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Projecting the starting lineup for Yankees’ Opening Day

Opening Day is officially here as the New York Yankees take on the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Thursday afternoon.

The team already made a big move, adding super utility player Jon Berti to the roster from the Miami Marlins in a three-team trade. That deal also included sending catcher Ben Rortvedt to the Tampa Bay Rays and 18-year-old outfield prospect John Cruz to the Marlins.

MORE: Get to know Yankees’ elite utility player Jon Berti

Whether Berti will be in the starting lineup remains to be seen. Manager Aaron Boone mentioned Wednesday to the media that travel issues may complicate his status for Thursday’s game. Regardless, it will be between him and Oswaldo Cabrera at the hot corner with D.J. LeMahieu still recovering from a foot injury.

We also know of a few notes that will help this projection of the starting lineup. Boone confirmed that Gleyber Torres will be the leadoff man while Jose Trevino will be behind the dish as the battery mate to starter Nestor Cortes.

Yankees’ Opening Day starting lineup projection

Without further ado, here’s a look at our projection of the starting lineup for the Yankees on Opening Day as they take on Astros southpaw Framber Valdez:

  1. Gleyber Torres, 2B
  2. Juan Soto, LF
  3. Aaron Judge, CF
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
  6. Alex Verdugo, RF
  7. Anthony Volpe, SS
  8. Jose Trevino, C
  9. Jon Berti, 3B


  • Soto could play in right field but with Minute Maid’s short porch in left, they slide him over and let Verdugo cover right field.
  • The decision to go Rizzo at cleanup over Stanton could be wrong. Stanton has a home run, a double and three RBI in eight plate appearances against Valdez so he could be the choice. Meanwhile, Rizzo had a stout .825 OPS against lefties in 2023. I think it’s safer to go with Rizzo to protect Judge right now.
  • If Berti is able to get acclimated quickly enough, there’s no reason he shouldn’t start at third base. He’s an upgrade over Oswaldo Cabrera having posted a .804 OPS and .414 BAbip against lefties in 2023.

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