LOS ANGELES ANGELS
It was an exciting offseason for the Los Angeles Angels as they brought in All-Star starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard as well as relief pitcher Aaron Loup. They’ve welcomed back a healthy Mike Trout and are going to get another year of the MVP phenom, Shohei Ohtani.
However, despite all the talent on this ball club, the Angels have struggled against a critical opponent in their first 11 games of the season. The Angels have played the Houston Astros five times and are a paltry 1-4 against them.
The Astros have won the American League West four of the last five seasons, so being able to beat the Astros is going to be paramount to LA’s success this season. Simply put, the Angels have no chance of winning the division if they cannot hang tough with Houston.
Season Series So Far
Of the first five games that the Angels have played against the Astros, they have been outscored 28-13 in total. This puts their inability to win against the Astros into clearer perspective.
The Angels began the 2022 season at home against the Astros and dropped three games out of four. They were outscored 20-10 in that series and it was clear that the Astros were the better team.
The home run ball has been very friendly to the Astros in their first five games against the Angels and guys like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez have only reinforced that.
The one win for the Angels came from a brilliant start for Syndergaard in his Angels debut. Los Angeles won 2-0 on solo home runs by Jared Walsh as well as Trout. That’s the brand of baseball the Angels need to roll out against the Astros if they expect to contend in the AL West.
On Monday night the Angels opened a three game series in Houston and dropped the first game 8-3. It was a 2-0 lead for the Astros early which the Angels tied up in the 2nd on Tyler Wade’s 2-run double.
After that, however, the Astros put up two more runs in the bottom of the 4th on a bases-loaded walk and hit-by-pitch. It’s been a self-sabotaging theme in the young season series for the Angels as they just cannot seem to keep things close against Houston with any consistency.
Los Angeles Angels – Looking Ahead
The Angels have two more games in this series against Houston which will be critical to salvage if they want to get on track against this team moving forward. After this series, the Astros and Angels won’t meet again until the beginning of July.
It’s anyone’s guess what the AL West standings will look like at that point, but it’s incumbent on the Angels to establish themselves as a serious threat in their division.
This is definitely a solid Angels ballclub with a lot of talent and potential, but if that isn’t translated on the diamond, then the Halos’ front office is just wasting their money.
They signed Trout to a 12 year, $426 million contract prior to the 2019 season and now have the prowess of guys like Ohtani, Syndergaard and Walsh. This team is spending way too much money to miss the playoffs yet again.
If they can’t beat teams like the Astros then it’s unclear what the point of throwing all that money really is.
The Angels haven’t made the postseason since 2014 when they finished with the best record in baseball, but were swept by the Kansas City Royals in the American League Division Series.
This season feels like a make or break moment for the Angels’ future and the level of talent Mike Trout possesses is a shame to not see in the postseason. It’s early but this Angels ballclub needs to shape up and prove that they belong back in October.