Since the All-Star break, the Angels haven’t exactly looked like a powerhouse. They had won 19 of 22 going into the break, so they really had nowhere to go but down. Still, the 10-9 record they’ve posted has started to cast at least a shadow of a doubt over the Angels’ World Series aspirations. What happened to the juggernaut Angels?
Well, it turns out that they started to play a bunch of good teams. 16 of the 19 games they’ve played since the break have come against teams with winning records, three of which are division leaders. The only losing team they’ve faced is the Rays, who came into that particular three-game set as one of the hottest teams in baseball. In that respect it is understandable that the Angels have been treading water. It turns out that it is really hard to beat other good baseball teams. But fret not, help is on the way!
Playing good opponents is bad, but playing bad opponents is good. The Angels are about to get a whole lot of badness, in a good way. Starting this Friday and ending September 14th, the Angels play almost exclusively against the dregs of MLB.
- They’ve got seven games against the last place Red Sox and their deadline depleted rotation.
- Two games against a last place Phillies team.
- Six games against the Rangers, who are the worst team in baseball. Hold on, let me savor that one. THE RANGERS ARE THE WORST TEAM IN BASEBALL. Mmmm, yeah. That feels good.
- Three games against a sub-.500 Marlins team.
- Five games against the Houston Astros who plagued the Angels last season, but we are just going to agree to ignore that.
- Four games against the cellar-dwelling Twins.
- One random game against a Cleveland team that is barely hanging in the Wild Card race and hovering around the .500 line.
The only hard part of that stretch is the seven games in ten days they have scheduled against the A’s. That’s clearly a tough opponent, but it just so happens to be the opponent they need to be beating in order to win the AL West. How very convenient.
All in all that’s 25 games against a downy, soft schedule with seven games against public enemy #1 mixed in. You can’t ask for much more than that when it comes to the Angels controlling their own destiny. Well, you could ask for the A’s to have a tougher schedule. There’s is fairly soft as well, though not as weak as the Angels’ schedule. Nonetheless, the Angels are set up nicely to run off a whole bunch of wins right before the home stretch of the season when they jump back into the AL West meat grinder. Now all they have to do is actually take advantage and win those games.
No problem, right?