LA Angels will be trade deadline buyers because they will be relevant by August 1
The one way the Angels will become deadline sellers is if they're completely out of the playoff picture. It feels like they're out of it in the AL West as the Halos sit nine games back of the first place Rangers, but they'll always be good enough to be relevant enough in the Wild Card hunt.
The Halos are five games back of the New York Yankees for the third Wild Card spot, and that's with a soft part of their schedule coming up. With the Angels having success against poor competition they will in all likelihood gain ground over the next couple of weeks.
Twice this season we've seen the Angels get as high as five games above .500 while we've seen them be as low as one game below .500 a handful of times. With the Angels not being worse than one game below .500, it feels like they'll always be just relevant enough to buy.
Moreno has gone on the record saying if the Angels are competitive, Ohtani isn't going anywhere. As long as Ohtani isn't going anywhere, the Angels aren't selling.
All you need to do with this playoff format is steal the third Wild Card spot. The Phillies did that last season and made it all the way to the World Series. Their opponent in the NLCS, the Padres, were the second Wild Card team. All you have to do is get in. If the Angels are relevant enough, this will be the argument they'll make. All signs point to them being just relevant enough.