Scott is getting a chance with the Major League team thanks to all of the injuries and is already showing off his elite speed
    • After stealing 94 bases last season, Scott stole one his first time on base
    • He is batting eighth in the lineup right now and will need to hit in order to earn consistent at-bats. The speed has obvious fantasy appeal but there are concerns over how his bat will translate at the Major League level. Now might be a good time to sell high
  • Brendan Donovan is leading off
    • The utility man is in an everyday role right now with an enviable lineup spot
    • He does not hold much value in the fantasy community, but batting ahead of Arenado and Goldschmidt is worth something
    • He is a nice buy-low option

Milwaukee Brewers

  • After off-season hype, Sal Frelick appears to be platooning
    • Being excluded from the Opening Day lineup is never a good sign for playing time projection and that is what we see with Frelick
    • Even with Garrett Mitchell out, Frelick is likely to only be in the lineup against righties and is unlikely to gain infield eligibility as quickly with his primary focus being in the outfield. Brice Turang also took a seat with a lefty on the mound.
    • Blake Perkins drew the Opening Day start in the outfield but is not worth rostering
  • Jackson Chourio is not just batting at the bottom of the lineup
    • So many top prospects get stuck at the bottom of the order, but Chourio was batting leadoff on Opening Day
    • Chourio hit 22 home runs and stole 44 bases last season. He has a chance to be a league-winning type of player
  • Gary Sanchez could have significant fantasy value
    • Sanchez was a part of the Opening Day lineup as the DH and could continue to fill that role throughout the season
    • This information is relevant, especially in two-catcher leagues where his ability to play 5x a week could provide significant value
    • Sanchez is not the player he once was, but he hit 19 home runs in 267 plate appearances last season (a 43/600 pace)
    • Jake Bauers is the other primary option to DH when a tough righty is on the mound

Cincinnati Reds

  • An injury to Matt McLain and suspension for Noelvi Marte have shaken up the Reds’ lineup
    • Nick Martini drew the start on Opening Day at DH and crushed two long home runs to start the season
    • Martini figures to only be in the lineup against right-handed pitchers but demonstrated significant power upside in flashes last season
    • He is not a player I am targeting, but is worth keeping your eye on
  • The notable news from the Opening Day lineup was Will Benson hitting second
    • Benson is coming off a second half where he slashed .268/.351/.500 with a 123 wRC+ and has earned the trust of his manager
    • There is significant platoon risk here along with some variance due to a high strikeout rate, but Benson should not be overlooked in the fantasy community
    • Benson moved down in the lineup with a lefty on the mound and Steer moved up to second
  • Jonathan India is batting leadoff
    • After an off-season filled with doubts over India’s spot on this team, he is in a prime lineup spot to start the season
    • India is a great pick for those who were able to draft him late and should continue to be a reliable fantasy option throughout the 2024 season

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Jack Suwinski is not playing against left-handed pitchers
    • Suwinski was penciled in by many as an everyday player for the Pirates but sat against lefties each of the first two games
    • He hit just .200 against left-handed pitchers last season and the team seems to have already given up on him developing into an everyday player capping his fantasy value
    • Connor Joe and Edward Olivares are the two players who figure to get into the lineup against left-handed pitching
    • Olivares is off to a hot start and is somebody worth targeting based on his upside
  • Henry Davis is going to gain catcher eligibility quickly
    • With Yasmani Grandal on the IL, Davis is the primary catcher in Pittsburgh and will increase his fantasy value with this eligibility
    • The former first-round pick has been batting fifth or sixth the first couple of games and has a lot of power upside for the 2024 season
  • Rowdy Tellez is also in a platoon
    • Tellez is likely to play the majority of games at first base but is not worth rostering in his current playing time situation

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • An already great lineup is even more intimidating this season with Shohei Ohtani joining the team
    • Ohtani has slotted into the second spot in the lineup between Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman
    • Freeman and Betts are off to incredible starts both state-side and in Korea.
    • This is the best 1-3 in baseball and it really is not close
  • When in the lineup, Gavin Lux is batting ninth
    • 2024 feels like a make-or-break year for the former top prospect who is now 26 years old
    • He owns a career 98 wRC+ and has never really seen his game power develop
    • The leash could be short for Lux with Miguel Vargas and others down in the Minor Leagues looking for their shot. Lux also figures to sit against tough lefties in favor of Miguel Rojas
  • James Outman and Jason Heyward also took a seat with a lefty on the mound
    • Heyward figures to be in a platoon, but Outman is worth monitoring
    • Chris Taylor and Kike Hernandez both entered the lineup against a lefty but are not fantasy relevant

San Diego Padres

  • Jackson Merrill making the Opening Day Roster was exciting news
    • Merrill has been batting ninth and playing center field for San Diego. He figures to get regular playing time at the Major League level so long as he is performing
    • One critique of Merrill early in his professional career has been the lack of game power. Well, Merrill is still jsut 20 years old and has been crushing baseballs in the early small sample size
    • Merrill has a plus hit tool and plus speed and could find himself moving up in San Diego’s lineup if his power continues to develop
    • Jose Azocar entered the lineup with a lefty on the mound which is something worth monitoring moving forward
  • Not sure anybody projected Tyler Wade to be on the strong side of a platoon to start the 2024 season
    • With Manny Machado physically unable to play third base for the time being, Tyler Wade has been getting the starts against righties batting eighth
    • Wade does not have much fantasy upside in terms of offensive ability, but he does have a lot of speed. If he continues to play, he could be an interesting short-term add in deep leagues where you are desperate for speed.
    • Graham Pauley also made the Opening Day roster but has been on the bench behind Wade and is an option to get sent back to Triple-A. Not really sure why he is up

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Blaze Alexander made the Opening Day roster
    • Alexander has put up strong numbers in the Minor Leagues but comes with some serious caution flags. He has posted very high swinging strike rates throughout his professional career and is likely to struggle with his strikeout rate at the Major League level
    • He appears to be on the short side of a platoon with Joc Pederson early on but has the defensive versatility to play multiple positions
  • The team appears comfortable giving Alek Thomas a chance to play everyday
    • Thomas has been batting eighth in the lineup early on but most importantly playing against a lefty on Opening Day
    • After breaking out for four home runs in the 2024 playoffs, Thomas has some fantasy appeal that is important for fantasy managers to monitor
    • He could be a threat for a 15/15 season if he continues receiving regular playing time
  • The whole D-Backs team is off to a hot start but Eugenio Suarez is particularly hot
    • Suarez was an unlucky hitter last season but is off to a hot start in his new home
    • If he is sitting on your waiver wire in shallow leagues, he is worth adding

San Francisco Giants

  • Nick Ahmed won the starting shortstop job
    • Many expected Marco Luciano to be handed the job out of Spring Training, but San Francisco preferred Ahmed’s defensive abilities
    • Ahmed has been batting at the bottom of the lineup so far and does not offer much fantasy upside
    • Luciano is a stash option for those chasing upside despite his struggles last season
  • Mike Yastrzemski landed on the paternity list
    • With Yaz out of the lineup, Luis Matos was quickly recalled from Triple-A
    • Matos reportedly almost made the team but is not expected to remain with the team once Yaz returns
    • The Giants’ outfield appears set with Conforto, Lee, Yaz, and Wade all receiving playing time out there

Colorado Rockies

  • Brendan Rodgers is batting fourth in the lineup
    • Why? I have no idea, but the team still is showing belief in Rodgers and he remains in line to receive everyday playing time
    • Rodgers hit .354 in Spring Training but has never shown much fantasy upside
    • He has yet to steal a base in his Major League career and should not be expected to hit more than 15 home runs. He is not worth picking up
  • Elehuris Montero is being given a chance to prove himself
    • In what might be his last chance, Montero is playing every day in the eighth spot in the lineup
    • Montero has massive power, but until he can lower his strikeout rate, he is not worth adding in fantasy formats
Fantrax is one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites in the fantasy sports industry, and we’re not stopping any time soon. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.