Detroit Tigers might be using their best possible starting lineup in series finale vs. Twins

Akil Baddoo bats seventh in rubber match

Detroit Tigers' Akil Baddoo (60) is greeted by Jeimer Candelario after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers aren’t exactly loaded with offensive talent, but Wednesday’s starting lineup might be the best version this roster allows.

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After splitting the first two games of the series, the Tigers and Minnesota Twins are playing a rubber match this afternoon. A.J. Hinch has a new-look starting lineup against Kenta Maeda, and it might be the best possible lineup for this team.

  1. Robbie Grossman, RF
  2. Willi Castro, SS
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  5. Nomar Mazara, DH
  6. Jonathan Schoop, 2B
  7. Akil Baddoo, LF
  8. Wilson Ramos, C
  9. Victor Reyes, CF

Grossman, who picked up two RBI hits Tuesday after drawing eight walks in the team’s first three games, is clearly the best lead-off option.

Castro and Candelario are expected to be the two best hitters on the team, along with Cabrera and Schoop, who are also slotted into the heart of the lineup.

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Mazara has been swinging a hot bat, even making hard contact on many of his outs. If he can continue to hit for power, the lineup doesn’t look half bad one through six.

The bottom of the order is where it gets intriguing. After hitting a walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th yesterday, Baddoo moves up to the No. 7 spot in the order and starts in left field.

Ramos struck out in all four at-bats Tuesday, but he’s the clearly better offensive option over Grayson Greiner.

Reyes is an offensive toss-up next to JaCoby Jones, but against a right-handed starter, it makes sense to go with the switch hitter.

It’s still not a great lineup, but it’s made up entirely of players who at least deserve to be on MLB rosters, which is a nice change from recent years.

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