Last season, the LA Angels went 26-34 in their 60-game season.
This season, they posted a 28-32 record through their first 60 games of the year.
The Angels, and every team in the MLB, faced very harsh circumstances last season with the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. While some of those problems are still around, many aren’t. The Angels, however, have had to deal with very frustrating and tough circumstances around their team this year, and have gotten better up to this point.
The LA Angels have made progress this season despite multiple key events that were expected to set them back.
When Mike Trout strained his calf, many expected the LA Angels’ season to be over.
They were already 18-22, and Trout was ruled out six to eight weeks on May 18th.
In the next 20 games, the Angels played .500 baseball, stepping up with their franchise player out.
Offensively, the Angels may not appear improved, but in comparison to the rest of the league at least, they certainly did improve through 60 games.
Sure, their team batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage all went down, but they’ve surged up the league rankings.
They went from having the 13th-highest batting average in the MLB to the seventh (.247), and they went from having the 12th-highest slugging percentage in the MLB to the eighth (.416).
It’s a similar story to the amount of home runs they’re hitting. They hit 10 less home runs through 60 games this year, but they’ve moved up to eighth in the league in homers (75). Last year they were 10th.
Their OPS is up to 11th in the league (.726), a spot up from last year, and while these numbers are “down” from what they were last year, they’re clearly improving relatively to the other teams in the league. The Halos obviously are better on offense in comparison to the teams around them than they were this year, so they have indeed improved.
Everybody’s numbers are down. The Angels are a team that has been able to withstand that to the point where they’re at least creeping up the league ranks.
The most important part to remember is that Trout was hurt for the last 20 games of this sample size. They were set to crumble, but have hung in there and found ways to keep plugging along.
On the pitching side of things, Angels Pitching Coach Mickey Callaway being investigated and fired looked like it could be the beginning of the downfall for the Angels’ staff. But, actually, the Angels’ pitching has improved since Callaway’s been out of the picture.
It’s one of the top reasons the Angels are 7-5 without him (again, all statistics from this article are as of the 60-game mark). The Angels posted a 5.20 ERA with Callaway this year, and a 4.11 ERA without him. They’ve jumped into the top 5 in K/9 at 10.29 in these past 12 games that Callaway hasn’t been coaching, and they’re walking 0.83 batters less per nine innings in that same time span.
They were originally 28th in the league in BB/9, but in the time without Callaway, they’ve posted the 15th-best mark.
Plenty of curveballs have been thrown the Angels’ way this season, and they’ve found ways to adapt to and overcome adversity.
The Angels still aren’t where we want them to be, but they’re certainly better than where we were last year, and things will get a whole lot easier when Trout gets back.