What will the Braves 2023 lineup look like?

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The Braves are less than six weeks away from Opening Day, as they aim to win their sixth straight NL East title. But at this point in their championship window, division titles are no longer enough. This team is the definition of World Series or bust. Anything short of that has to be considered a disappointment.

The Braves rotation is among the deepest in baseball from top to bottom. The bullpen is equally as strong, even with the departure of Kenley Jansen, and the lineup is right there with the best in the majors. Here’s what the latter might look like come Opening Day.

Braves 2023 Projected Lineup

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr. (RF)
  2. Michael Harris II (CF)
  3. Austin Riley (3B)
  4. Matt Olson (1B)
  5. Sean Murphy (C)
  6. Ozzie Albies (2B)
  7. Marcell Ozuna/Eddie Rosario/Sam Hilliard/Jordan Luplow (LF)
  8. Travis d’Arnaud/Marcell Ozuna (DH)
  9. Vaughn Grissom (SS)

I don’t think the top spot is up for debate. The Braves love Ronald Acuña Jr. leading off the show, and that looks to be his spot for the foreseeable future. At the very least, that’s where he will be on Opening Day.

#2 in the order is up for debate, but I went with Michael Harris II. He set the order for the top of the lineup last year as a rookie, but he deserves more responsibility this year. Harris is arguably the best talent on the team. The Braves need that kind of offense at the top of their order.

3 and 4 went to Austin Riley and Matt Olson. These two shuffled throughout last season, but I think Riley has become an ideal #3 bat, while Olson makes more sense at #4.

Behind them, I have the Braves newest toy, Sean Murphy. After the top four, a lot will depend on who is hot, but to start the season, Murphy will likely get the nod in the 5-hole.

Ozzie Albies works better in the middle of the order than he does at the top because he’s not necessarily a maestro at getting on base, but he packs a ton of pop in his bat.

After Albies, everything is up in the air. If Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario bounce back, they could find themselves in the middle of the order more often than not. Travis d’Arnaud will also likely be higher in the order if a lefty is on the mound. I expect him to serve as the DH most games when the Braves are facing a southpaw.

Whoever plays shortstop will likely hit ninth. Grissom is the overwhelming favorite to earn the job. If it’s close, he’ll get the nod. However, the Braves won’t just hand it to him. Arcia has started before, and if he outperforms Grissom during Spring training, he’ll get another opportunity. Either way, Grissom or Arcia will likely be hitting last.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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