MLB Odds: Can addition of Anthony Rendon get Angels to playoffs?
Despite winning three AL MVP awards, Mike Trout has never had a great roster around him. Although the Los Angeles Angels have certainly tried to build around him, having relatively high payrolls, they have failed to allow Trout the chance at a deep playoff run.
Trout has infamously never won a playoff game and made it just once. This offseason, the Angels made a big splash, signing the best offensive free agent available in Anthony Rendon. Will the third baseman be enough for the Angels to make it to the playoffs? BetRivers gives the Angels +600 odds to win the AL west and +2500 to win the World Series.
Rendon will be a huge addition to their offense without question. He is arguably the most complete player, outside of Trout himself, in baseball. Last season Rendon not only won the World Series with the Nationals, but he hit 34 home runs and batted .319 with 126 RBIs. All three of those stats were career highs, though, so it will be interesting to see if he can maintain those numbers, improve on them, or if he regresses to the mean. No matter what he will improve the Angels, that is without question.
The offense for the Angels should be stellar in 2020. Their pitching staff seems to be where the biggest problems will lie. The team has big holes in both their starting pitching and with their bullpen. In 2019 the pitching staff for the Angels averaged a 5.12 ERA, which ranked them 25th in the league.
They simply do not have a deep rotation and have not added much in the offseason. The horrible tragedy that took the life of Tyler Skaggs last year is obviously much more important than baseball. Still the team was reliant on Skaggs and the rotation was an issue even before his loss. The bullpen ranked 20th in ERA and looks to have improved slightly, it isn't as worrying as their starting rotation, but it won't be a standout part of their club, either.
How the Houston Astros do this season will be a big factor on if the Angels can make the playoffs. If the Astros have another great season, it will be tough for this team to top 90 plus wins. If the Astros suffer and underperform, this division could be won with 90 wins.
The Angels’ win total is set at 85.5 by BetRivers and I would take the under. I think the team has improved, but the pitching will hurt them and they will need another year or so to get everything together. They should be a fun team to watch, though, and they might win the division with less than 90 wins if the Astros have a horrible year in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal.
James Allen / March 2nd 2020