The Angels Are Better Than 21-19


Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Numbers never lie, but often times they can be deceiving. Thus is the case with the Angels this season. Heading into the season, the Angels were unanimous picks to repeat as AL West champs and to seemingly run away with the division. At almost exactly 1/4 of the way through the season, it would be hard for anyone to predict this team would be a struggling 21-19. But then again, not many people would have predicted the Josh Hamilton saga, a slumping Albert Pujols, or that Jered Weaver’s fastball would lose even more velocity. Which is why they play the games.

All things considered, the Angels are much better than their record indicates. The amount of adjustments this team has had to make from spring training are telling. Dealing with the Josh Hamilton scenario was a HUGE blow to enter the season when you consider the fact he was looked on as the everyday left fielder and to be a main contributor in the middle of the lineup. The loss of him was no doubt going to affect the teams performance. At some point time heals all wounds, and the good teams can bounce back from this type of loss. The Angels are turning the corner now and look like their best baseball is ahead.

After making multiple lineup adjustments in trying to find some sort of consistent production, the Angels have somewhat been able to weather the storm. Moving Kole Calhoun to the cleanup spot and Erick Aybar to leadoff is proving to be a good decision. Are there still holes and obvious needs? Yes, the offense could use some sort of run producing bat at the DH spot and someone to solidify LF. These are tasks that the front office must get done by the trade deadline because frankly this team is one solid trade away from being dangerous.

Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Throw the record out the window and look at the game by game breakdown to get a better idea of what type of team the Angels are. They are competitive, in every game, and are a few fortunate bounces from being in first place. For as bad as the pitching staff has looked at times they’ve still surrendered 10 runs or more one time this season. The offense hasn’t been the run producing powerhouse that people envisioned coming into this year, but what they’ve done is come up with clutch and timely hits. Winning close games has always been a good barometer of how strong a team is, and the Angels measure out better than anyone. It may not look pretty at times, but the Halos have won 13 games by two runs or less. Dealing with all the setbacks this team has had only 40 games into the season, yet to still win tight games shows the mental toughness.

The Angels are trending upwards right now. Jered Weaver is finally regaining the form that has made him one of the best pitchers in the league after a disastrous start. A productive Weaver mixed with the way C.J. Wilson and Hector Santiago have been pitching this season is a huge bonus. Role players have done what they can to plug some holes and come up with clutch hits. Oh yeah, and a guy named Mike Trout. This is a playoff team right now, and with the addition of one or two moves the Angels could become a tough out in October.