LA Angels Series Preview: Getting to the Wild Card through Seattle
By Ryan Falla
This Angels team is packed with a few more All-Stars than most anticipated coming into this season. Of course we have the annual All-Star in Mike Trout who will likely make it to the festivities despite his down year so far.
Trout is only slashing .276/.449/.565, which is still really great, but also telling of just how good he is and how he isn’t living up to his best so far. It’s still early in the season and these numbers will even themselves out to career norms, if anything the Angels are lucky because this means he’s going to turn it up hard heading towards the 2nd half of the season.
While the Angels have been mostly mediocre in 2019 so far they’ve done a lot of their winning without relying too much on Trouts assistance. That’s actually a really good sign, this Angels team is still able to stay in a competitive zone even without massive contributions from the best player in baseball. Imagine how good this team will be when Trout starts playing up to his norm? Scratch that, imagine how good this team will be once Trout starts raising his ceiling with how good he is as he seems to do every season?
On top of that we have the surprise All-Star in Tommy La Stella. It’s crazy to think how mostly everyone was crying for him to be DFA’ed just one week into the season in favor of David Fletcher and now we have both of them in the lineup and both of them killing it.
How did Tommy La Stella become the biggest offensive contributor for the Angels in 2019 so far? I guess when you try to take on as many reclamation projects as the Angels do eventually one of them is bound to pan out.
There is also shut-down reliever Ty Buttrey and his nasty 1.37 ERA in 28.1 IP. That elite ERA is supported by a killer 11.1 K/9 rate with just one homer allowed all season. The Angels bullpen has scuffled a bit as of late, but a series against the mediocre Mariners may prove to be what this ‘pen needs to get their legs back under them.
Buttrey anchoring the bullpen brings loads of confidence in the Angels ability to maintain a lead in the deeper innings, we just need to see the rest of the ‘pen rally around Buttrey and make sure the Angels can take home some much deserved wins.