Ranking the 5 best starting pitchers in Angels history

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim / Matt Brown/GettyImages
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1) Best starting pitchers in Angels history: Nolan Ryan

As I stated prior, number one is hard to choose. On one hand, we have the longevity argument with Chuck Finley. He didn't have the insane numbers someone like Nolan Ryan did, but he pitched for almost twice as long in an Angels uniform. That does hold value. However, I went with Nolan Ryan as the best pitcher in Angels history. He was simply too good not to.

Ryan was traded from the Mets to the Angels along with some other pieces in the deal that sent Jim Fregosi to the Mets. This was seen as a slight risk by the Angels as Ryan had very real command issues and Fregosi, of course, was a consistent all-star. Ryan would end up blossoming into one of the greatest pitchers ever with the Halos while Fregosi didn't hit, stay on the field, or last very long in New York. He was traded to Texas in the 1973 season, not even two years after acquiring him.

This trade ended up being one of the greatest in MLB history for the Angels. Ryan pitched for just eight years in an Angels uniform but was just unreal.

The Halos reaped the benefits instantly after the trade, seeing Ryan make 39 starts in the 1972 season, going 19-16 with a 2.28 ERA in 284 innings pitched. He led the league with 329 strikeouts and had a 10.4 K/9 which was unheard of for the 1970s. He'd also lead the league allowing just 5.3 hits per nine. The control issues were there as he led the league with 157 walks and 18 wild pitches but nobody could hit his stuff so he ended up being just fine. He'd be an all-star, finish eighth in the Cy Young balloting, and even garner some MVP votes.

The following two seasons would see Ryan finish second and third in the Cy Young balloting respectively. Ryan would come close to winning the Triple Crown in 1974 as he led the league in innings pitched and strikeouts, but he'd finish seventh in ERA.

Ryan would make five all-star teams as an Angel and would finish in the top ten of the Cy Young balloting four times. He'd lead the league in strikeouts in seven of his eight seasons as an Angel, just unreal.

His final season with the Angels saw the team make their first-ever playoff appearance. He'd make a playoff start that season going seven innings allowing three runs (one earned) and striking out eight batters in a series loss.

Overall, he'd go 138-121 with a 3.07 ERA in 291 appearances (288 starts). He'd post a 115 ERA+ and a 2.94 FIP. You can argue that he was at his best as a member of the Angels.

Despite only pitching for the team for eight years Ryan is second in bWAR for pitchers, fourth in ERA, third in wins, third in starts, and he leads the franchise in complete games, shutouts, and of course, strikeouts (also walks).

Ryan was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame in 1992 and he also had his number 30 retired. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

Next. Ranking the 10 best free agents still available for the Angels to target. dark

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