Bottom of Dodgers’ projected 2022 lineup is still beastly
As for five-through-nine, this projection feels likely, but you really can’t go wrong here.
5. Justin Turner, 3B
6. Will Smith, C
7. Chris Taylor, 2B
8. AJ Pollock, LF
9. Cody Bellinger, CF
In conclusion: HAHA! What an embarrassment of riches. Legitimately, the rest of the league should be more embarrassed than they currently are.
What minor changes could possibly be made? Defer to Turner, the vet, and move him up to the cleanup spot while sliding Muncy down to split the lefties? “Demote” the veritable team MVP from 2021 and his 36 homers/138 OPS+ to the five-hole for the good of some balance? Sure, we can see it. But beyond that … Cody Bellinger, looking for a resurgent season, is still in the No. 9 hole. Come on now.
Your Opening Day starter, despite a career-high in innings last season, should still be … Walker Buehler, the big right-hander out of Vanderbilt who’s looking for an extension and is going to hit the ground running with a vengeance. No. 21 and Julio Urías might be the only sure things in this rotation right now as Clayton Kershaw continues his rehabilitation, and Kershaw’s proudly deferred to Buehler regardless, so expect those three to open the season in that order.
So all that’s left to determine is … who’s left out by this dominant nine-man crew?