As we enter the final months of the season, the outlook for the remainder of the LA Angels’ year is still as murky as ever.
Once again caught in between contention and rebuilding, the LA Angels’ record is a dead even 49-49 as of July 26.
With no clear path forward and potentially drastic long-term ramifications to be had, whatever the Angels’ final record is may well be a sign of where this organization is heading in the near future.
There are several key statistics that may help project the LA Angels record by season’s end.
As of July 26th, the LA Angels are 5.5 games out of a Wild Card spot with six teams ahead of them in the chase. With the Tampa Bay Rays in control of the race and likely out of reach, this leaves the second Wild Card spot as the Halos’ best hope.
Once their current series against the Colorado Rockies is finished, the Angels will have 61 games left. 44 will be against teams above .500, while just 17 are against those with losing records.
Likewise, 24 of these games are against teams the Halos currently trail in the Wild Card standings. The number of games they play against each, along with their current records against them are as follows:
- Seven vs. the Oakland Athletics (3-9)
- Six vs. the Seattle Mariners (5-8)
- Four vs. the Toronto Blue Jays (2-1)
- Four vs. the New York Yankees (2-1)
- Three vs. the Cleveland Indians (1-2)
Combined, the Angels are just 13-21 against these teams.
As for their record against the other above .500 opponents they will face—LA Dodgers (2-1), San Diego Padres (0-0), Chicago White Sox (3-1), and Houston Astros (3-6)—they are a more respectable 8-8.
While the Halos have somewhat held their ground against their out of division opponents, they’ve been utterly embarrassed by Houston, Oakland and Seattle all season long.
Having to play 23 more games against them, combined with the fact that the latter two are in command of the race for the final Wild Card spot, makes LA’s path to the postseason look that much grimmer.
If things follow suit and the Angels’ current 11-23 record against the Astros, Athletics and Mariners is a sign of what’s to come, they will go just 7-16 over their next 23 matchups, dropping to 18-39 against them on the season.
Bottom line, if the Angels fail to step up against their division rivals, they can kiss any chance of a playoff berth goodbye.
Even if they perform well enough against their other remaining above .500 opponents (let’s say 12-9 based off past performance) and continue to bully below .500 teams (roughly 12-5 vs. the Tigers, Orioles and Rangers), this simply won’t be enough.
Should these numbers stand pat, the Angels will go 31-30 to close out the season.
Depending on how their current series with the Rockies turns out, this means they will finish just over/under .500 … again. More specifically, the Angels will finish between 80-82 and 83-79.
With 90 wins looking like the magic number for the second Wild Card, LA’s 80-something wins wouldn’t cut it.
In other words, if the Angels want to make it to the postseason, they’ll need to find a way to create upwards of 10 more wins. That likely means going much better than 18-39 against their closest division foes.
While that’s certainly no small task, there may be a little, and I mean a little, hope here. With Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon still set to return, along with potential callups for Reid Detmers and Chris Rodriguez, these non-trade moves have a slim chance at moving the needle just enough to get those extra wins.
If, however, the front office chooses to sell at the deadline and doesn’t go after some pitching help, then these moves will be moot. In that scenario, it’s best to be prepared for another middle-of-the-road end to another middle-of-the-road season.