The 2023 Angels kick off the regular season tomorrow. There will be plenty of new faces on Opening Day and likely even more as the season progresses. Has Angels GM Perry Minasian done enough to get the Angels back to postseason baseball? And will any Angels win awards?
Let’s see what the staff here at Crashing the Pearly Gates has to say.
How many games will the Angels win in 2023?
Jeff Joiner: Between my normal Spring optimism and firm belief the Trash Pandas bullpen of 2022 makes noise at the MLB level in 2023, I’m going to say 88 wins. Plus they are going to ride Ohtani hard in his last year under contract.
Rev Halofan: 162-0
Charles Sutton: 86-76
Jessica: This is really tough this year. The Angels rotation has some huge upside potential and depth has been added. Question marks exist on the left side of the infield though and beyond Trout, Ward, and Trout in the outfield, do we really have depth in the grass? Bullpen to me is still a bit of an unknown as well. I’m going with 87 wins because I’m a sucker and like being butter-cupped.
John Henry Weitzel: 79. Fool me once, shame on you… I want to believe, but this team keeps letting me down year after year. Sure, they may be in it in August this time instead of May, but I expect to have something go wrong yet again.
Will the Angels make the playoffs in 2023?
JJ: Tough. I think we’re right on the brink. At some point, we should get something to break our way. I’ll say yes. As a wild card.
Charles Sutton: Yes.
Jessica: I’m giving them a 65% change of taking a wildcard spot.
JHW: No. Prove me wrong, please.
Will an Angel win MVP? If so, which one?
JJ: The MVP has gone from Mike Trout’s to lose to Ohtani’s to lose. Really remarkable for one franchise. With no restrictions on Ohtani, I say he wins the MVP this year.
RevHF: Taylor Ward will be your 2023 American League MVP
Charles Sutton: No.
Jessica: Yes. Ohtani is only getting better. Unless someone hits 60 home runs again (unlikely) or gets the Triple Crown, I think he’s poised to take the MVP home again.
JHW: Mike Trout is hungry again after that WBC and will want to one up Ohtani. He will be my pick.
Will an Angel receive Rookie of the Year votes?
JJ: I can see O’Hoppe and Ben Joyce getting some down ballot votes this year.
RevHF: O’Hoppe should.
Charles Sutton: O’Hoppe
Jessica: O’Hoppe should be in the running but really depends on how much he plays. That hinged on when Stassi comes back and what the Angels decide to do with Thaiss who is out of options. Best case is O’Hoppe rakes in April and makes them keep him on the roster all year.
JHW: Logan will get a few but not be in the top 5.
Will an Angel win Comeback Player of the Year?
JJ: Both Anthony Rendon and David Fletcher are obvious candidates here. But let’s not forget Griffin Canning who missed last year and is pitching well. I don’t see either winning it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one did.
RevHF: This is Anthony Rendon’s to lose.
Charles Sutton: No.
Jessica: I want to say Anthony Rendon here but Angels, so I’ll so – no one does.
JHW: There aren’t as many candidates this season for AL, so Rendon has a shot if he plays like it is 2019. Big IF though, but I would lean towards DeGrom getting it.
Who plays shortstop the most often for the 2023 Angels?
JJ: I’m going to say Fletcher. Range is more important than ever without the shift and David has the best glove. If his legs are under him and he can produce a 90ish wRC+ he’s the best all around option.
RevHF: Luis Rengifo
Charles Sutton: Luis Rengifo
Jessica: Gio Urshela. Will be hard to keep him out of the lineup if he’s hitting and if Rendon is hitting, SS seems like the best spot to stash Urshela despite him being an average at best SS.
JHW: Gio, he is the Opening Day SS, so Phil seems to prefer offense there. Late in game he may not be, but he will get the most starts.
Who closes the most games for the Angels in 2023?
JJ: The easy call is Esteves, but he could be the high leverage guy and allow a lesser arm to pitch a clean 9th. I’ll still go with Esteves, but not confidently.
RevHF: Ben Joyce
Charles Sutton: Jimmy Herget
Jessica: Carlos Estévez
JHW: Quijada. He has the emotional explosiveness as seen in the WBC that he will get the nod the most.
Are the Angels buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?
JJ: Ohtani is the grandest prize in all of baseball and the Angels have plenty of guys like Renfroe, Tepera, and Loup who are on their last year. However, I think the team is in it at the deadline and adds a piece.
RevHF: Buyers and Adell in AAA will go somewhere.
Charles Sutton: Buyers (bullpen)
Jessica: Buyers. They have to be if they want to keep Ohtani and Arte has made it clear he’s not being traded. I think they will be within striking distance at least in July which will also make them buyers.
JHW: Buyers, as Arte will convince Perry to go all in and Perry will convince Arte to spend money. Since they are stuck together for the long term, they need to to keep Ohtani interested in returning.
Who are your division winners and Wild Card teams?
JJ: Astros, Guardians, Yankees, Padres, Cardinals, Phillies to win the division. Angels, Mariners, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Braves, Mets as Wild Cards.
RevHF: Green Bay in the Central, Rams in the West, Cowboys in the East and Falcons in the South. Jets in the AFC East with Rodgers, KC of course, Jacksonville will take an underwhelming South with a record under .500 and the Bengals make it boring in the Central.
Charles Sutton: I don’t know.
Jessica: Blue Jays, Twins, Astros. Braves, Cards, Padres. Wild card? Dunno, it’s wild!
JHW: Houston, Rays, Twins, Dodgers, Cards, Mets, with Yankees, Blue Jays, Guardians, Braves, Padres, Phillies as WC.
Which two teams play in the Fall Classic and who wins?
JJ: The Padres and Astros are the most stacked teams in the league. But crazy stuff happens in October. I’ll go with the Padres vs. the Blue Jays with SD finally getting a ring.
RevHF: Angels sweep the Pads, c’mon ask me something hard.
Charles Sutton: Houston beats the Phillies in five.
Jessica: Padres beat the Astros.
JHW: Mets over Blue Jays in 6