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What the Mets Opening Day lineup looks like with Francisco Lindor

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 13: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians looks on against the Minnesota Twins on September 13, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 13: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians looks on against the Minnesota Twins on September 13, 2020 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
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The New York Mets put the baseball world on notice with the acquisition of Francisco Lindor, but what’s the best way to construct their lineup heading into 2021?

The New York Mets caused shockwaves throughout Major League Baseball when they completed a six-player deal to acquire superstar Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. While immediately becoming the face of the franchise, Lindor is now being slotted into a lineup that ranked fourth in the National League in WAR.

The indications from both Sandy Alderson and Jared Porter suggest that the Mets aren’t done yet this offseason. While we don’t know for certain if that means more starting pitching, bullpen help, or more depth in the lineup, what we do know is that New York has the potential to be one of the best offenses in all of baseball.

Before jumping into the possible Opening Day Lineup as the roster currently stands, here are the National League offensive ranks for the Mets last year:

Batting average – 1st

On Base % – 2nd

Slugging % – 4th

Home Runs – 5th

wRC+ – T-1st

Some might point to 2020 being a 60-game season, but the Mets offense in 2019 ranked sixth in oWAR, which indicates that this lineup is the real deal. Lindor’s addition also gives the Mets added flexibility due to his switch-hitting ability.

The one caveat that exists when looking into next season’s possible lineups is whether or not there will be a universal DH. While a memo was sent out by the MLB suggesting that NL teams move forward as if there won’t be a DH in 2021, Buster Olney reported that the general belief amongst most in baseball is that there will be a DH.

Obviously, teams would benefit from not having a pitcher logging at-bats, but almost no team more than the Mets, who would be able to utilize both the bat of Brandon Nimmo and Dominic Smith.

For the sake of argument, here’s what the Mets 2021 Opening Day lineup could look like if there in fact was a DH in the National League:

  1. Brandon Nimmo – CF
  2. Jeff McNeil – 3B
  3. Francisco Lindor – SS
  4. Pete Alonso – DH
  5. Michael Conforto – RF
  6. Dominic Smith – 1B
  7. J.D. Davis – LF
  8. James McCann – C
  9. Luis Guillorme – 2B

This lineup is based on the current roster as it stands today. With a DH, the departure of Andres Gimenez gives more of an opportunity to Luis Guillorme to play regularly at shortstop, while simultaneously giving the Mets a strong presence defensively up the middle. Guillorme is the least of these offensively but showed flashes last year that indicate he could be a very serviceable hitter in the nine spot.

While Nimmo in centerfield and Davis in left isn’t ideal, the offensive production would be more than enough to offset any dip defensively. Smith broke out last year in a big way and would hitting sixth in the lineup. Good offenses have depth and rarely give starting pitchers on a nightly basis, which is exactly what this lineup would do.

However, if the DH doesn’t come to the NL in 2021, there would be a bit more maneuvering to do for the Mets given their desire to get Smith at-bats, but understanding his limitations in left field. Here’s what the lineup could look like in Flushing on Opening Day without a DH:

  1. Brandon Nimmo – CF
  2. Jeff McNeil – 2B
  3. Francisco Lindor – SS
  4. Pete Alonso – 1B
  5. Michael Conforto – RF
  6. Dominic Smith – LF
  7. J.D. Davis – 3B
  8. James McCann – C
  9. Jacob deGrom – P

Both Davis and Smith are bad left fielders and Davis isn’t much better at 3B. However, this is the lineup that would be the most effective offensively for the Mets. It’s clear that the new front office regime is looking to get better defensively while deepening their lineup.

Mets surprises for the 2021 season. Next

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The offseason isn’t over and all signs point to more moves being made, however, if they didn’t add another bat, the Mets have set themselves up to be an offensive juggernaut.

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