Predicting the Angels starting lineup with Brandon Drury in it

Expect Brandon Drury to slot right back into the middle of the order

Los Angeles Angels v Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels finally get some exciting injury news as Brandon Drury is expected to return to the lineup for tonight's series opener against the Seattle Mariners. This is the expectation, but Phil Nevin did make sure to say that it's not completely etched in stone.

This is a massive series as the Angels look to push for a playoff spot. They sit at 56-53 on the season, 0.5 games back of the 56-52 Mariners and four games back of the third Wild Card spot. This four-game series could be extremely impactful for both of these playoff hopefuls.

The return of Drury will cause a logjam of sorts in the infield. Deciding who goes down in his place is not an easy decision, but the choice to start Drury is an easy one. He should be in there virtually every day either at second base or first base.

Predicting the LA Angels starting lineup with Brandon Drury in it

1. Zach Neto - SS
2. Shohei Ohtani - DH
3. Brandon Drury - 2B
4. Mike Moustakas - 3B
5. C.J. Cron - 1B
6. Hunter Renfroe - RF
7. Mickey Moniak - CF
8. Randal Grichuk - LF
9. Matt Thaiss - C

Let me emphasize, this is my prediction for the lineup, not the one I would make. If it were up to me, I'd have Ohtani leading off over Neto, move everyone else up, and put Neto where he's proven to be most comfortable, the nine-hole.

The unfortunate reality of the Angels new-look lineup is it does not include Luis Rengifo. Drury is an obvious every-day player, and that bumps out Rengifo who has been raging hot offensively. Since the calendar turned to July 1, Rengifo has a .998 OPS in 81 at-bats while playing most of the time. He's even pushed his way up to the leadoff spot.

Rengifo should still get a good amount of playing time against lefties over Mike Moustakas, and should be the primary bench option either to pinch-hit or come in defensively.

With Drury in the lineup, it's as deep as it's been in weeks. Now the Angels await the returns of several other injured players including Mike Trout as they push for the playoffs.