The Angels are not tanking because they will not be the worst team in baseball
While watching the Angels bullpen implode in nearly all of the team’s eight losses, it can be easy to sit back and feel like you are watching one of the worst teams in the league. The hard truth of the matter is that you’re not.
A quick look at the league’s reverse standings (via Tankathon) will show you that there are currently three other teams with worse records in baseball; Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Pirates. While one could make a case that the Rangers could, like the Angels, be better, the fact that the Pirates and Royals are bad baseball teams remains.
Let’s take the Royals for instance. Kansas City is currently running with a four-man pitching staff due to being hit hard by COVID-19. Two of those arms (Brady Singer and Kris Bubic) have made a combined five appearances at the MLB level. Another arm, Jakob Junis, just made his first appearance of 2020 after missing summer camp and the first several weeks of the season. Their lineup is filled with holes and castoffs. They aren’t underachieving, the Royals are just a bad baseball team.
And then there is the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs have a cumulative batting line of .189/.255/.309 with a team wRC+ of 62. While pitching has been slightly better, ranking the Pirates in the middle of the pack, their inability to put the bat on the ball is going to keep them dwelling in the cellar, especially in a tough division.
Try as they might, the Angels are too good of a team to be counted among the Royals and Pirates of the league. There is too much talent on this team to allow the current state of play to continue throughout the entire 60-game slate.