A.J. Hinch Reveals New-Look Opening Day Lineup

Devon Platana
Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch has revealed a new-look Opening Day lineup.
Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch has revealed a new-look Opening Day lineup. / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Opening Day of the new MLB season finally arrived Thursday, with the Detroit Tigers set to make their 2022 debut Friday afternoon against the Chicago White Sox. Tigers fans are excited to see how their club performs this year, however, some might be caught off guard by a change to the season-opening lineup.

It was expected that outfielder Akil Baddoo would bat lead-off after doing so in 2021 and this year's Spring Training. However, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch has since revealed that recently acquired OF Austin Meadows has caused the Opening Day strategy to change.

Tigers Opening Day Lineup

Rightfielder Robbie Grossman will assume the lead-off duties against the White Sox, whereas Meadows will bat second, bouncing Baddoo all the way down to the No. 7 spot.

The Tigers acquired Meadows on April 4 when they traded infielder Isaac Paredes and a competitive balance round B pick to the Tampa Bay Rays. The 26-year-old finished 20th in American League MVP voting last year after recording 27 home runs, 106 RBIs and a .234 batting average.

Even with Meadows' recent success, it's understandable if Tigers fans are upset about Baddoo moving down in the order. The speedy 23-year-old recorded eight HRs, 33 RBIs and 11 stolen bases while slashing .256/.310/.401 in 64 games from the lead-off position last year, which translates to 20 HRs and 83 RBIs in a full season.

Nevertheless, Baddoo did have some success in 14 appearances (34 at-bats) at the No. 7 spot in 2021. Although it's a small sample size, seven of his 10 hits were for an extra-base while his .294 batting average suggests that he could have long-term success there as well.

It'll be interesting to see if the Tigers' new-look lineup helps them score an Opening Day victory over the White Sox. As it stands, FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds list Detroit as +116 moneyline underdogs.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.