Phillies' opening day lineup looks deep and balanced


You don't realize how much you miss seeing a lineup every day until you have to go nine months without one.

Here is the Phillies' opening day lineup against the Marlins for the 7 p.m. game on NBC Sports Philadelphia:

1. Andrew McCutchen, LF
2. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
3. Bryce Harper, RF
4. J.T. Realmuto, C
5. Didi Gregorius, SS
6. Jean Segura, 3B
7. Jay Bruce, DH
8. Scott Kingery, 2B
9. Roman Quinn, CF

Aaron Nola makes his third consecutive opening day start.

Right-handed and left-handed hitters alternate from the 2 through 8 spots in the lineup with switch-hitting Roman Quinn at the bottom. This lineup construction will be a challenge for other managers to find a platoon advantage against, especially with the new three-batter rule for relievers.

Realmuto is in the cleanup spot, where he started only 10 games last season.

Third is where Harper has spent the majority of his career, 57% of his plate appearances to be specific. He's had a ton of success batting third and fourth as opposed to hitting .250/.331/.444 in the two-hole.

McCutchen is back, more than 400 days after tearing his ACL in San Diego.

There is plenty of balance in this lineup. Bruce will be the usual DH against right-handed starting pitchers. The Phillies face one tonight in Miami's Sandy Alcantara, who had a solid 2019 season despite leading the NL with 14 losses. He had a 3.88 ERA in 197⅓ innings and threw two shutouts. In four career starts against the Phillies, Alcantara is 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA.

The Phillies' lineup went off on opening day last year. McCutchen led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run, Maikel Franco hit a three-run shot in the sixth inning and Hoskins hit a grand slam in the seventh after an intentional walk to Harper. Only four Phillies are at the same position as they were last opening day: Harper, Hoskins, Realmuto and McCutchen. Gregorius makes his Phillies debut, as does manager Joe Girardi.

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