Why My Prediction for the Angels’ Season was Wrong.

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Updated: May 10, 2017

Before the season started, I ran a prediction series covering all facets of MLB. One of the predictions was for how the Angels would fare this season. My prediction was an optimistic one, maybe overly so. I picked the Halos to finish second in the A.L. West with ninety-two wins, just shy of a wild card spot. In retrospect, that prediction seems ridiculous. Hey, we all can be wrong sometimes, right? Here’s some of the specific why I was so wrong, and what I was thinking with such a hopeful prediction:

1.) The Angels’ pitchers couldn’t stay healthy – While I was totally right about Tyler Skaggs and his inability to hold onto his rotation spot for the entirety of the season, I was wrong about Garrett Richards, who has only pitched five innings this season and is still out for at least another month. Four of the Angels’ best starters and their three best relievers are all injured, and several of those pitchers have yet to pitch at all this season. It’s a repeat of last season, and while the players they’ve been giving starts to this season have actually given the Halos more than you would ever think they would, it just isn’t enough to carry the team.

2.) The depth players haven’t produced – Cameron Maybin is batting .202 and has lost playing time to Ben Revere, who’s batting only .239. Danny Espinosa is batting .142 and has more strikeouts than total bases. That ineptitude has led to playing time for Cliff Pennington, who’s taken advantage of it to the tune of a .219 batting average. Luis Valbuena just finally returned after missing the first several weeks of the season. The Angels’ new additions have not given them what they needed from the bottom half of the order. This problem has been exacerbated by Trout missing five games over the last week. This team without Trout is just plain bad.

3.) Crucial mistakes at inopportune times – The defense has actually been pretty good overall, but they still seem to suffer from a lack of focus at the worst possible times, particularly Pennington, who has made several poor defensive plays as well as on the base paths. A team that employs Yunel Escobar is going to suffer their fair share of mistakes, but even players like Trout, Maybin, and Jefry Marte. have made egregious mistakes at times. Those kinds of things can work together to cost you a few wins a year.

4.) The bottom line – My prediction was overly optimistic. I thought the starting pitching, led by Richards and Matt Shoemaker, would stay healthy and just effective enough. I thought the bullpen would be long, versatile, and effective, particularly with Cam Bedrosian shutting the door. I thought the improvements in left field and at second base and catcher would push this lineup above league average. I thought C.J. Cron would stay healthy and break out. You get where I’m going. Maybe the Angels will get all their missing pitchers back and put together the staff I thought they’d have. Maybe those new additions will finally bounce back and bring depth to the lineup. Maybe it’s a case of all those mistakes being bunched together to make it seem like there’s a problem that’s not really there. More likely, they are what most people thought they’d be; a team that would be lucky to finish around .500.

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