The Los Angeles Angels have the best run differential in all of baseball, 16 runs ahead of the next best team. They are red hot out of the gate, something that is really welcomed from the fanbase in Anaheim that has been disappointed for the last number of years. The Angels pitching staff has been the key for the team’s success since Mike Trout and Albert Pujols joined forces in Los Angeles. The offense has sputtered at times, sure, but there has always been enough fire power with the offense that pushed all of the worry to the rotation and bullpen.
So, how have the Angels started the year on such a hot streak? Their pitching has been phenomenal!
While everyone and their mother would love to talk about the dominance of Shohei Ohtani, the rest of the starting rotation has been off the charts to start the year too. Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Ohtani, and all of the other fill-ins have done a great job to keep the lead until the bullpen can come in and shut the door. The shock is that only Richards, Ohtani, and Skaggs have made multiple starts this year, with the exception of JC Ramirez (Ramirez only threw 6 2/3 in two starts, but he is out for the season due to injury). The Angels’ bullpen has also been a positive point for the team that came into 2018 as a major concern. Life as a pitcher is always easier when they are pitching with a lead, however, and this offense has been potent.
Mike Trout has been slow out of the gate. The Angels are number one in the MLB in batting average, runs, and slugging percentage. The offense is also number two in the MLB in on base percentage. The offense has been that dominant, and Michael Nelson Trout has gotten off to a slow 2018 campaign. That is the scariest part of this Angels team. The offense will be able to score runs for the pitching staff. There is no doubt about that. Albert Pujols looks trim, and he is off to the healthiest start in an Angels uniform perhaps since signing the 10 year, 240 million dollar contract. He also sits at 616 career home runs and he could possibly reach 700 before the end of his career. He will definitely reach 3000 hits within the next few weeks. Also, Ohtani has been hot coming out of the gate and Justin Upton, Kole Calhoun, Zack Cozart, and Pujols have provided massive depth and protection for the best player in baseball.
The Ohtani factor will be the predominant story surrounding the Los Angeles Angels in 2018, but the entire roster deserves some more credit for the team’s play over the first few weeks of games. Mike Trout will figure it out and play like the best player in baseball. The hope is that the bullpen and rotation can continue to sustain their current level of success. If that can happen, then the Angels could knock on the door of the AL West, but they could be an incredibly dangerous team late in the season.