Dodgers lineup for Shohei Ohtani's debut puts the full force of LA's hitters on field

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers / Masterpress/GettyImages
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This is not a drill: Shohei Ohtani makes his Dodgers debut today, just a few short hours from now. It's the moment we've all been not-so-patiently waiting for, teased by videos of Ohtani working out, hitting bombs during BP, and messing around with his teammates at Dodgers camp.

Ohtani's been recovering from a UCL tear in his right elbow and subsequent surgery since September of last year, so the Dodgers have rightfully been hesitant to rush him into anything, but the wait is finally over. And it doesn't stop there: today, Ohtani — tomorrow, Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

The Dodgers released their starting lineup for their 12:05 PM PST game against the White Sox, and we'll see Ohtani bat second, sandwiched between fellow MVP candidates Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. But that's not all — we'll also see the closest equivalent to a regular season lineup that we've gotten so far during spring training.

Dodgers starting lineup for Shohei Ohtani's LA debut (February 27, 2024)

Player

Position

Mookie Betts (R)

2B

Shohei Ohtani (L)

DH

Freddie Freeman (L)

1B

Will Smith (R)

C

Max Muncy (L)

3B

Teoscar Hernández (R)

LF

Jason Heyward (L)

RF

Miguel Rojas (R)

SS

Jose Ramos (R)

CF

Bobby Miller

RHP

This lineup, from hitters 1-7, looks startlingly close to some early lineup projections that were swirling around after Ohtani and Teoscar Hernández were signed. Betts was pretty much always a lock for leadoff, where he hit during all of his appearances in 2023, but there's still room to toy around with configurations further down. Ohtani and Freeman may flip-flop at 2 and 3 in future spring games, and the same could be said for Hernández and Heyward at 6 and 7 before the Dodgers need to finalize anything for Opening Day.

Miguel Rojas and non-roster invitee Jose Ramos will bring up the rear, where James Outman and Gavin Lux will likely hit during the season. Ramos, the Dodgers' No. 19 prospect, is in his third year at Dodgers spring training and has been doing well so far. Over four games, he's hitting .500 with a home run and three RBI. Bobby Miller, getting the start for LA, will also make his first spring training appearance since 2022.

However, all eyes will be on Ohtani — the Dodgers' $700 million man. Fingers are crossed for him to take Freeman's lead and put a first-pitch fastball over the fence.

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