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Here come the Angels?
It’s only been a week of the season so far so we don’t want to get too excited or worried about anything that is happening in baseball right now. That being said, how about them Angels?
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As crazy as that is, what may be even more crazy is that the Angels are riding high in first place. They are 5-2 on the young season and just completed a sweep of the Seattle Mariners, a team that many people (myself included) had pegged for a playoff spot this season. The Mariners, of course, haven’t even played a home game yet so we’re not too worried, but it looks like the Angels may be a team that could be a force this season.
The presence of Mike Trout always help. The best player in baseball has been playing like himself this season and he hit a big homerun in Saturday’s game against the Mariners that clinched it. As long as this guy is healthy, this team is a threat to win on any night the pitching shows up. You can’t say that about any player in baseball but him.
He hasn’t gotten much help early from Albert Pujols. He led the comeback in the ninth inning yesterday, but overall he has been the Angels worst hitter. I have a hard time believing in this team when he doesn’t hit. Kole Calhoun is the true number two on this team without the Hall of Fame credentials. He gets it done and has been a 4-win player. The team has also gotten surprising offensive contributions from Andrelton Simmons early. If any part of that can be for real, that would be huge. His defense already makes him one of the more valuable shortstops out there so any decent hitting can really boost the team.
This team will live and die by it’s pitching. Matt Shoemaker and Tyler Skaggs have been healthy to start the season and that will be key for them. Anything positive from Ricky Nolasco and Jesse Chavez is just a bonus. The key to this whole thing is Garrett Richards. If he is healthy, he could be a Cy Young candidate. He made one start thus far and looked good, but he also left that start and is now on the 10-day disabled list. If that injury turns into something that costs him a significant amount of time, I have a hard time seeing this good fortune continuing into the season. With a healthy Richards though? The Wild Card is not out of the question.
Even though we tagged this team as one of the potentially most surprising teams in 2017, I am going to hold my breath on this. Seven games is nothing in the grand scheme of things.
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