Los Angeles Angels Team Summary
The Los Angeles Angels are a Major League Baseball team based in Anaheim, CA. The Angels compete in the American League West Division.
The team was initially founded in 1961 and was added to the MLB as an expansion franchise. They played their initial season at Wrigley Field before moving to Chavez Ravine Stadium from 1962-1965.
The Angels eventually moved into Angel Stadium prior to the 1966 campaign, where they have remained ever since.
They have made the postseason ten times throughout their existence, and won their first and only World Series championship in 2002.
Los Angeles Angels Last Season Performance
It was another disappointing season in Anaheim last year. The Angels finished fourth in the American League West after posting a 77-85 record. The underwhelming performance marked the seventh consecutive season in which the Angels failed to make a postseason appearance.
The offense did display improvement in 2021. The charge was led by American League MVP Shohei Ohtani, who clubbed 46 home runs to go along with 100 RBIs and a .964 OPS. Ohtani’s hitting statistics are even more impressive when considering that he was also a starting pitcher.
First baseman Jared Walsh also enjoyed a productive season. The left-handed slugger hit 29 home runs and posted a solid .277/.340/.509 slash line.
Mike Trout was limited to just 36 games in 2021 due to injury. But he made the most of his time on the field with eight home runs while sporting a .333 batting average and a 1.090 .OPS. Trout would have certainly been in the MVP conversation along with his teammate Ohtani had he been able to stay on the field.
The rest of the offense was formidable and was a major reason for the Angels’ 77 wins. However, the pitching was once again underwhelming.
They finished 22nd overall in team ERA with a mark of 4.69. Ohtani led the starting rotation with a 3.18 ERA to go along with 156 strikeouts in 23 games started.
LHP Patrick Sandoval was productive throughout 17 games, pitching to the tune of a 3.62 ERA. But his season ended earlier than he would have liked due to injury.
Three pitchers who were supposed to be a vital part of the rotation all posted ERA’s over five. These pitchers included; RHP Dylan Bundy, RHP Griffin Canning, and LHP Andrew Heaney. The only one out of the three who is still on the team is Canning.
Although the bullpen was also rather lackluster, closer Raisel Iglesias was solid all season long. The veteran reliever had 34 saves and posted a 2.57 ERA. The Angels are hopeful he can continue to lead their relief corps for the foreseeable future.
The Angels will look to rebound in 2022 with a healthy Trout back in the lineup and perhaps some outside help in the starting rotation.
Los Angeles Angels Off Season Changes
The main change in Anaheim is a newfound willingness to win. And look, maybe the Angels have been trying to win over the past few years. But none of their moves have worked out despite having the best player on the planet on the roster in Trout.
But the team finally added a star pitcher to the roster in former Mets superstar Noah Syndergaard. The right-hander has dealt with his share of injuries but is one of the better pitchers in baseball when healthy.
Additionally, they were able to re-sign Raisel Iglesias to a four-deal to provide an anchor in their bullpen.
And the Angels have the offense to be a legitimate contender in 2022. Behind Trout, Ohtani, and Walsh, other solid hitters remain in David Fletcher and Justin Upton. The oft-injured Anthony Rendon could also be a threat in the lineup if he can find a way to stay on the diamond in 2022.
Could the team benefit from signing a few more quality starting pitchers? Absolutely. In fact, I believe they still need at least two more capable arms in the rotation.
But they are finally trending in the right direction. Angel fans can be genuinely excited for the first time in quite a few years.
Los Angeles Angels Key Additions
The Angels made several moves to bolster their bullpen by re-signing Iglesias, and bringing in veteran relievers such as Aaron Loup and Michael Lorenzen.
Iglesias was terrific in his first season with Los Angeles in 2021. We discussed his numbers above, and his incredible performances even earned him some Cy Young award votes. But a successful bullpen takes more than one pitcher, and the Angels certainly took that into consideration during the offseason.
LHP Aaron Loup has pitched in the majors since 2012. The crafty left-hander has a career ERA of 3.05 and had one of the best seasons of his career in 2021 with the Mets after posting a jaw-dropping 0.95 ERA in 65 games. The Angels noticed his success in Queens and inked him to a two-year contract with an option for a third season.
The Angels then signed a native Californian in Michael Lorenzen to a one-year contract. Lorenzen has spent seven seasons in the big leagues, which all came as a member of the Reds. But the right-hander will return home to California in 2022 after signing in Anaheim.
Lorenzen was limited to just 27 games in 2021. A fresh start might help him get back on track. Lorenzen is a versatile arm out of the bullpen, as he can work in the late innings, but he can also work multiple early innings if necessary.
The biggest free agent signing so far for the Angels came in November when the team inked Noah Syndergaard to a one-year contract.
Syndergaard was once considered to be one of the top pitchers in baseball and even rivaled Jacob DeGrom as the Mets’ best pitcher for a number of years. But injuries derailed his career following the 2019 campaign, and he has only pitched in two games since.
He is expected to finally be healthy once again, and the Angels are taking a chance on the 29-year-old right-hander. Syndergaard may become a co-ace of the rotation alongside Ohtani if he can perform similarly to his old self.
While many may doubt his ability given his injury history, Syndergaard could have something left in the tank, given that he is still just 29.
Los Angeles Angels Key Subtractions
Starting pitchers Alex Cobb and Dylan Bundy kicked off the offseason by declaring free agency in early November. Cobb was decent in 2021, but the Angels were content to let the veteran starter walk. However, Bundy was abysmal last season.
He finished 2021 with a 6.06 ERA and a 2-9 record. The performance was unexpected given that he had earned Cy Young votes in 2020 after posting a 3.29 ERA. The Angels were more than happy to watch him sign with the Minnesota Twins following his atrocious 2021 season.
Kurt Suzuki, Dexter Fowler, and Steve Cishek all became free agents early in the offseason. While Fowler and Suzuki are past their primes, Cishek is still a capable arm out of the bullpen. The veteran sidewinder posted a 3.42 ERA in 74 games for the Angels in 2021.
He is somebody the Angels may consider re-signing once the MLB lockout comes to an end.
Other than those players, the Angels have not lost much else in the way of Major League talent.
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Los Angeles Angels Coach Analysis
Joe Maddon is doing his best to lead the Angels to success.
He took over in 2020, and the team posted a poor .433 winning percentage. But that mark climbed in 2021 to .475.
And there is a very good chance that he could help the Angels get over the .500 mark in 2022.
Maddon has found success with every team he has managed. He led the Tampa Bay Rays to their first American League Pennant during the 2008 season and left Tampa Bay with a .517 winning percentage.
He was even better with the Cubs as he led them to their first World Series championship in over 100 years and left Chicago with an astounding .581 winning percentage.
So hiring Maddon after the 2019 campaign was one of the easiest decisions that the Angel’s front office has had to make in quite some time.
Maddon did a terrific job of utilizing Ohtani last season as well. He never over-used him, but he also did not baby him. Maddon allowed Ohtani to excel without causing potential injury for the two-way phenom.
This is even more impressive because big league managers typically do not have to deal with two-way players, especially in the American League with the designated hitter. But Maddon shined in helping Ohtani perform at an elite level.
The Angels are hopeful that the veteran manager can lead the team to the postseason in the near future.
Los Angeles Angels Injured Players at the beginning of the season
Relief pitcher Chris Rodriguez is expected to miss most of the 2022 campaign following a shoulder injury he endured last season. Although Rodriguez will not make or break a team’s success, he is a nice depth piece to have on the roster.
Veteran outfielder Justin Upton can still produce power for the Angels lineup. But he has dealt with various injuries, including back troubles that rose in 2021. The Angels will be cautious with him in Spring Training and at the beginning of the 2022 campaign.
LHP Patrick Sandoval’s season ended early following a back ailment. Although he is expected to return to full health in 2022, the Angels will be sure to keep an eye on him early in the season.
Other key players listed as probable for the beginning of the 2022 season include; Griffin Canning, Jo Adell, and Brandon Marsh.
Los Angeles Angels Prediction for 2022 Season
If the Angels can add two or three more starting pitchers, they could become legitimate contenders in the AL West. Although the division has teams trying to contend, only the Houston Astros stand out as a true threat.
The Mariners took strides in the right direction in 2021 and could be even better in 2022. Texas has already signed a number of stars during the offseason, and the A’s are always potential contenders.
But the Angels could take a big stride forward with just a few more starters. They have already added solid relief help, and the offense could be among the best in baseball in 2022 if everybody stays healthy.
On paper, the Astros are still a better team despite some questions about their bullpen. But we believe the Angels can be Wild Card contenders in 2022, their performances can be followed through MLB Odds. I would set their ceiling at second place in the AL West and their floor at fourth in the division.
But the only way they would hit their floor is if they fail to add any more pitching, and the offense deals with numerous injuries once again.
It will be extremely entertaining to watch two of baseball’s best players in Ohtani and Trout hit in the middle of the order in this lineup. Their performances alone should be enough to propel the Angels to a winning season. Check out their MLB Lines.
Bold prediction: the Angels will break their seven-year playoff drought in 2022.
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