2017 American League West Preview: A Three Team Race
#5 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
When you have a two-time American League MVP winner and a future Hall of Fame first base man/designated hitter in the middle of your order, you should be poised to contend right? Wrong. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols have provided much of the offense for the Angels the past four seasons. Complimentary hitters such as Kole Calhoun and Cameron Maybin are nice pieces at the top of the order, but after the first four spots in the order the Angels lineup becomes very thin.
The lineup being the least of their worries however as their starting rotation has battled injuries and poor performance as of late. Ace Garrett Richards tore his UCL last season and it is unaware how he will pitch off of that. Longtime Angels’ Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson have departed, which leaves sub-par starters Matt Shoemaker, Ricky Nolasco, Tyler Skaggs, and Bud Norris to fill in. Anaheim’s bullpen on top of that may be one of the worst in baseball.
Closer Cam Bedrosian came off a great 2016, but the men building the bridge to the 9th inning will be a season long struggle. Even if the Angels receive another MVP like performance from Trout and a great bounce back campaign from Richards, the Angels still lack the supporting cast to finish anywhere higher than fifth.