There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the 2023 Los Angeles Angels and their quest at making it back to the postseason for the first time since 2014. The roster is deeper than it has been in a long time and you can't forget how great Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are.
While there're reasons to be optimistic, it's also fair to be a little more pessimistic. After all, this team has been bad for almost a decade straight now and there're still a lot of questions that must be answered.
We'd expect improvement but here are three reasons why the Angels will fall short of their goal of reaching the postseason.
1) The AL West is a bloodbath making the Angels path to the postseason very challenging
The Angels are playing in what might be the most competitive division in baseball. There're some divisions with two or three great teams, but also have two or three teams putting no effort in winning games. A division like the NL East has the Mets, Phillies, and Braves trying to win and having very good teams to do so, but the Marlins and Nationals are both terrible.
The AL West has four teams trying to make the postseason in 2023. All four teams have gotten better or are already great and that makes it difficult for an Angels team that won 73 games this past season to win enough to get in.
The Astros are defending champions and despite losing Justin Verlander they have one of the better starting rotations in the game and added Jose Abreu to what was a very good lineup. As much as we'd like them to go away, they're the team to beat.
The Mariners just made the postseason and added Teoscar Hernandez to a lineup that needed more thump. They will be good once again in 2023.
The Rangers added the best pitcher on the planet when healthy, Jacob deGrom, to a subpar rotation. With the Andrew Heaney, Jake Odorizzi, and Nathan Eovaldi additions to the rotation as well, the Rangers now suddenly have the potential to have one of the better rotations in the game if they can stay healthy while also having quality depth in case of injury. With their young players likely improving and Corey Seager and Marcus Semien anchoring the lineup, they'll be much better.
The Angels can slot in anywhere from second to fourth in this division depending on how they play and how healthy they are. It's reasonable to have them missing the playoffs just because of the division they play in, which is a hard pill to swallow.