Angels winning with key players struggling can only mean good things for the future

Los Angeles Angels v Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels v Texas Rangers / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels are on a roll. They've taken the first two games of their big four-game series in Texas, and have won eight of nine following their rough series in Houston.

The Angels are now 38-31, a season-high seven games over .500, and find themselves in the thick of postseason contention. They trail the Astros, the team holding the third Wild Card spot, by just one game and trail the division-leading Rangers by 4.5 games.

The Angels have been winning games lately despite getting very little production from players they rely heavily on to keep them afloat. That should bode well for the future of this team.

LA Angels finding success while key players struggle can only mean good things

The Angels have won eight of nine with Mike Trout continuing to slump. While he has looked better of late, the Angels superstar has just five hits in 38 at-bats in the month of June with only one home run. He's looked mostly lost against fastballs, and has failed to come up clutch with runners in scoring position.

Trout has played in eight of the nine most recent games and has just four hits in 23 at-bats in those games. He has drawn seven walks which is good, but nine strikeouts in that span is not good at all.

Anthony Rendon is the Angels cleanup hitter who returned from the Injured List right at the beginning of this recent stretch of good baseball but he's struggled mightily. Rendon has one hit in 22 at-bats since returning from the IL, and does not have a single RBI. Rendon wasn't hitting for power before landing on the IL, but was still driving in runs and getting on base. He's done neither since returning.

Jared Walsh was supposed to provide a spark offensively and defensively upon his return from a lengthy IL stint. After tearing it up in AAA, Walsh has six hits in 52 at-bats this season without a home run. He's looked good at first base, but the Angels can't run him out there if he can't hit at all.

Walsh has appeared in six of the last nine games but has only made four starts. In those games he is hitless in 15 at-bats with eight strikeouts. A power surge from Walsh will hopefully come soon, but it's definitely hard to envision right now.

Even Shohei Ohtani has had his own struggles on the mound. He's carried the Angels at the plate, but in his one start during this streak he allowed three runs in five innings. He walked five Mariners hitters and the Angels squeaked by with a one-run victory. In his last eight starts, Ohtani has a 4.88 ERA.

All four of these players are former all-stars. Ohtani, Trout, and Rendon all got off to good starts before recently cooling down while Walsh has yet to get hot. We've all seen these players carry teams for long stretches before, and it wouldn't be shocking to see them do it again.

Let's see Ohtani shut the Rangers down on the mound with seven scoreless. Let's see Mike Trout go on the kind of tear Ohtani is on right now at the plate. Let's see Rendon produce out of the cleanup spot like he was before. Let's see Jared Walsh hit some longballs again.

The Angels have been winning games with their key players failing to meet expectations during this stretch. Can you imagine where they'd be if Trout was swinging a hot bat or Ohtani had his Cy Young stuff?

The talent is there for this team to make it to the postseason. We've seen the depth pieces and the bullpen shine in Texas. It's time for these key players to step up too.