Baseball

Angels Ascend to Three Crucial Tests

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As May comes to an end and the dog days of summer begin, the Los Angeles Angels are in the conversation for a playoff push. The Halos have actually played winning baseball so far this year. There is a lot of success to recognize from the first two months of the season.

Standings Watch

As of May 29th, the Angels are 2.5 games back of the Houston Astros. With a record of 27-22, the club has had a good start to the season with a 3.5-game lead over the Texas Rangers. Right now, the team owns the second wild-card spot and is just a game back of the Rays and one ahead of the Blue Jays.

So far, this has been a successful season for the Angels. By this time last year, Anaheim was fourth in the division with a 22-29 record. They were towards the bottom, ranked 11th in the American League by their record.

Outstanding Performers

There are two obvious answers for most outstanding performers in May. Taylor Ward has shown promise in his first 30 games in the season. The start of his season has been a surprise to all, with a .354 batting average, .463 on-base percentage, and .681 slugging percentage. His on-base percentage and his on-base plus slugging percentage lead the league. His stats this year are already better than what he has done the past four years. He can be seen as one of the most improved players thus far. It will be interesting to see what he can do as we enter June.

The most outstanding pitcher is Reid Detmers. As of writing, he is 2-2 with a 4.65 earned run average. Although his numbers are not staggering, he did throw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays. With this, he recorded the first solo no-hitter of the season, and hopefully, he will lower his earned run average with more starts.

What’s Next for the Angels?

The Angels are in the middle of a three-game losing streak and have lost the past two games to the Blue Jays. All the games have been close, but the bullpen has given up untimely runs in the late innings. It has been good to see the Angels competing with the Blue Jays, who were said to be the best team on paper coming into the year. It will be interesting to see how the club bounces back from this four-game losing streak.

The next three series feature the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Red Sox, with the first two series on the road. This will be a true test for the offense as the Yankees own one of the best earned run averages in the league. And all three of these teams will test the Angels pitching staff with their stalwart offenses.

If the Angels can escape with a five-and-five record over this stretch, it will legitimize the Angels as a playoff contender rather than a team that has just gotten off to a hot start.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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