I Guarantee a Wildcard Spot for the 2023 Angels

There are many reasons to be optimistic about the Angels’ chances for finally returning to Major League Baseball’s post season tournament this fall. If you look at the series-by-series results so far, you can see that the Angels are close to being that team right now. They are, for the most, part winning every series when they play a mediocre or a poor team. And they are almost winning the series-es against the good teams. They are losing two out of three games in a series against the good teams, but just barely. They have been competitive in many of the games they have lost against the good teams, so that a small tweak in the essential composition of the Angels could flip those series loses into series wins.

The offense in general hasn’t been the problem. The Angel offense is hitting like a team that is going to make the Wildcard Spot. As of this writing, they are 4th in the league in runs, 6th in batting average, 5th in walks, and 5th in slugging. And they are likely to get better. When Jared Walsh returns, that could lead to a significant improvement in the offensive production the Angels have been getting out of the first base position, which has been far below league average so far this season. The Angels also have some treasury bonds in the minors that they can cash in if their offense needs a little push. If Taylor Ward’s slump extends into unbearable, Trey Cabbage or Jo Adell can be called up to add a spark to the left field spot. Thaiss and Wallach have done well filling in for O’Hoppe, but if they can’t keep it up Edgar Quero is just a phone call away. The offense is going to be solid.

The pitching has been the problem. The Halo staff is pitching like a .500 team that is not going to be invited to playoffs. The Angel pitchers are 7th in the league in ERA and 9th in WHIP. The starting pitchers are more to blame than the relievers. But if Suarez has solved his tipping pitches problem, he is going to be much improved. And if Perry Minasian has the courage to do what it takes to win and get into the playoffs, he would sit down with Tyler Anderson and tell him that he was going to be heading to the bullpen so Davidson or Silseth could take his starts. That not only improves the starting rotation, but it would also likely improve Anderson’s effectiveness since he could go all out for two or three innings at a time and pump up that lagging velocity. And then for the bullpen, there are several pitchers in the Angels’ upper minor leagues right now who are doing well, and one of them should be coming up soon to replace Loup.

The Angels have the ability to improve their offense (and defense) with the arrival of Walsh. They have the ability to improve their starting rotation with a fixed Suarez and the replacemnt of Anderson. They also have the ability to improve their bullpen by replacing Loup.

With these improvements, the Angels will continue to beat the teams they should beat, and they will be able to win some of these series-es against the better teams in the league. If they do, they will finally be able to earn a seat at MLB’s post season dinner table.

Photo credit: Rex Fregosi

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Jeff Joiner
18 days ago

I like it.

My concern is that Thaiss and Wallach have been crushing the ball and will return to normal soon. That would be offset to a large degree by a return of Walsh, meaning we don’t really get better when Walsh returns.

23 days ago


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