Oddsmakers aren't expecting much from the best player in baseball in Mike Trout and his Los Angeles Angels as the Angels are expected to have just 81.5 wins (-115 MLB odds).
In a big city market such as Southern California, that's not acceptable. See if I think the Halos will eclipse the total set on the MLB odds board and compete for the AL West crown or let the fans down even more as they don't have a lot of support for Mike Trout.
Give The Man Some Support!
We have heard names such as Mickey Mantle. In decades to come, Mike Trout could very well be one of the all-time greats in this game and he's definitely the face of the game along with Bryce Harper. From looking at the Angels offense, the problem is that he doesn't have any big names to surround him. Albert Pujols is a hall of famer, but not the guy that would hit .330 in St. Louis.
Last season, Trout had 41 HR, 90 RBI, a .299 BA and .402 OBP%. The high on-base percentage is due to the fear that he put's into opposing pitchers and they walk him. That said, he only had 11 SB and I think this is because he doesn't want to take a chance at getting hurt.
For the Angels to have any chance of being a contender for the post-season, they need to spend more money and get more talent along with possibly the best player in the game in Trout.
In the offseason, the Angels picked up, shortstop, Andrelton Simmons, but that simply won't cut it as Simmons is a respectable shortstop, but nowhere near a star. Last season, Simmons hit 4 HR, 44 RBI and a .265 BA. This isn't the support that Trout needs.
When Albert Pujols came over to the Angels a few seasons ago, the Halos had high expectations and payed him a boatload of money.While Pujols power numbers were there, his batting average took a dramatic drop. He's not the same player that he was with St. Louis. While he's still a future hall of famer and a World Series Champion, that's not going to help the Angels right now.
Last season, Pujols bashed 40 HR with 95 RBI and had just a .244 BA. While the power numbers were great, this is a career .312 hitter and expect for his career batting average to keep dropping. Power is great, but the Halos need players to get on base and Pujols clearly hasn't earned his pay. He's been somewhat of a disappointment since being a member of the Angels.
Calhoun brings that third guy into the mix with the Angels as he's progressively gotten better and given them support at the top of the lineup. Last season, Calhoun had 26 HR and 83 RBI. The more that he tries to power the ball, his batting average drops, but the Halos will surely take it as they need some guys that opposing pitchers will fear in their lineup aside from Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
Richards and Street
The Angels have a respectable starting pitching rotation, headed by Garrett Richards (15-12, 3.65 ERA), but Richards didn't have the season that he had in 2014 when he went down with a very late season injury that ruined the Angels post-season hopes.Simply put, these are good numbers in a hard-hitting American League, but Richards was a beast in 2014. If Richards was the player that he was previously, the Angels are a shoe in to go over the 81.5 win total and then some.I expect him to have a big season now that the Angels can't rely on Jered Weaver and all of the injuries thathe's had to endure.
The Halos also have a great closer in Huston Street. Last season, Street had 40 saves. He had a 3.18 ERA, which is a bit high for Street's standards and 5 blown saves. Look for major improvement this season out of Street.
I still don't think the Angels have a ton of support for Mike Trout. Kole Calhoun is a key figure this season and I expect him to improve in his ability to get on the base paths, setting Trout up. This is not a great team, but they should reach 82 wins, making 'over' a value play for our MLB picks.
MLB Pick: Los Angeles Angels Over 81.5 Wins (-115) at Bovada