The LA Angels were an abysmal 4-15 against the Oakland Athletics in 2021. That was the worst record they had against any team in the AL West, which is ironic because they weren't even one of the top couple teams in the AL West. The A's did, however, have 86 wins compared to the Angels' 77.
While this was ugly, the A's are not going to have the same success against the Angels next season. Anaheim didn't get to play the A's a single time with Mike Trout in the lineup. That was killer, as Trout is about as good as a ballplayer gets whenever he plays Oakland.
Trout hits to a tune of .301/.396/.573 (.968 OPS) against Oakland. Despite them being a perennial winning team, they just can't figure out how to stop Trout. In 150 games against the A's, Trout has hit 38 home runs against the club, and scored 115 runs. He's driven in 97 when facing off against Oakland. He even puts his wheels to the test--as he's stolen 29 bags against the A's.
It's not just Trout's return that is going to make the LA Angels more competitive against the Athletics.
Trout will be coming back to the LA Angels next year, and nobody will be returning to the Athletics next year. Trade rumors have swirled all around the entire A's core. Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, and Frankie Montas have all been rumored to be dumped via fire sale. While this means that the A's could get some monster prospects that can help in the long run, it doesn't bode well for their team next year.
In fact, LA has been towards the forefront for two of those pitchers, starters Bassitt and Montas (according to baseball analyst and insider for CBS and The Athletic, Jim Bowden). It's not just that guys like Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Patrick Sandoval will be healthy when 2022 starts. It's also that Oakland won't be the same team they were in 2021, which already was a team that regressed.
The Halos will be a better team next year than last now that they'll be healthier. Their first four games against the A's have already been canceled, but they'll still be playing them another 15 times. Regardless of what the roster looks like, the A's never lay down and just suck. That being said, the Angels will have the two best players in the game together next year, along with a healthy Rendon and $28 million man in Upton. Struggling against Oakland next year would be underachievement.