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2008 American League Line-Ups

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Steve Gardner of USA Today has posted his analysis of expected AL line-ups.  Having a genral idea of where a player hits will help determine how many plate appearances he will receive.  By extension, the more plate appearances a player gets, the more opportunities he will have to accumulate counting stats.

There are some points of interest in Mr. Gardner's projected line-ups.  Whether these come to fruition with the solidification of line-ups still a week or so away is hard to say.  Here are a few fantasy implications I foresee if these hold true.

Cleveland Indians:
Batting 8th and 9th are the two of the three starting outfielders.  This makes for prime real estate for a mid-season breakout player like Ben Francisco.  I can't see an AL team fielding a winning line-up with two outfielders hitting so low in the line-up.

Chicago White Sox:
Nick Swisher in the lead-off spot would be an answer for a OBP-starved squad.  His RBIs will be down in the 80 area though.

Tampa Bay:
Jonny Gomes batting 5th would lead to a lot more RBIS than a fantasy player could expect from a player splitting time.  He could produce 50-60 RBIs at that spot.  Strangely, I could see a $20 part-time player - 20 HR and 10+ SB would do it.

More interesting is BJ Upton batting third.  With Iwamura and Crawford ahead of him, there are going to be a lot of players in scoring position when the older Upton brother hits.  BJ could be the most valuable AL hitter this season.