Baseball Prospectus had some interesting things to about who may ultimately prevail in the win-your-division-but-lose-in-the-first-round-of-the-playoffs sweepstakes.
Thoughts on the top two:
McCourt’s Money: Since the Dodgers have six potential leadoff men and nary a cleanup hitter, I could see A-Rod going blue, but Joe Torre is managing them. The same Torre that batted A-Rod eighth in a postseason game. The same Torre who was sent packing (rightly or not) because of his lack of success in the postseason where he watched A-Rod do nothing with men in scoring position (0 for gazillion). A-Rod practically nailed Torre’s coffin. Torre wants A-Rod? Bullocks to that.
Moreno’s Money: The Angels also have way too much speed and not enough menace (the naughts version of the West Coast offense?). How badly do they need A-Rod for offense? They were hoping Juan Rivera would return for the playoffs. On the Yankees, Juan Rivera is a fourth outfielder/part-time DH. Mike Scioscia prides himself on being the captain of the ship like Jack Aubrey. He cut Jose Guillen when they were chasing the A’s for a postseason berth. At the time, Guillen was their second best hitter. Mike Scioscia is a narcissist and enjoys being the star of the franchise. Why do you think their premier hitter doesn’t speak English? I don’t think there’s room in Sciosca’s ego closet for A-Rod’s baggage.
OPP: I predict the Phillies. Abraham Nunez sucks like a Kriss Kross reunion tour. Slot A-Rod between Utley and Howard and you’re the favorites to be the NL champions. Thinking of the prospect of this for NL-only leagues and I’ve got the unbridled enthusiasm of Balki Bartokomous.
From a fantasy prospective, A-Rod hits everywhere he has gone. In Dodgers’ or Angels’ Stadium, it would be more of the same. A-Rod will hit anywhere from 40 to 50 home runs and driving in 130. Basically the same numbers I would have said if he stayed on the Yankees. His runs will drop once he steps into any lineup other than the Yankees, unless he lands with the Red Sox, which I don’t see happening or the Phillies, which I’m Bartokomously excited about.