Hope in Anaheim: Angels in Week One

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The Halos opened with a four-game series with the Astros, followed by a two-game series with the Marlins, and then a four-game series with the Rangers. In those ten games, the Angels cobbled together a record of 6-5 and are currently in second in the American League West.

Pros of the First Eleven Games

Pitching is perhaps the main thing that has led to the Angels early season success. In their wins, Los Angeles has surrendered three or fewer runs. Some of the standout performances come from Noah Syndergaard, who is so far 2-0, and Michael Lorenzen, who won one of the games he started. The relievers have also been holding their own, with Raisel Iglesias each having two saves.

Syndergaard has so far looked like the starter the Angels wanted. In his two starts, he has an earned run average of 1.59, five strikeouts, and walks and hits per inning pitched of 0.79. What is even more impressive is that in his first start against the Astros, Syndergaard pitched 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball. According to Fangraphs, the starting pitching is ranked 19th in ERA, 13th in WHIP, and 15th in strikeouts per nine innings.

The hitting has been no joke either. Fangraphs has the team ranked in the top ten in categories such as batting average, on-base percentage, runs, and stolen bases. The team’s 16 home runs rank first in MLB.

Another star putting up standout performances is Shohei Ohtani. The dual-role wonder hit two home runs against the Rangers.

But there have been key contributors that are not the biggest names on the team. With a minimum of 18 at-bats Matt Duffy, Tyler Wade, and Jack Mayfield lead the team in batting average. All of which are batting in the high .300s right now.

The power has been charged in all of the bats as well. Ten players have hit a home run this season, with Ohtani leading the way with three. Tied with two includes Jo Adell, Jared Walsh, Max Stassi, and Mike Trout. It is a promising start to the offense if they can keep up this offensive consistency.

Cons of the First Eleven Games

Ohtani has gotten off to a slow start compared to his blistering start last year. On the batting side of things, Ohtani has been doing pretty good with three home runs, seven runs batted in, while batting only .234. With time, his average will come up but the more concerning stats are his pitching numbers. In eight and a third innings pitched, he has a 7.56 ERA, with three walks and 14 strikeouts. The seven runs that he surrendered are not like him. He has the punchout ability by having 14 strikeouts but letting up seven runs is concerning.

The other early-season concern that the Angels have is the bullpen. Fangraphs has the ERA ranked 26th, strikeouts per nine ranked 24th, and home runs per nine ranked 29th. Now it has only been eleven games into the season, but it is not promising that the front office tried to fix the bullpen because it was one of the weakest parts of this team last season. The promising part is that Iglesias and Pressly have shown some promise getting saves this year. It going to be exciting to see what they can do in these next ten games and if improvements are possible.

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