The Los Angeles Angels' lineup will have a new look to it entering the 2024 season. Shohei Ohtani is gone, meaning there's a lot of work to do to get this lineup where it needs to be. Unfortunately, Ohtani is irreplaceable, and it's hard to envision Perry Minaisan doing much to improve the lineup this offseason.
Most of the Angels lineup is set. There are a couple of places where they can improve, but the focus should be and likely will be on the pitching.
Predicting the Angels 2024 Opening Day lineup
1. Nolan Schanuel - 1B
2. Mike Trout - CF
3. J.D. Martinez - DH
4. Brandon Drury - 2B
5. Anthony Rendon - 3B
6. Mickey Moniak - RF
7. Taylor Ward - LF
8. Logan O'Hoppe - C
9. Zach Neto - SS
This is far from anything resembling a dream lineup. All the Angels do with this predicted lineup is replace Ohtani with the second-best DH available in J.D. Martinez. The Angels and Dodgers essentially trade them one-for-one. Of course, it's not a fair trade, but Martinez would still be a strong addition to this lineup.
Adding Martinez, a player who can only DH, isn't ideal with the aging and injury-prone Trout and Rendon, but he's arguably the best pure hitter on the market. It's hard to see them splurge for a player like Cody Bellinger, so Martinez it is.
There are parts of this lineup I'd fix. I would not hit Rendon so high, but can't envision the Angels hitting their highest-paid player any lower than fifth. I'd love for the Angels to add at least one more left-handed hitter, but it's hard to predict who they'd remove for that to happen. The only semi-realistic option is Taylor Ward, and trading him would only make sense if the Halos can land a frontline starting pitcher.
For now, this will have to do. A healthy variation of this group actually wouldn't be so bad. The problem is, it's impossible to rely on guys like Trout and especially Rendon to stay healthy. J.D. Martinez has had some injury problems of his own. Taylor Ward has to come back from his season-ending injury. Even guys like Neto and O'Hoppe had trouble staying healthy during their rookie seasons.
This Opening Day lineup prediction has Luis Rengifo on the bench which wouldn't necessarily be fair to him based on how he finished, but could be how things shake up if the Angels add a bat and don't make a big trade.
It's not the ideal Angels Opening Day lineup, but hey, at least Matt Duffy isn't hitting clean-up.