3) The LA Angels lack star power in the middle of their lineup
Ohtani's loss on the mound is glaring, but his loss at the plate is just as big of a deal. The Angels lost the guy who was arguably the best hitter in the sport in 2023, and who just put together one of the best single seasons in franchise history. If Ohtani stays healthy, he annihilates Troy Glaus' single-season home run record. He finished just three behind it despite missing nearly a full month.
Replacing Ohtani is impossible at the dish. Even if the Angels sign a free agent like Cody Bellinger or J.D. Martinez, they're not Ohtani. This doesn't mean they shouldn't do it, they absolutely should, but expecting this lineup to be better than they were in 2023 is likely wishful thinking.
When it comes to star power in the middle of the lineup, it's Mike Trout and a lot of finger crossing. When Trout is healthy, he's still elite. He might not be the best player in the game like he once was, but he's still one of the best and one of the most-feared hitters in the game today undoubtedly.
The Angels hope Anthony Rendon will bounce back every year and every year they walk away disappointed. Expecting anything from him would be a mistake. The next-best bet is who, Brandon Drury? The Angels second baseman is a nice player who had a great year in 2023, but if he's your second best hitter that's a problem.
The Angels hope Taylor Ward bounces back, Luis Rengifo keeps his second half form, and that their young players improve, but again, this was an average lineup with Ohtani. How they'd suddenly score more without him is something I'd never know enough to even be able to predict.