3 reasons why the Angels ended the first half under .500

Things have taken an ugly turn for the Los Angeles Angels as they fall under .500 at the midway point
Jul 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Matt Thaiss (21) talks to
Jul 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Matt Thaiss (21) talks to / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 3

3) The LA Angels are under .500 at the all-star break because key players have underperformed

This Angels team has a lot of talent. Even the most pessimistic Angels fan would agree with that assessment. Unfortunately, the talent on this team has not lived up to expectations.

While Mike Trout has still had a good statistical season, he hasn't been Mike Trout. Hie .862 OPS is a career-low by over 70 points. His 135 OPS+ is a career-low by over 30 points for a full season. Trout has still been a worthy all-star, but he hasn't been the first ballot Hall of Famer we've all known and come accustomed to watching every day.

After an all-star caliber season from Taylor Ward in 2022 he's fallen off drastically. Ward had an .833 OPS last season and he's down to .695 this season. His OPS+ went from 134 to 91. Major dropoffs.

Hunter Renfroe had an .807 OPS and a 125 OPS+ last season. He's at a .741 OPS and a 104 OPS+ this season. Luis Rengifo hit 17 home runs and had a .724 OPS last season with a 102 OPS+. He's at a .638 OPS and a 76 OPS+ this season.

On the pitching side, we've seen similar outcomes. Tyler Anderson was an all-star last season for the Dodgers and has a 5.25 ERA as an Angel. Patrick Sandoval went from a sub-3.00 ERA guy to a 4.41 ERA pitcher. Shohei Ohtani hasn't quite been the Cy Young pitcher he was last season even with his bat being absurdly good. Even Jimmy Herget went from the Angels' best reliever to a minor leaguer.

Players the team counted on to be key contributors haven't lived up to expectations. There're some who have like Shohei Ohtani offensively, Brandon Drury, Zach Neto, Mickey Moniak, Carlos Estevez, but there're way more guys who have regressed rather than progressed.

This team is better than the 2022 version, but these roadblocks have caused their season to collapse in early-July, and barring a turnaround immediately after the all-star break, it'll likely look a lot different next month.