5 bold predictions for the Angels 2024 season

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels
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4) Ben Joyce ends the season as the Angels closer

This prediction says more about Carlos Estevez than it does about Ben Joyce. Estevez was signed to be the Angels closer. In the first half of last season he more than earned that contract by pitching his way to the All-Star Game. Unfortunately, things really fell apart for the right-hander down the stretch leaving Angels fans to question whether Estevez is fit for that role.

Estevez is, barring a shocking Josh Hader signing, going to remain the team's closer to start the year. While he probably deserves that because of last year's first half, he certainly hasn't earned a long leash because of how he finished last season. If Estevez struggles, a pitcher like Ben Joyce, a guy the Angels drafted to be their future closer, could take over.

Another scenario where Joyce would take over outside of Estevez struggling would be the Angels being out of contention by the trade deadline. Estevez is in the final year of his deal, and would be a prime trade candidate if the Angels are not competing for a playoff spot. Based on how things have gone this offseason so far, unfortunately, that feels more than likely.

Joyce is going to have to improve his command and his slider for this to happen, but there's every reason to believe that the 23-year-old will improve. When he's locating his pitches he's virtually impossible to hit, and would be fun to watch in the ninth innings.