Los Angeles Angels: Can they get back in the AL West race?

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Shohei Ohtani #17 and Kurt Suzuki #24 of the Los Angeles Angels walk onto the field ahead of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 26, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Shohei Ohtani #17 and Kurt Suzuki #24 of the Los Angeles Angels walk onto the field ahead of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 26, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images) /
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No team in baseball will face more disappointment this year than the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels possess two of the most incredible baseball players the game has ever seen but are still looking for that elusive playoff berth with both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on the roster.

After the first 53 games of the 2022 season, the Los Angeles Angels have an average 27-26 record. Currently, the Angels are on a nine-game losing streak. After coming off a tough doubleheader loss to the New York Yankees, the Angels are trying to find their way in Philadelphia as they face the Phillies in a three-game set.  Looking ahead, the Angels have some tough teams coming up on their schedule. In the next few weeks, the Angels will face the Boston Red Sox, the New York Mets, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. If the Angels can’t turn it around, will they be out of contentions come the end of June? With all that firepower in that lineup, how are the Angels not contenders?

Mike Trout can’t do it alone for the Los Angeles Angels

Which Angel will step up and provide some firepower in the lineup? Currently, Mike Trout is having another All-Star season, with 13 doubles, a triple and 13 home runs for the Angels. Of course, Shohei Ohtani is a dual threat with his arm and bat, but his pitching and batting hasn’t been spectacular in the early part of the year. As of now, Ohtani’s pitching isn’t cutting it. He has a 3-4 record with a 3.99 ERA. Also, Ohtani hasn’t looked great at the plate, holding a .244 batting average with 11 home runs. Is dual responsibility too much to handle for Ohtani? Maybe Joe Maddon should consider making Ohtani a one-way player? It is still early, and I expect Ohtani to turn it around.

Looking at the Angels lineup, Matt Duffy is having a nice 10-game stretch. Even with the Angels’ poor performance, Duffy is bringing a spark to that lineup. Duffy is batting 11-for-24 with a double and an RBI over the past 10 games.

With a roster that includes Trout, Anthony Rendon, Noah Syndergaard, and Ohtani, how are the Angels not trending in the right direction? The team has arguably the best lineup in baseball, but they have to be more consistent if they want to play in October.

The Angels need Anthony Rendon to get healthy and return to the lineup soon. Currently, Tyler Wade has stepped in as the starting third baseman. Until Rendon can return, Wade and Matt Duffy will platoon at the hot corner.

With the Angels’ starting pitching extremely inconsistent, look for them to make a move before the trade deadline. Angels’ GM Perry Minasian has the opportunity to make some deals for some high-end starting pitching. The Angels were very interested in trading for Frankie Montas in the offseason. With the Athletics in full rebuild mode, Montas might be a good selling piece for them.  In 39 starts these past two seasons, Montas has posted a 3.44 ERA.

If the Angels can find more consistency throughout their roster, they can make a run at the AL West. Currently, the Angels sit 6.5 games behind the Astros for first place. With the tough early June schedule, the Angels better figure out how to win some games before that Astros’ lead hits double digits.

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It’s sink or swim time for the Angels and I am eager to see what direction they will go.