CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Detroit Tigers have released their starting lineup for their first game of the 2020 season against the Cincinnati Reds.
Matt Boyd will make his first Opening Day start after establishing himself as the team’s ace in 2019. Boyd is looking to build off of last year’s 238-strikeout performance while doing a better job keeping the ball in the yard.
He’ll also showcase the curveball he worked on this offseason in hopes it will make him less predictable with the slider and fastball.
The starting lineup is the one most expected:
- Niko Goodrum, SS
- Jonathan Schoop, 2B
- Miguel Cabrera, DH
- C.J. Cron, 1B
- Christin Stewart, LF
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B
- Cameron Maybin, RF
- Austin Romine, C
- JaCoby Jones, CF
Schoop, Cron, Maybin and Romine are the new faces brought in to overhaul the worst offense in MLB last season. All four bring some power to the table but aren’t considered definite high-end bats.
Cabrera hopes to bounce back from perhaps his worst offensive season ever, while Stewart and Candelario need to establish themselves as pieces of the team’s future.
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Jones and Goodrum took positive steps forward at the plate in 2019, but they need to do so again to become plus offensive players.
Their first test will be a difficult one, as right-hander Sonny Gray takes the mound for the Reds.
Gray was phenomenal last season, striking out 205 batters in 175.1 innings while posting a 3.42 FIP and 1.08 WHIP. He wasn’t a good fit with the New York Yankees but appears to be back to his ace form in Cincinnati.
Here’s how the Reds’ lineup stacks up:
- Phillip Ervin, LF
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Eugenio Suarez, 3B
- Nick Castellanos, RF
- Mike Moustakas, 2B
- Matt Davidson, DH
- Nick Senzel, CF
- Freddy Galvis, SS
- Curt Casali, C
The lineup is headlined by two former Tigers -- Suarez, who was sent to Cincinnati for Alfredo Simon in perhaps Dave Dombrowski’s worst trade as team general manager -- and Castellanos, who was signed this offseason as a free agent.
Moustakas is also making his Reds debut. This lineup has massive power from the No. 2 through No. 6 slots.
The Tigers have their work cut out for them in Cincinnati, as Gray will be followed by fellow ace-caliber starters Luis Castillo and Trevor Bauer to round out the series.
Despite finishing in fourth place last year, the Reds enter 2020 as the favorites in the NL Central.