We keep talking about 2022. Let’s start by taking a look at our opponents this home stand and realize we are currently chasing all 3 in the standings and will go into the offseason looking up at them. Perry and Co. don’t need to simply improve the team. They need to make the Angels better than three division rivals. Not easy.
Oakland really kicked the snot out of the Halos this year, taking the season series 15 games to 4. Our boys single handedly have kept Oakland in the Wild Card race as the A’s are only 67-66 against everybody else as I type this.
The Angels are 5-13 vs. the Asterisks this year as of this writing. Not that Houston needed help winning the division, but we gave it to them. And to the surprise of nobody, there’s now proof they cheated well beyond 2017 and into the 2019 playoffs.
We still have two series remaining against Seattle but sit a disappointing 5-8 against them heading into the weekend.
In case you are keeping score, that is a putrid 15-36 against the class of the division. Playing .500 ball against those three puts us right into the playoff chase.
Houston has a loaded free agent class and could lose some key pieces. But as a couple of guys leave payroll opens up and they’ve really hit well in the free agent market in recent years.
Oakland could fall back to the pack some as they have an enormous arbitration class and will almost certainly ship out some key pieces. However, they seem to do this all the time and keep on chugging, so we can’t count on that.
A division rivalry falls by the wayside when it comes to a scenario like Chris Bassit and it is great to see him back on the mound after taking a 100mph ball to the head last month.
Seattle is trending in the right direction with plenty of payroll flexibility and a farm system rated second in the game by Baseball America.
In short, Perry and Arte are going to have to go well beyond what we consider to be reasonable to compete next year. A division championship is truly against all odds.
If you want to really depress yourself, take a look at the 10 losses that defined the Angels season.
Of course 2022 will be better if we can take a failed outfielder and figure out how to make him hit 100 MPH out of the bullpen.
People sometimes ask why I pay for The Athletic. Easy. For articles like this. A truly incredible story about family, love, loss, and how baseball ties them all together. That is the longform for the weekend and I’ve read it more than once. Truly a great piece.
Conversely, Yahoo couldn’t have done much worse in their piece about 6 veterans who deserve a ring. First a cover photo of an Astro, then a confirmed roider in Nelson Cruz. I’ll root for Votto and McCutchen all day, but never the first two.
The Cardinals are scorching hot and not a moment too soon. They’ve soared into a Wild Card spot and these are the keys to that hot streak. One reason is that Jon Lester has been on fire as of late.
I might have to go back to school now that college students get MLB.TV for free. Let’s see, one free junior college class, ID, free baseball…
And while the Angels are out of it, the race in the NL West is simply amazing. Honestly I’ve been watching SF as much as the Halos lately because every game means so much and is so exciting. Hopefully Dodger killer Kole Calhoun can help relegate the boys in blue to the wild card game.