The LA Angels are officially on a winning streak after sweeping a two game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger stadium. The Angels are sitting at four games back of the 2nd Wild Card spot with the next 7 games coming against the Orioles and the Tigers, two of the worst teams in baseball. The Angels will need to take advantage of this soft stretch as the month of August presents serious challenge with multiple series against teams like Boston, Oakland, and Houston.
Living in the future is not the most conductive way to play baseball, especially when you have as much challenge in the wings as the LA Angels have in the next two months. This soft stretch against the Orioles and Tigers give the Angels a huge chance to make up serious wild-card ground and pad their record in preparation for the most difficult stretch of the season the Angels have waiting for them. As great as the baseball is that the Angels are playing there are still a ton of question marks regarding their ability to play the way they have down the stretch.
Can the Angels get consistent innings from their starting rotation? The Angels cannot survive August and September by forcing their bullpen to pitch anywhere from 4-6 innings a game. As talented as their bullpen is you can only manage an overworked bullpen so much before it implodes on itself. That being said, the Angels are just a starter or two away from solidifying their rotation for the big stretch that’s waiting for them. Getting one starter is doable, but two?
Where exactly will those reliable starters come from? The Angels could get lucky and see Jose Suarez start to amp up his ability or even see Patrick Sandoval make his MLB debut and show a similar level of consistency/promise that Griffin Canning has in his time with the Angels. There is still a possibility that Andrew Heaney in the mix as well and he has shown that he has the ability to put up 5 strong innings against competitive teams. All it takes is consistency and from what we’ve seen from this team in the second half, aside from a 3 game losing streak, they have the ability to remain more consistent than they’e showed in the first half of the season.
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None of that matters right now though, what matters is a successful series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Angels don’t need to sweep the Orioles to keep favorable position in the wild-card, but at the same time they kind of do have to sweep the series and take advantage of these easy games with the difficult August/September stretch waiting ahead. If the Angels can indeed take advantage of these games, you might see them be buyers in the trade deadline market. At the very least the Angels should not be sellers and just try to make a run for the wild-card.
Orioles @ Angels
(7/27) 6:07 PM PT @ FS-W: Aaron Brooks (2-1, 5.16 ERA) vs TBD
(7/28) 1:07 PM PT @ FS-W: Dylan Bundy (5-11, 5.14 ERA) vs TBD