Noah Syndergaard's AL West domination proves he's earning his bag with LA Angels

Noah Syndergaard, LA Angels
Noah Syndergaard, LA Angels / Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Syndergaard was signed by the LA Angels on a one-year, $21 million deal this past offseason, and the returns on it so far have been great. With him taking the mound Saturday night against the Baltimore Orioles, it's worth reflecting on just how impressive he's been.

Syndergaard comes into this start with a 2-0 record and 1.59 ERA. The best part about Syndergaard's performance wasn't just that, however. The best part about Syndergaard's play this year has been the teams he's done it against.

Syndergaard gave the Angels their only win of their opening series of the season against the Houston Astros. He also shut down the Texas Rangers' talented lineup which just signed free agent stars Marcus Semien and Corey Seager.

To have his first two starts be against division rivals felt like a big test for Thor. There was immediately going to be a high level of pressure on him early in the year, and the fact that he delivered means everything.

Noah Syndergaard has so far been exactly what the LA Angels hoped for.

Noah Syndergaard is the LA Angels' No. 3 starter, and he's arguably been their second-best starter so far this season. His contract didn't have a lot of long-term risk, but it did come with some short-term risk. $21 million is a lot of money to spend on someone who had only pitched two innings in the last two years.

Sure enough, however, the Angels have helped him recover from his UCL injury brilliantly, just like they did with Shohei Ohtani's UCL injury. Syndergaard gave up just seven total hits in his first two starts (11.1 IP), and just two total walks. His 242 ERA+ shows how insane his performance has been compared to the rest of the league.

It suggests that he may have a big night in Game 2 of this home series against Baltimore. Runners haven't even been getting on at all, as Thor currently has an 0.794 WHIP on the year. He's only given up two runs, and looks like the Syndergaard that's shown up for most of his career.

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From 2015 to 2019, Syndergaard had a 2.93 ERA, a 2.66 FIP, and a 132 ERA+. That's certainly the Syndergaard LA has been seeing so far this year. Hopefully that's the Syndergaard they continue to trot out there all 2022.