The Los Angeles Angels came into this season looking to greatly improve on what was a horrific offense in 2022. The Halos were 25th in runs scored, ahead of only the Nationals, Pirates, Marlins, Athletics, and Tigers. As you might expect, none of these teams came close to postseason contention.
The Angels have improved on that offense, thanks in large part to the home run ball. The Angels were 11th in the majors in home runs last season which was a solid mark, but they're now fourth this season. It's even better in the AL West.
AL West standings by home runs: LA Angels rank first in this tough division
1. Los Angeles Angels - 132 home runs
2. Texas Rangers - 119 home runs
3. Houston Astros - 106 home runs
4. Seattle Mariners - 98 home runs
5. Oakland Athletics - 81 home runs
The Angels lead the West in home runs by a fairly comfortable margin. They're only one home run behind the Tampa Bay Rays who rank third in baseball in home runs, and are just five behind the Dodgers who are second. This makes the Angels one of the premier power-hitting teams in all of baseball.
Shohei Ohtani is a huge reason why the Angels are where they are, as he leads all of baseball with 31 home runs. Ohtani has been otherworldly, and even has a chance at catching Aaron Judge's mark from last season if he can stay healthy.
Mike Trout, Hunter Renfroe, and Brandon Drury have all played a big role in the power department as well, giving the Angels an extremely formidable lineup when they're clicking. We've seen the Angels score as many as 25 runs in a game this season, but we've also seen them really struggle to score. Since scoring their 25 runs they've topped five runs just once in 11 games, and they found a way to lose that one.
A big reason the Angels find themselves in third place and seven games back of first place Texas is because they've been awfully reliant on the home run ball. The Rangers lead baseball in runs scored with 513 runs. The Angels are seventh with 434 runs scored. Seventh isn't bad, but they're 79 runs behind the Rangers. That's not great.
If they weren't 24th in baseball with a .244 batting average with runners in scoring position, it's possible they'd be higher up in the actual standings than they are right now. We saw the Angels really struggle to get the big hit in San Diego including a 4-for-16 game with RISP, and it's been an issue all season.
Home runs are cool, and the Angels celebration is fun, but clutch hits are what makes good offenses great. The Rangers lead the league with a .301 average with runners in scoring position. The Angels might be out-homering them, but therein lies the problem.