Expectations remain low for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Sure, they still have the game’s biggest start in Mike Trout, but this team isn’t as deep as its competitors in the AL West and it remains on the outside looking in when it comes to those teams that are truly playoff contenders.
This team made a number of quiet offseason moves that should each provide incremental upgrades to the team, but they were 14-games under-.500 last year and needed to make a much larger splash to answer some pressing questions in the lineup and on the mound and they were unable to do so due largely to financial constraints as their payroll is pressed up against the luxury tax threshold.
2016 Record: 74-88
2016 Moneyline Record: -8.76 Units
2016 Over/Under Total Record: 69-83-10
Current World Series Odds: +7000
Current Odds To Win AL: +3635
Current Odds To Win AL West: +1222
Regular Season Win Total: 79.5
Additions of Luis Valbuena, Danny Espinosa and Cameron Maybin are solid improvements to an team with now depth in their position players and very little outside of Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols.
With some thump added to the order by Valbuena and Espinosa, there’s a little more protection for the big thumpers in this order. They both offer versatility in the infield, too, while Maybin and Ben Revere provide the same in the outfield.
The depth on this team is better, but they still seem to be short one big bat to lengthen this lineup.
Look for another big season from the reigning MVP in Trout, but once again, it figures to be a wasted on a team that’s a ways away from truly competing.
The biggest reason for their likely struggles, however, won’t be the offense, or the defense which has been improved with these additions. Instead, the pitching is just a huge area of uncertainty. C.J. Wilson and Jared Weaver, leaving the rotation’s leadership role to Garrett Richards. When healthy, Richards is one of the better starters in the American League, but he made just six starts last year. Behind him, Tyler Skaggs has big upside, but missed a year due to Tommy John surgery and got just 10 starts last year, pitching to a 1.490 WHIP in the process.
After that, you have Matt Shoemaker who was so bad early he was demoted to the minors. He, of course, was a different pitcher upon his return and ended the year strong, but is just a middle-of-the rotation arm at best.
The questions continue with this rotation with Jesse Chavez, Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer all competing in the back of the rotation. Nick Tropeano and Andrew Heaney would at least give the team more depth, but both are recovering from Tommy John surgery.
With health—and ineffectiveness—plaguing this rotation, there could be a lot of pressure on the bullpen, but the pen is equally as much of an uncertainty. Cam Bedrosian looks to be stepping into the closer role for Huston Street. He pitched well in 40.1 innings last year, with a 1.12 ERA.
Even assuming the youngster thrives in the ninth inning, just how often can this team get to him? If the rotation is able to get into the sixth or seventh with the lead, who can bridge the gap to the ninth?
Street was shutdown in spring training and looks to be a shell of his former self. Andrew Bailey hasn’t been relevant for years. Mike Morin had a 4.37 ERA last year and while Jose Alvarez pitched okay in 2016, he allowed 11.1 hits per nine innings. Between Deolis Guerra and J.C. Ramirez there’s some hope, but there’s no question this bullpen is shallow in talent like the rest of the team.
Los Angeles has one of the weaker farm systems in the game as well so there’s little help on the way and little in the way of trade bait if by some miracle this team did stay in the hunt into July.
For the Angels to have any real success in 2017, they need the entire rotation to stay healthy and productive. While that’s certainly possible, in the day in age when bullpens are so important and teams usually have to reach very deep to fill a rotation throughout the year, it seems to be highly unlikely to you can count on just five or six guys the whole year, particularly with the kind of injury history the Angels are working with.
April 3-6: at Athletics
April 7-9: vs. Mariners
April 11-13: vs. Rangers
April 14-16: at Royals
April 17-20: at Astros
April 21-24: vs. Blue Jays
April 25-27: vs. Athletics
April 28-30: at Rangers
Oakland is a nice transition series into the regular season for the Angels. The large foul ground and deep fences in Oakland should help the Angels’ pitchers get their feet wet early. Not to mention, the Angels were 12-7 against the A’s last season. This series features the teams that are expected to be battling for the division cellar this year.
After Oakland, the Angels will get a couple home series against the better teams in the division in Seattle and Texas. The Seattle series should be particularly enjoyable after a recent twitter battle between the two teams in Spring Training. Beyond the A’s series—and another one in Los Angeles at the end of the month—the Angels will have to face a number of playoff hopefuls, many of which in their own division.
View this years MLB game match-ups with the complete seasonal schedule for all MLB teams. Each year we will be updating the season schedule with the current information including final scores, so bookmark this page.
The 2017 Major League Baseball season is tentatively set to begin on April 2, 2017, and feature three games, including the 2016 World Series champions Chicago Cubs facing off against the St. Louis Cardinals, which will be ESPN's first Sunday Night Baseball game of the year.
The 88th MLB All-Star Game will be hosted by the Miami Marlins and will be played at Marlins Park on July 11, 2017. It will be televised nationally on Fox.
|Major League Baseball Schedules By Month|
|MLB Betting Schedule||April||May||June||July||August||September||October|
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