The Los Angeles Angels made a gigantic splash in free agency in the 2011-2012 offseason and it worked pretty good but just wasn’t enough to land a playoff spot. Let’s flashback to 2012 for a minute. The Angels went 89-73 after the acquisitions of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. However, they fell short and it makes sense because the win plateau to get to the playoffs is between 92 and 98 games typically. But the Angels were there that year.
Let’s move on to 2013 because that season was substantially different and a more frustrating season for Angels fans. The Halo’s went just 78-84 in 2013 and things could not have gone worse. First baseman Albert Pujols played in just 99 games last season before sitting out July 27th and eventually deciding in late August that he would not play again for the remainder of the year. The Angels struggled against AL West opponents, posting a record of 32-44, as well as a 9-10 season record against the Houston Astros. But aside from these two disappointing seasons, the Angels plan is coming together, and nicely.
The Angels are currently in first place in the AL West standings and currently have a game less than the Athletics. The Angels have gotten a healthy Albert Pujols this year as well as a very good pitching rotation. Matt Shoemaker has been good when needed and is 11-4 with a 3.84 ERA this season with 98 K’s in 101 innings pitched. Hector Santiago hasn’t pitched bad either since he’s currently 3-7 but has an ERA of just 3.46. Garrett Richards has been dominant with a 13-4 record with an ERA of just 2.53. As for Jered Weaver, he’s been Jered Weaver and the only real question mark is C.J. Wilson.
Do not sleep on the Angels for one minute as a team that can win the American League West. Oakland is just as good as the Halo’s especially after their trade deadline blockbuster trades in which they acquired not only Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel but also Jon Lester. However, I predicted Oakland would win the World Series at the All-Star Break. At this point I see the Angels as the dark horse to win it all. Why? Well because the the Angels, just like the A’s, have it all.
The Angels are strong in all three categories of their club. They have the potent offense, very good and sometimes out of this world starting pitching compiled with guys that can just eat up innings and they have a better bullpen now with the acquisition of Huston Street. Feel free to comment with your predictions to this question. But who can beat the Angels if they don’t end up facing the A’s? The Tigers if they even get in? The Royals? Baltimore? I just don’t see it. And as far as the National League is concerned, I don’t see one dominant team besides the Dodgers and possibly the Nats. Even still, I don’t see them beating the Angels.
The Angels are going to be a huge threat in the playoffs especially if they can win their division and receive home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With four of their five starters posting low earned run averages and the way their offense has produced this year, the Angels are definitely built to win the World Series now. And they just may do that this year.