The first half of the season has not been kind to the LA Angels. However, after a much-needed All Star break, the Halo could make a strong push.
Sitting at a disappointing 49-48, the LA Angels have been hit hard by injuries in the first half of the season. They also did not have the easiest schedule to start 2018, either. They played the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, arguably the two best teams in the MLB, six times each. Those two teams, plus playing the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners regularly, made for a talented opposing lineup more often than not.
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While this is not an excuse for the team many experts would be a Wild Card team in 2018, it does give the team some hope heading into the All Star break. While the first half schedule was not kind to the Angels, their schedule in the second is much more forgiving.
They’ll start with a three game set against the Houston Astros, a team they’ll see ten times in the second half. However, they have handled themselves well against the reigning champs so far in 2018, going 3-3 in six meetings.
The reason the Halos have a shot is because of the amount of poor teams they play. They have seven games against the rebuilding White Sox. At 33-62, the White Sox are in the midst of a miserable season and should be selling off any veteran pieces at the trade deadline. If the Angels win less than six of their games against the Sox, it should be considered a letdown.
They also have series against the Detroit Tigers, San Diego Padres, and Tampa Bay Rays (who are projected to be sellers at the deadline). The cream of the crop is the 13 games the Halos have slated against the Texas Rangers. So far, the Angels are 5-1 against the Rangers.
However, none of this matters if the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners have similarly easy schedules. The Oakland A’s are pretty much even with the Angels so far, but they do have three games against the Yankees late on the season.
The Mariners however have three games apiece against the NL West leaders Dodgers and Diamondbacks. They also have a three game set against the Yankees in September.
While the Angels might not be the second, or even third more talented team in the American League West, they may just have enough firepower to use an easier schedule to their advantage. They played the tough teams early, and should have a much better record in the second half of the season, especially as some key players return from injury.