3 steps to fix the Angels season: Get the middle of the lineup going
To be fair to the pitching struggles, some of the burdens of the slow start needs to fall on the lineup as well. While some players are already starting well (Mike Trout, David Fletcher, Brian Goodwin), others have been slow out of the gate.
That is perhaps no more obvious that the production the team has seen from the middle of the order.
Entering play on Thursday, Angels hitters in the three through six holes in the lineup have combined for a .171/.238/.360 batting line. While they have accounted for six home runs, 12 runs, and 14 RBI in that span, they’ve also fallen victim to the strikeout 27 times.
Outside of the strikeouts, some of those struggles can be chalked up to bad luck. While the Angels place seventh in the league with a 49.4% hard-hit rate from that group, they also sit dead last in BABIP, with a mark of .165 from those hitters. As such, they also rank 28th in wRC+ with 70 and last in wOBA with a .261.
While the Halos have seen a decent uptick in runs scored, more consistency from this part of the lineup will take some of that pressure off the pitching staff and put it on the Angels’ biggest strength.
The good news here is that there is only up to go in most of these regards, and the Angels have enough talent to get the offense rolling. Hitters like Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, and Anthony Rendon are not going to struggle for long. When they get hot, the Angels will too.