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1/22/2013 12:52:00 PM
Will a 3-year playoff drought end for the Los Angeles Angels in 2013? Join us as we take a look where Anaheim's diamond dwellers presently stack up on the MLB futures odds.
They shared co-favorite status with the Tigers, Red Sox and the New York Yankees to win the American League pennant when the green flag dropped on the
2012 campaign. But like Boston,
there would be no playoffs for the Los Angeles Angels.
It marked the third consecutive year that Mike Scioscia's
club missed the postseason, and while he isn't necessarily on the hot seat to
begin his 14th season in Anaheim,
Scioscia likely won't survive another missed October. Another high-profile signing this past winter
just won't allow that to continue as the Angels begin '13 with the 3rd-highest
payroll in the AL, and once again among the favorites to go all the way.
Even with their crosstown rivals up at Chavez Ravine at 17/2
to win the World Series, the Halos are just behind the Toronto Blue Jays (15/2)
on the MLB futures board. Projections
a couple of weeks back here at SBR put the Angels at +475 to win the Junior
Circuit, and they should be even more heavily favored to win the AL West title
that has gone to Texas or Oakland the past three years.
The offensive potential of this lineup is off the
charts. Even with Albert Pujols' slow
start and Mike Trout not called up until late-April, the Angels scored the
3rd-most runs in the AL
a season ago. Now the batting order will
include Josh Hamilton, and the versatile Mark Trumbo also has a full season
under his belt.
Angel Stadium has always played pitcher-friendly, so those
767 runs last year were pretty impressive. Hamilton
is a .288 career hitter at the park, though he was just 4-for-28 (.143) at the
park, and we all know about the baggage he's carrying. Moving on from Texas could be a godsend or a catastrophe,
and I'm thinking the former...at least for the early part of his new contract.
But what about that pitching?
Mound Corps Big
Question Mark Behind Weaver
Scioscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher have three new
faces for the rotation and a new arm at the back of the bullpen for 2013, and
it's on the mound where the Halos' success in 2013 will be determined.
Jered Weaver leads the rotation following a campaign that
was briefly interrupted by a trip to the DL. The Angels went 23-7 in his 30 starts, so his importance can't be
Neither can the importance of the arms behind him be
emphasized too much. CJ Wilson was
signed away from the rival Rangers before the '12 season and fell off sharply
in the second half when his ERA rose nearly 1.5 runs. Filling out the rotation
are newcomers Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton. Vargas, who comes over from Seattle, could be in for a solid campaign as
the pitches for a free agent contract next winter.
The job of protecting late leads falls to Ryan Madson who was
supposed to close for the Reds a year ago before missing the entire season due
to Tommy John surgery. The Angels got
him on the cheap, and all reports are his rehab has gone well. Ernesto Frieri finished 2012 as the Angels
closer and gives the squad a deep group of middle-setup arms along with Kevin
Jepsen plus lefties Scott Downs and Sean Burnett.
New-Look Schedule Has
Halos In Cincinnati
To Open Season
Betting MLB futures requires more than just looking at a
given roster to determine offensive and pitching strengths or weaknesses. Equally important is the schedule, and there
is going to be a radical change to the slate for all AL West teams in 2013 when
the Houston Astros join the division.
There will be interleague play each day of the season, and
as luck would have it, the first interleague series of the year will involve
the Angels who open the campaign in Cincinnati. Sixteen of their games vs. National League
clubs will be against the NL Central, with the other four vs. the Dodgers in a
pair of 2-game sets in late-May.
The new divisional alignment should provide a boon for the
other four AL West clubs since the 19 extra games vs. the Astros mean 19 fewer
games against the likes of the Yankees, Tigers, Rays, etc. That will be crucial for wagers on season win
totals, and there's every reason to expect at least one of the two AL wild cards comes from
It all adds up to the Angels being a very strong choice for your MLB picks to make it to the postseason, and that gives them extra value on wagers to win
the AL or
even go all the way in 2013.
Be sure to check out our other MLB Team Futures:
MLB Betting: Yankees Futures
MLB Betting: Phillies Futures
MLB Betting: Tigers Futures
MLB Betting: Rangers Futures
MLB Betting: Orioles Futures
MLB Betting: National League Futures