The new-look Los Angeles Angels will look to reclaim the AL West in 2017
The Los Angeles Angels are closing the door on the offseason and will look to get back to winning ways. The schedule will play a role in the outcome of the 2017 season.
The Los Angeles Angels exited the 2016 season with one of their worst records of the 2000’s. The 74 win Angels had multiple issues that caused the fall in the AL West ranking and standings. However, that was then, and the 2017 season is upon us.
The Angels went back to the drawing board after licking their wounds from the 2016 season. Angels general manager Billy Eppler assessed the Angels’ situation made changes accordingly. Now, the new-look Angels appear ready and willing to take control of the AL West.
You can expect for the Angels to be somewhat streaky this season. Some weeks the Angels will seem like an offensive force capable of putting up 15 runs a game. However, if the Angels get behind early. the uphill climb will prove challenging this season.
Opening Day takes place in April as it always does. This season, the Angels will begin their quest for the division on the road in Oakland. the 2017 season will display the defensive minded Angels will new editions like Cameron Maybin, Ben Revere, Danny Espinosa, and Luis Valbuena. These players will be key in the field and behind the plate for the season.
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One thing that is still in question is whether Billy Eppler will institute a platooning system between outfielders Revere and Maybin. I expect it will depend on health and Spring Training.
Last season, Maybin saw the plate almost 400 times and posted a .315 batting average. His counterpart Revere saw the plate 375 times and his batting average was .217. Both of these players well help out at the plate for the Angels following the disaster that was Daniel Nava and Craig Gentry last season.
Valbuena and Espinosa will help solidify the Angels infield defense. They’ll team up with Andrelton Simmons and look to establish a tight-knit infield against some heavy hitters that lie in the AL West.
Behind the plate will feature Martin Maldonado who help the Milwaukee Brewers last season with 486 putouts, 39 assists, and only seven errors. Those numbers will also be critical to the success of the Angels this season.
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In a season that will feature these new players, it’s important to focus on the positives and expect the Angels to have success this season. If Eppler’s masterplan works to perfection, the Angels could likely win their first playoff series in the Mike Trout era.