O/U: Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano
Player: Alex Rodriguez
Report: The real O/U could be games played for A-Rod, but since that is hard to predict I decided to go with the 30 home runs. A-Rod being healthy ties into that anyways.
The last three years A-Rod has hit 30, 30 and 16 HR’s so he has no hit over 30 over the last 3 years. A-Rod had the longest HR drought of this career last year going April 24 to May 11 without hitting a HR. He went 85 AB’s without hitting a HR. A-Rod also was dealt with knee and thumb injuries that zapped his power.
Verdict: I will say A-Rod does barely hit over 30 HR’s this year. The special knee surgery he had inGermanyand the really positive effects it has had on Kobe Bryant this season has me feeling positive about A-Rod. He has also been running a lot harder on the base paths this spring training than in others. When you have a knee injury that effects the entire base of your swing and a thumb injury that effects your grip on the bat it is pretty hard to hit.
Player: Robinson Cano
Report: Cano has had an OPS over. 900 only once in his career. That was in 2010 when he hit for a .914 OPS. In 2009 his OPS was .871 and in 2011 it .882. What has been holding Cano back in this area has been a lack of walks. That hurts his OBP which is half of OPS accounts for. The reason he got over. 900 in 2010 was because he had a .381 OBP, which was far beyond his career OBP of .347. Hitting for over a .900 OPS means you are an elite hitter, which most consider Cano to be already but he can still improve his plate discipline. It is also unprecedented for a 2B to hit for over a .900 OPS, which can put Cano in rare air as well.
Verdict: I will say Cano will fall just short yet again. I do not see him walking enough this year to get this year. Moving him to the 3rd spot in the lineup means better protection behind him in Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. Teams will be much more likely to challenge Cano than when Nick Swisher was behind him, which means less walks. Of course it could mean a higher slugging percentage if Cano can take advantage of the opportunities. As a side note I would like to see his 96 strikeouts from last year go down. That is not a bad number by any stretch, but for Cano it was a career high.
So what do you guys think? O/U 30 HR’s for A-Rod? O/U .900 OPS for Cano?