What will the Los Angeles Angels lineup look like on Memorial Day? The Halos will be in Chicago to begin a three-game series against the White Sox before a big four-game series in Houston.
For the most part this season, the Angels stuck with the same lineup. Taylor Ward, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Anthony Rendon, and Hunter Renfroe were almost always the first five hitters to step into the batter's box. Phil Nevin made a much-needed change to put Zach Neto into the leadoff spot and slide Ward down.
Will there be another radical change? Will the lineup still be mostly the same? What will the Angels lineup look like on Memorial Day later this month?
Predicting what the LA Angels starting lineup will look like after Memorial Day
Memorial Day feels like the time of year we know if teams are serious or not. Everyone remembers the 27-17 start from last season. The Angels did not play on Memorial Day last season, but lost their fifth straight game the day before, and wound up losing 14 in a row to put their record at 27-31. They'd never see .500 again.
This season we see teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays lead their respective leagues in wins after the first month of the season. Tampa is always competitive, but are the Pirates actually good? If they're still in this position by Memorial Day, that's two months of dominant baseball. It'll be hard to question.
When the Angels take the field in Chicago on Memorial Day, let's assume they're facing a right-hander as the White Sox rotation is filled by only righties currently. What will the lineup look like?
1. Zach Neto - SS
2. Mike Trout - CF
3. Shohei Ohtani - DH
4. Hunter Renfroe - RF
5. Jared Walsh - 1B
6. Anthony Rendon - 3B
7. Gio Urshela - 2B
8. Taylor Ward - LF
9. Matt Thaiss - C
The top three in this lineup remains the same as it's been in each of the last two games. Zach Neto looks extremely comfortable in the leadoff spot, no reason to move him. Trout and Ohtani should always be second and third in some order.
The first major change is moving Hunter Renfroe up one spot from fifth to fourth. He's been the Angels' most consistent power hitter and run producer this season. If Anthony Rendon continues to provide zero power, this should happen. I have Rendon being bumped down to sixth. He's still been productive getting on base, but Rendon has three extra-base hits all season with zero home runs. The Angels need more power out of the fourth spot.
Jared Walsh will hopefully be ready by Memorial Day. I do not have a Walsh update outside of what's been reported. He's out of the facility in Utah and ramping up. The reason I believe Walsh will be back by Memorial Day is he was not placed on the 60-day IL. 60 days would've been around June 1st, so because of the fact that he remains on the 15-day, I believe the Angels expect him back sooner. Things can change, but that's my prediction.
If and when Walsh does return, he provides a much-needed left-handed power bat to pair with Shohei Ohtani. Shohei has been the only consistent left-handed hitter in the lineup all season, so it'll be nice to have another one. If Walsh is anything close to the 2021 version of himself, that'd give this lineup a big boost. He'd be in there virtually every day at first base against righties.
I have Gio Urshela playing second base because he's been the best player of the Urshela, Rengifo, Drury trio, but all three should see time at second base. Neither is an ideal option defensively there, but Urshela's bat has been superior of the three.
Rounding it out I have Taylor Ward moved even lower in the order to eighth. Hopefully he can get going in May, but until he does, he's going to stick at the bottom. Matt Thaiss has been good of late, hopefully he can keep that up.