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Opening Day Lineups: Royals v. Rangers

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Nicky Lopez is back, for now

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Good morning Royals fans. It’s Opening Day. There will be a game played today at Kauffman Stadium that counts. And there will be 10,000 fans in the stands. It’s a great day to be a baseball fan.

Here is the lineup for the visiting Texas Rangers. Texas is coming off a 22-38 season where they finished last in the AL West. They also enter 2021 facing a barrage of injuries. Newly-signed slugger Khris Davis will miss time due to a strained quad, an injury suffered while running out a bunt in a Spring Training game. Kole Calhoun also won’t play today, leaving Chris Woodward’s lineup pretty depleted.

Fourth-year shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa leads off. Rangers star Joey Gallo bats third coming off his worst season in Texas. Nate Lowe and his 219 career at-bats will hit cleanup and Ned Yost’s old friend and noted All-Star™ Brock Holt is also in the lineup at third base.

SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R)

LF David Dahl (L)

RF Joey Gallo (L)

2B Nick Solak (R)

1B Nate Lowe (L)

3B Brock Holt (L)

DH Eli White (R)

CF Leody Taveras (S)

C Jose Trevino (R)

RHP Kyle Gibson

For the Royals, they are without Adalberto Mondesi for at least 10 days after straining an oblique in Monday’s Spring Training finale. This means that the recently demoted Nicky Lopez will get a second chance, opening the season at shortstop in Mondesi’s stead. Here’s what the Opening Day 26-man roster looks like.

The Royals made these roster moves to cut down the roster.

Other than Mondesi’s absence, the lineup is much as you would expect it to be. Mondesi was projected to bat third, so everybody moves up a slot with Lopez slotted in the nine-hole.

2B Whit Merrifield (R)

LF Andrew Benintendi (L)

1B Carlos Santana (S)

C Salvador Pérez (R)

DH Jorge Soler (R)

3B Hunter Dozier (R)

RF Kyle Isbel (L)

CF Michael Taylor (R)

SS Nicky Lopez (L)

RHP Brad Keller

Merrifield leads off for the third-consecutive Opening Day, but this time he’ll be back at his native second base. Since 2019, Whit has led off 211 of the 222 games he’s participated in. Newly acquired Andrew Benintendi and Carlos Santana open the season in the two and three-hole respectively with Salvador Perez in the cleanup spot.

Jorge Soler hits fifth with Hunter Dozier trailing him. Kyle Isbel hits seveth in his Major League debut, right in front of Michael A. Taylor, who is making his Royals debut in centerfield. And as noted, Lopez bats ninth.

Let us know what you think.

Poll

With the exception of Mondesi, how do you feel about the Royals Opening Day Lineup?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Love it. No changes necessary.
    (257 votes)
  • 49%
    Good, but in need of a few changes
    (277 votes)
  • 3%
    Bad, and in need of several changes
    (21 votes)
  • 1%
    Worse than the 2018 and 2019 Opening Day lineup. It’s time to hit the panic button.
    (6 votes)
561 votes total Vote Now