It's finally here! Opening day begins for the majority of the league today, and early starting lineups have already leaked. While most lineups are generally known prior to the start of the season, some surprises can lead to a boost, or decline, in the Fantasy value of certain players. Keep in mind, these examples are entirely premature and based on one lineup. We're all excited here, so, hopefully, you'll cut us some slack if we start overreacting.
- The Nationals are using Ryan Zimmerman in the two-hole, Wilson Ramos as the cleanup hitter and Bryce Harper fifth. The move boosts Ramos' value, as he was expected to be a bottom-of-the-order type guy. He's shown promise when healthy, and might surprise in the role. This probably doesn't have a huge impact on Harper's value, but Fantasy owners probably hoped he would bat higher in the lineup.
- Mike Olt will get the start at third and hit fifth. Starlin Castro is hitting third. For Castro, the move signals that new manager Rick Renteria is working with a clean slate. The move wouldn't have shocked anyone a few years ago, and Renteria isn't going to overreact after a terrible 2013 by Castro. Olt not only starts, but gets to hit in the middle of the order. It's a nice situation for a guy who showed some big improvement during the spring. He's still likely to split time at the position, but at least the team likes his bat enough to hit him fifth.
- Kolten Wong is hitting second. That's a great spot for Wong, who entered the year as a popular Fantasy sleeper. He'll hit in between Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday. If you have Wong in any leagues, you should be elated right now.
- Scooter Gennett starts over Rickie Weeks. Weeks had a much better spring than Gennett, but it wasn't enough to earn a full-time spot. With a righty on the mound, Gennett is penciled into the lineup. It seems like manager Ron Roenicke will utilize a strict platoon, with Weeks' at-bats coming against left-handers. Any chance of a bounce-back by Weeks won't come with the Brewers in this setup.
- Travis Ishikawa starts over Gaby Sanchez for the Pirates. Clint Hurdle expressed that he wouldn't use the two players in a strict platoon, but the first lineup says otherwise. Sanchez is questionable against right-handers, but was expected to see more playing time against them this season. While Hurdle still says that's the case, it looks like Ishikawa could see more time than expected.
- Ike Davis gets the starting nod. Davis appears to have won the job at first base, but both Josh Satin and Lucas Duda are still expected to see time at the position. Davis probably has the best upside of the bunch, and could see more playing time if he can get off to a hot start.
- Marcus Semien hitting second, Conor Gillaspie third and Avisail Garcia sixth for the White Sox. Semien is starting in place of Gordon Beckham, and will be immediately thrust into a top of the order spot. Gillaspie hitting third is a surprise, and probably boosts his value, but not all that much. Garcia spent most of the spring hitting third, so it's somewhat disappointing the team moved him down during the regular season.