Yes, the Angels are really batting Anthony Rendon leadoff on Opening Day

The Angels have submitted their first 2024 lineup and no, Anthony Rendon at leadoff is not a typo

Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels / Katharine Lotze/GettyImages

With so much changing from last season, the Los Angeles Angels were going to have to make some bold choices when it came to their lineups and with playing time. They just lost one of their best hitters in Shohei Ohtani and it was inevitable that new manager Ron Washington was going to have to play with the lineup a bit to see what worked.

However, there was a lot of skepticism when Anthony Rendon in the leadoff spot was floated as a possibility by Wash in spring training. It isn't that Washington was wrong in his reasoning in a vacuum, but instead that he seemed to be really banking on Rendon looking like his former All-Star self as opposed to the guy who has struggled to do much of anything the last three seasons, including playing in games at all.

We should have been listening to Washington more closely, because batting Rendon at leadoff is exactly what he is going with on Opening Day.

Angels go with Rendon at leadoff and a lot of righties in Opening Day lineup

To be fair, it is 100% true that the Angels don't have a proto-typical leadoff hitter on their roster. A healthy Mike Trout would be a great fit and he has put up good numbers in the leadoff spot before, but his numbers have historically been better a little further down in the order. If Rendon is truly healthy and, you know, actually cares about baseball a bit, he does have the ability to get on base at a good enough clip to make it work.

Another note about this lineup is that it is very righty heavy. The switch-hitting Aaron Hicks, who had a strong spring, is slotted in the No. 2 spot in the lineup and the lefty-hitting Nolan Schanuel is hitting sixth. With a potentially tough righty on the mound from Baltimore in Corbin Burnes, this lineup could be problematic even with Burnes coming off a less than ideal spring training.

With the Angels' Opening Day roster officially set and the lineup submitted, all there is left to do is wait for LA's matchup with the Orioles to start this afternoon assuming the weather cooperates.

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