Colorado Rockies: Projecting the 2021 Opening Day starting lineup

Mar 15, 2021; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) hits against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 15, 2021; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) hits against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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When the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers kick off the 2021 Major League Baseball season at Coors Field on Thursday, April 1, there will be some new faces in the Rockies lineup.

This is the projected Colorado Rockies Opening Day starting lineup.

As reported over the weekend, the Rockies will open the season with right-hander German Marquez on the mound facing off against left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Knowing Colorado will be facing a southpaw from a division foe on the mound, here is the projected order for the Rockies.

Raimel Tapia (L), LF

Ryan McMahon (L), 2B

Trevor Story (R), SS

Charlie Blackmon (L), RF

C.J. Cron (R), 1B

Sam Hilliard (L), CF

Josh Fuentes (R), 3B

Elias Diaz (R), C

German Marquez (R), P

That’s the most likely lineup. However, there is a caveat here as well. Garrett Hampson, who can play infield or outfield, could draw the start in center field since he’s a right-handed hitter and has a .400 average (4-for-10, including a solo homer you can watch below) against Kershaw in his career.

If Hampson were to be inserted in the lineup, it could look something like this:

Raimel Tapia (L), LF

Garrett Hampson (R), CF

Trevor Story (R), SS

Charlie Blackmon (L), RF

C.J. Cron (R), 1B

Ryan McMahon (L), 2B

Josh Fuentes (R), 3B

Elias Diaz (R), C

German Marquez (R), P

More from Colorado Rockies News

Rockies manager Bud Black was asked on Monday about whether an Opening Day lineup carried any extra significance or if it would be treated as a “normal day” lineup that would be rolled out against Kershaw if this was later in the season.

"“I think it’s a little bit of both,” Black said. “You want to put your best group out there that you think is going to give you the best chance to get after their starter and win the game. In most cases, it’s about the best group of players that you have on your roster at that time.”"

There are some interesting notes with the potential starting lineups and their previous success (or lack thereof) against Kershaw.

Blackmon has a .344 lifetime average (11-for-32) against Kershaw with three homers. That’s the highest average and show of power against Kershaw in the Colorado lineup, as well as the most time any Rockies player has faced the Dodger starter.

On the flip side, Cron, Hilliard, and McMahon have never faced Kershaw. Diaz and Fuentes have only faced him twice. Meanwhile, Story has 20 at-bats against him (going 6-for-20) but has not homered off him or collected an RBI.

5 tips on attending an early-season game at Coors Field in 2021. dark. Next

The Rockies-Dodgers Opening Day matchup is slated for 2:10 p.m. (Mountain time) and can be seen on ESPN as well as AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain and heard on KOA NewsRadio 850 AM and 94.1 FM, the radio home of the Rockies.

UPDATE: As it turns out, McMahon will reportedly not be a part of the Opening Day lineup as the Rockies turn to right-handed-hitting Chris Owings at second base. Also, Fuentes moves up to the second spot.

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