ZiPS has the team at 81-81, good for tied for second in the AL West. For what it's worth, they appear to own the tie-breaker over the Oakland A's, but that's little consolation. The fans expect this season to be playoffs or bust, and that's how it should be.
Mike Trout's coming back. Can you imagine going 81-81 with the two best players in baseball both in their primes? That would be rough.
The projections place the Angels tied for seventh in the AL. A lot would have to not go our way if this was to happen.
If the LA Angels don't make the playoffs, all of the biggest fears of the fan base would have came true.
Right now, LA Angels fans (including myself) are worried about the pitching staff, the lack of development in the farm, and the health of the team. If the Halos not only don't make the playoffs but also barely finish .500, many of the above concerns would have had to have come true.
Michael Lorenzen, and whoever takes the sixth spot would be starting on the mound and not getting the job done. The roster would have to be injury-ravaged. All of the young arms we've been trying to develop would have had to have not been progressing.
It would be bad news, and could potentially put Joe Maddon at risk of losing his job at the end of his contract next offseason. It would make for eight straight years of no postseason baseball for the Halos, and seven straight seasons without an above .500 record.
Now, these projections will continue to be updated. These are solely what the projections are for this moment, and of course there is much more of the offseason to get to once this lockout (hopefully) ends. There's plenty of time to improve our situation, but right now there aren't a lot of people too bullish on the Angels due to the pitching uncertainties.
ZiPS is clearly not buying in either, and goes to show that the front office has lots of work to do when they are finally cleared to go back to making moves again.