3 reasons the Angels will be significantly better in 2024

It can't get much worse, can it?
May 15, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) high
May 15, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) high / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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3) The Angels should be much better with runners in scoring position leading to a more potent offense

Look. If this team loses Shohei Ohtani in free agency, it's going to be very hard to argue that the offense will be better. The offense ranked 16th in runs scored with Ohtani playing at a historic level for five of the six months. That's very obviously hard to replace if he departs, but there're reasons to believe things can be a bit better.

The Angels ranked 28th in all of baseball in batting with runners in scoring position as they hit at a .236 clip in those spots. The only teams worse than them were the disappointing New York Yankees and the historically bad Oakland Athletics.

The Angels had an 86 WRC+ in these moments which simply is not good enough. Some of that was due to the team simply not having a good approach with runners in scoring position, but some of that also has to do with their .289 BAbip being a tad unlucky. 20 of the 30 teams had BAbip's over .300. If the Angels can get there, their average would improve.

Another reason this mark should improve is some of the players who stunk with runners in scoring position are and/or will be gone. Hunter Renfroe was one of the worst hitters in all of baseball in these spots posting a WRC+ of 50. He's gone. Randal Grichuk had just five hits in 47 at-bats with the Angels with RISP. He's most likely gone. Jared Walsh had four hits in 24 at-bats in these moments. He's gone. Gio Urshela hit .229 in these spots and is most likely gone.

Meanwhile, the Angels will hope for better injury luck from guys who excelled in these big spots. Anthony Rendon hasn't done much of anything with the Angels but when healthy, he's been great with RISP. Brandon Drury was the Angels best hitter in these pressure spots for much of the season and he missed a month with injury. Nolan Schanuel showed that he's capable of hitting in big moments.

Whether it's because of positive regression, the team being healthier, or a change of approach I would be surprised if this team finished 28th with runners in scoring position again.

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