The Los Angeles Angels have an outside shot at the postseason in 2020, but they’ll need to get off to a hot start to make it happen.
The Major League Baseball season is set to start in mere hours and the Angels have one of the tougher schedules in the league. This season will look completely different from what we have ever seen due to COVID-19 with the Angels will only be facing teams from the AL and NL West.
With teams facing their internal division teams more often along with opponents from the NL West, the need to win as many games as possible is heightened as there are only 60 games this season. The Angels will be facing teams such as the Astros, Athletics, Rangers, and Mariners at least 40 games during this season and the other 20 will come from the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Padres. However, the Angels will have an easier time against NL West opponents (outside of the Dodgers) and they need to capitalize on those games should they seek to get into the postseason this year.
Upon looking at the schedule, the Angels will face AL West opponents 19 times before finally facing an NL West opponent which happens to be the Dodgers on August 14th. Within those 19 games, the Angels can really separate themselves from the rest of the pack should they get off to a hot start. The Angels have been known to not do well right out of the gate during the second half of the season in the months of July, August, and September which will make a big difference now.
In the past 3 seasons from the months of July, August, and September, the Angels record combined is 104-128. With the team going 106-122 combined against their divisional opponents which shows that most of the Angels’ struggles come from within their own division. Of course, there will be fewer games this season and more interleague play, however, with the Angels set to face division rivals more, it makes it that much more important for them to win right away.
The Angels will be facing the Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and Houston Astros for the first two weeks of the season. In 2019, they went 5-14 against Houston, 6-13 against Oakland, and 10-9 against Seattle. Let’s not forget that they will still have games against the Texas Rangers, where they went 9-10, and who have something to prove with the opening of their new ballpark and the addition of Corey Kluber. Things of course will also be different when the Angels start facing teams from the NL West such as the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Padres, teams that they aren’t too familiar with playing against.
This season will be different from the rest and with only 60 games being played this season, the Angels need to make every game count. The past has shown that the Angels haven’t done well against teams in their own division and that needs to change, especially this season.
If the Angels can get off to a hot start and carry that moment into the rest of the season, then look for them to have a good 60 game season.