If the Los Angeles Angels were smart, they'd look to seriously address their starting rotation this offseason. Whether Shohei Ohtani stays or not, he won't be pitching in 2024. The rotation was subpar even with him making 23 starts, and will almost certainly be worse in 2024 if they do not make a legitimate upgrade.
Fortunately for the Angels, they have several places to look when it comes to free agent pitchers. Guys like Blake Snell, Aaron Nola, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto might be the biggest names, but a guy like Jordan Montgomery is among the more underrated arms of this free agency class and is someone Perry Minasian should be very interested in.
Montgomery just showed yet another reason that the Angels should be looking to bring him aboard after his dominant start in Game 1 of the ALCS.
LA Angels should pursue Jordan Montgomery in free agency
Montgomery has ascended from a mid-rotation guy with the Yankees to a bonafide frontline starter with the Cardinals and Rangers in the last year and a half. Montgomery played a key role in getting St. Louis to the playoffs in 2022, and did the same for Texas this past season. All he's done since getting to the poseseason in 2023 is continue to dominate.
The southpaw had a sparkling 2.79 ERA in 11 starts down the stretch for the Rangers. I felt the Angels should've made a move for him at the deadline as he was having a strong year with St. Louis, but instead the Angels wound up with Lucas Giolito and you know how that one went. He was their Game 1 starter in the Wild Card round and delivered seven shutout innings. Now he started Game 1 of the ALCS and nearly matched it.
The Houston Astros are a team that is extremely tough to beat in the postseason, particularly at Minute Maid Park. That proved to be no issue for this left-hander however, as Montgomery delivered 6.1 scoreless innings allowing just five hits and one walk with six strikeouts. He was in control all night and needed just 90 pitches to record his 19 outs.
The highlight of Montgomery's performance was the fact that he was able to strike out one of the best hitters in baseball, Yordan Alvarez, all three times he came up to bat. He was able to do it while completely avoiding the strike zone.
He's not the flashiest name and doesn't have the best stuff in the world, but Montgomery flat-out gets the job done. He was a gamer for the Yankees and has taken his game to another level the last couple of years posting a 3.34 ERA in 64 starts since the start of 2022. The Angels desperately need a frontline starter and they could use another veteran. Especially someone who can show up in a big game like this.