The Los Angeles Angels are in the middle of a free-fall after losing their sixth consecutive game but as it stands, they still project out as a playoff team, however, some Major League Baseball executives still have questions about that and believe their losing streak might be the sign of larger issues.
After losing the first game of their series with the New York Yankees, the Angels are trying to patch up the holes in their current losing streak.
Currently, multiple projection systems have the Angels as a playoff team in some capacity, mostly as a wild card team, according to FiveThiryEight.com, Fangraphs, and Baseball Reference, but some executives around the league aren’t so sure about that, via Jayson Stark of The Athletic:
All right, so the execs we surveyed had some thoughts on that. They see real depth questions beyond this team’s stars. We heard concerns about Taylor Ward’s unsustainable .425 batting average on balls in play, and about Noah Syndergaard’s worrisome plunge in strikeout rate (6.9 per nine innings) and velocity (from 98 mph to 94 mph). There were also concerns about Patrick Sandoval’s staying power and about bullpen depth.
The Angels sit in the 3rd wild card slot with a record of 27-23 and a run differential of +34 and have a middle of the pack strength of schedule in 2022. They have a few holes to fill as we get closer to the trade deadline, and that may determine their future:
“What they do at the deadline, I think, will determine how far they go,” one rival exec said, “because they’re going to have to almost create a second layer of starting pitching to get through the season. … But they obviously are really talented. There’s a reason that everybody wants to believe that this is the year of the Angels.”
With a few injuries to starting position players and questionable depth in their bullpen, there will be huge questions mark down the stretch for manager Joe Maddon and his club. If they can tread water until they can acquire reinforcements, then the club might have enough talent to go deep into October.
Joe Maddon confident in Angels bullpen
Joe Maddon’s bullpen posted a 5.63 ERA after allowing 10 earned runs and a .288 batting average against in 16 innings versus Toronto. Outside of closer Raisel Iglesias, the Angels bullpen has been very middle of the pack and their depth has been strained as of late.
On the season, Angels relievers are 19th in MLB with a 4.02 ERA but have also allowed the 5th most home runs with 24. They’ve been able to limit their free passes and surrender just a .227 batting average to opposing hitters, and Maddon believes they’re just in a really bad stretch.
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