Angels Will Be the Best Team in California
By David Rice
My bold prediction for the Angels 2019 season is that the Angels will finish with the best record in the state of California and will make the playoffs. This may sound crazy to many fans and I totally understand your skepticism being the Angels have not had even a .500 record since 2015.
However, I think this team is different from the one that has been fielded the last few seasons by Billy Eppler and crew. It is more well-rounded and deeper, and the team has fewer holes than it has had in years.
Another thing is that we have a few of these intangible guys who are gritty and will provide leadership. Peter Bourjos and Jonathan Lucroy for starters have that veteran presence different from that of a superstar such as Albert Pujols.
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Nothing against Albert as he is a good leader with plenty of experience which is valuable as well, but he is not a grinder like a David Eckstein or a spark plug like David Freese was. Bourjos and Lucroy are those guys.
Another reason for this prediction is that with a happy superstar like Mike Trout, not that Trout was unhappy before, but the stability his contract extension gives him and the team is like getting the monkey off the team’s back (no pun intended Mr. Rally Monkey).
The final factor in this prediction is that the best team in the state the past few years, our Northern neighbors the LA Dodgers will be good, but not nearly as good as they have been over the past few years. They will still make the playoffs in the NL West because other than Colorado the division is not very good. The Padres will be much improved, but are still a year or two away from really putting it together. The Giants are still a mess and the A’s will hover around the .500 mark this season.