The Los Angeles Angels are entering 2018 having won the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. They’ve also added some help for Mike Trout to help make a playoff push.
For the Los Angeles Angels, 2018 brings new life and new challenges. A chance for this team to finally represent what they have in superstar Mike Trout. The Halos have a chance to make some noise in the AL West this season. While the Angels aren’t going to be near the team that the Houston Astros currently are, there is hope that the Angels can end their playoff drought.
Last season, Trout and Andrelton Simmons meant the most to the Halos in wins above replacement. Trout led the way with a WAR of 6.9 and Simmons followed closely with a 4.9. The dropoff after those two in WAR is sizeable with Kole Calhoun compiling a 2.2. This season, look for Justin Upton, Zack Cozart, and Ian Kinsler to add their respective games to the Angels WAR.
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On paper, the Angels have a solid mixture of youth and experience. However, the focus with the Angels will continue to be the starting rotation. If the Angels decide to rotate six pitchers, you can expect less wear-and-tear on the frontline. However, with three of the six starting pitchers experiencing some form of Tommy John in the past three years, the Angels should be cautious.
However, as of right now, the Angels can focus on their New Year’s resolution of ending the playoff drought. It seems like every year is the Angels year to break out. However, the Angels haven’t won a playoff series since 2009. In fact, the Angels are coming off of back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in nearly thirty years. That all changes at the starting pitching position. Last season, the Angels ranked 12 in team ERA with a 4.20 while their opponents managed a 4.03 ERA, which was ranked 25th in the MLB.
The Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Charles Nagy has his work cut out for him this season. However, the Angels should have “keeping Ohtani healthy” on the drawing board and underlined in red multiple times. Starting with Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, Garrett Richards, and Tyler Skaggs the Angels must keep these four pitchers healthy this season.