Will the LA Angels finish above .500 for the first time since 2015?
By David Rice
Many people will read the title of this article and go right past it. However, the LA Angels have struggled mightily the past few seasons after having a couple of strong seasons in. 2014 and 2015. Another sub .500 season will be extremely disappointing.
The LA Angels currently sit at 71-73 which is two games below .500 with 18 games to play. Last week the Angels finished a very successful road trip at 7-3. This included winning five of their last six games on the trip. With the Angels finishing up with 18 games against division opponents. If the Angels can go 11-7 over these last 18 games they will indeed finish above .500.
So why is this important to the Angels? Psychologically it would be a good thing to hang their hat on because of all the injuries the Angels have had to go through this season. Will it give the Angels a playoff spot, or a leg up in 2019, no. However, it would be a small accomplishment that the Angels could take a little pride from.
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The Angels have played .667 ball over the last two weeks and have been getting pretty good pitching which is encouraging. Getting Matt Shoemaker back has been great as he has won his first two starts since his return and has looked pretty good doing it. Andrew Heaney and Jaime Barria have also both pitched very well as has Felix Pena. Those three pitchers combined plus Shoemaker have gone 9-6 with a 3.35 ERA and they have 11 quality starts over the past month.
At the plate David Fletcher, Shohei Ohtani, Andrelton Simmons, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun have been on fire over the last month combining for a .305 average with 23 homers and 91 RBIs between them. This has given the Angels a pretty formidable upper half of the line-up which has allowed the team to score more runs as of late and get more wins.
The last 18 games will not be easy for the Halos as they will play Oakland six times and Seattle and Houston seven times combined. The only “easier” games are five ore games against the Rangers, but they have shown they can beat the Angels if they are not ready to play like last night.
The best part of the Angels schedule is that 12 of their last 18 games will be at home in Anaheim. So let’s watch and see if the Angels can take a step in the right direction over these last three weeks of the season.