The LA Angels are in the toughest division in the American League, and maybe even in all of baseball.
The AL West contains the two best teams in the AL, in the Houston Astros and the Oakland Athletics. On top of that, the Angels, who are only a couple games under .500 (all stats in this article are as of what they were after the Giants series), aren’t even third in their division. The Seattle Mariners are having a solid year, at 39-37.
With or without injured Mike Trout, it’s becoming more and more clear that the steepest fourth place hole to climb out of is the hole that the LA Angels are in right now.
The LA Angels are 10 games out of first place, and 7.5 games out of the Wild Card race.
Getting out of this hole is going to be incredibly difficult for the LA Angels. They still have 31 games vs. the three teams ahead of them in the division.
Again, they’re very far back even just for the second wild card spot.
Let’s say the Angels set that as their goal; snagging the second wild card spot. Their explanation would theoretically be that they went through a lot with Trout getting injured and missing much of the season, so to be able to improve off of last year while facing that adversity would be a solid goal.
Well, the issue is that getting that second wild card spot still seems like a longshot right now considering that they’ll have to play so many games against good teams, due to them being in the AL West.
Suddenly, that 2.5 game difference between winning the division and grabbing a wild card spot really doesn’t look that huge. It’s a tall task either way.
In fact, the Angels play less games (27) vs. teams with a worse record than them for the rest of the season than they play games vs. just those three teams that are better than the Halos.
This San Francisco Giants series was quietly of great importance, and nothing seemed to bounce our way. Now, we’re looking at playing 13 out of our remaining 16 games before the All-Star break vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, and the Seattle Mariners. Those are four teams that have been playing better than the Angels.
Nobody can deny how hard it is to win without a franchise guy like Trout, but Angels fans still deserve a playoff birth. The Halos are still in it, but it won’t be smooth sailing on the journey.