Dodgers: Projected Opening Day Starting Lineup

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Mar 7, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (30) looks on against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (30) looks on against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 4, 2017; Mesa, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson (31) reacts during an at bat during a spring training game against the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park. The Cubs beat the Dodger 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports /
  1. Joc Pederson, Center Field

Pederson has solidified himself as one of the Dodgers better defenders on the team. Unfortunately, unlike his defense, his ability to put the ball in play hasn’t quite made the leap from the minors.

The reason why Pederson would likely hit in the 8th spot is because he strikes out a team-high 27.3%. While Pederson has been gradually improving his strikeout rate each season, he still has ways to go to get to where the Dodgers want him to be.

So hitting in front of the pitcher is a great chance to do that because hitters in the 8th spot generally see more fastballs than breaking balls.

Statistically, that should benefit Pederson as he typically owns fastballs. Pederson has all positive pitch value splits when it comes to four-seam fastballs (.78), two-seam (4.16), cutter (.09), splitter (5.62), and sinker (2.11) ball pitches. Where Pederson struggles to make contact is against breaking ball pitches (-.18) against sliders and -.82 against curveballs.

While his contact rate is alarming, it’s not the end of the world. Pederson was third on the team in OBP (.352) and wOBA (.360). Pederson made some adjustments to his stance this Spring so we hope this leads to more contact. After all, we know what type of power he has.

Projected Stat Line:

.240/27 Home Runs/ 65 RBI/ 60 Runs Scored

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