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ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 2:  A general view outside Angel Stadium prior to Game 1 of the ALDS against the Kansas City Royals at Angel Stadium on Thursday, October 2, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CA – OCTOBER 2: A general view outside Angel Stadium prior to Game 1 of the ALDS against the Kansas City Royals at Angel Stadium on Thursday, October 2, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)  Photo courtesy of rantsports.com

 

LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM

2015 Record: 85-77, Third Place in the American League West, three games behind the Texas Rangers

Key players

Mike Trout, CF: .299, 40 HR, 99 RBIs

Albert Pujols, 1B/DH: .244, 40 HR, 95 RBIs

Garrett Richards, P:  15-12, 3.65 ERA, 176 strikeouts

Houston Street, Closer:  3-3, 3.18 ERA, 40 saves

Manager: Mike Scioscia, 17th season

Ballpark: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, capacity 45,483

First Season: 1961

at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 23, 2015 in Anaheim, California.

The undisputed face of the Angels franchise, Mike Trout, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 23, 2015 in Anaheim, California. Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

 

Predictions:

I’ll make this short and sweet…

Sure, these Halos from Orange County have the best player in their sport, a guy SO much like the legendary New York Yankee Mickey Mantle, even down to his blonde hair and muscular build.

However, it takes a lot more than Mike Trout to have a championship team, or even a contending one, as their ace pitcher, their number one starter, would be a number three starter on other contending teams like the New York Mets or the now-defending champion Kansas City Royals.

The Angels’ other big slugger, Albert Pujols, is a first ballot Hall of Famer who’s on the inevitable decline that every ballplayer goes through.

Their pitching staff, outside of Richards, is chock full of maybes and we-will-sees (though Hector Santiago did look extremely good against the Dodgers in their Exhibition game this last weekend).

I don’t think anyone outside the Angels’ clubhouse is certain that Craig Gentry and Daniel Nava will be the answer in left field.

 

Los Angeles Angels 2016 preview from YouTube.com

 

And there doesn’t seem to be any help coming from their farm system anytime soon, as that system is ranked by many as baseball’s worst.

That’s why I’m officially predicting that these Angels will finish in…

Fourth place in the American League West, behind the Houston Astros, Rangers, and Seattle Mariners.

Who unlike the Angels have a true ace in Felix Hernandez, which will ultimately be the difference.

If I were a red-clad, Rally Monkey-waving Angel fan, I’d be very concerned that if those Halos don’t make a serious commitment to winning, and soon…

That superstar of theirs may well be wearing a jersey saying “Phillies” in front of it, or even Yankee pinstripes, by 2020.

 

LA-Cover

An Angels cap and glove resting between innings. Photo courtesy of angelswinblog.blogspot.com

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