Can Los Angeles Angels put a playoff run together?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 29: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels prepares for a game. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 29: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels prepares for a game. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Angels haven’t made the playoffs since 2014, despite having one of the best, if not the best, players in the whole league. The impatience in Los Angeles began to grow and the organization put together a decent team during the offseason, but things haven’t panned out as planned.

The Angels aren’t in a terrible spot, currently sitting at 42-42. But compared to the rest of the American League West, the Halos look a lot further behind. It might be a result of some bad luck but that is no excuse for a hungry fanbase.

Can the Los Angeles Angels bring it up a notch and overcome the challenges?

The biggest blow of all was losing Mike Trout in the middle of May. The three-time MVP strained his calf and hasn’t seen the field since. I don’t think I need to say much more about the hole Trout leaves in center field and in the heart of the lineup.

The Angels also lost Dexter Fowler during the first couple of weeks after tearing his ACL. Some thought he would find his old self after reuniting with his old coach, Joe Maddon. The Halos have also had to deal with Anthony Rendon and Justin Upton’s injuries. Both players were supposed to be a large part of the LA offense this season to offer Trout some support.

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And then the pitching… Oh boy. Pitching has always seemed to be an issue for the Trout era Angels. The team made a valiant effort to shore up the pitching staff for 2021 and I was pretty impressed by it. The Angels had Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney, Alex Cobb, Shohei Ohtani, and Jose Quintana.

Although it’s no San Diego Padres starting rotation, it was one with potential. Bundy had a great 2020, Heaney has potential, Cobb and Quintana have been average middle-of-the-rotation veterans, and Ohtani was a blooming star.

All this to say, the Angels rotation has struggled badly besides Ohtani. The Halos even bolstered the bullpen in the offseason and that hasn’t gone to plan either. The Angels bullpen is ranked in the bottom half of the league.

But even with these struggles, the Angels have managed to sit at .500 and are giving themselves a chance at a strong second-half finish. Thanks to Ohtani, Jared Walsh, David Fletcher, and a few other surprising names, the Angels have a robust offense.

The Angels are in the top 10 in home runs, batting average, wOBA, and a few other statistics. And with Trout getting closer to full health, the Halos might be a threat to the top of the AL West.

Scoring runs is great, but you also need good pitching to win ball games. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if the club is busy at the trade deadline to shore up its starting rotation and bullpen.

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The Houston Astros are currently thriving at 52-33, the Oakland Athletics are doing their thing sitting at 49-37, and the Seattle Mariners are 45-40, which isn’t too far away for the Angels. There is still a lot of games left and I wouldn’t count the Angels out yet. Baseball is a weird game and things can turn quickly.