I keep waiting for the Angels to start playing baseball. Right now they’re a .386 team, but I really don’t think that’s who they really are.
A quick look at the offense, and you see that 6 of their starting 9, have an OPS+ over 100. Yet, the team as a whole is just league average in BA (.256), & close to league average in OBP (2 points lower) and SLG (6 points lower). Not great, but not so bad that they should be on pace to lose 91 games, which is how many L’s Cool Standings is projecting for them right now.
Look a little deeper though, & we see the Angels are making lots of outs. They have hit into more GDP (47) and SF (24) than anybody else in the American League and only Houston has more SH & CS. In fact, the Angels SB% is just 57.1%.
Despite all those rally killing outs, they’re just 3 R’s below league average, with 289 runs scored.
While the offense is busy giving away outs, the team’s pitchers are also busy giving away outs. They’re intentionally walking more than any other staff in the AL, and only Houston has served more BB’s than the Angels. I know it’s been said before, but how can you win games if your offense is making outs and your pitchers aren’t making any?
Oh, but what about strikeouts? Well, the pitchers are throwing ’em just below league average. They’ve struck out 326, and league average is 332. Not too bad, but, when you’re giving away so many outs, you can’t get away with this. Contrast that with the Royals or Orioles, who have struck out far less batters than the Angels. Compare that to Baltimore, who’s nowhere near the top of the league in IBB’s or BB’s, so they can get away with being below league average in strikeouts.
When a pitching staff lets a good amount of batters reach base, the defense needs to play sharp. That’s not happening in Anaheim. The Angels have the 2nd most errors in the league, behind Chicago by only 1 error. Again, let’s contrast that with the Orioles, who have only 14 errors.
And I’ve gotta say, they’re not stopping anybody from stealing a base. There’s been 42 attempts against them, and 36 have been successful. Let me repeat that in case you think that’s a typo – the Angels are only catching 14% of base stealers. What?!? For a team with a former catcher for their manager, I’m really shocked at that stat. It’s actually even worse than it sounds, ’cause the Angels main catcher, Chris Iannetta, is only catching 9% of attempted steals again him.
The league average, is 25%.
Without even dipping into advanced stats, it’s clear to see the Angels are losing with decent hitters, ’cause the team is giving away outs in every area of their game.