Based on their offseason moves, the Los Angeles Angels are tired of mediocrity. The Angels have not made the postseason since 2014.
To do that, they will need to vanquish the Houston Astros, who have dominated this division for three consecutive years, and the Oakland Athletics, who have made back-to-back AL Wild Card games. FanDuel Sportsbook gives the Angels +800 odds to win the AL West this year. However, with their superstar additions, the Angels could find themselves in a good position to contend.
Here are three stats that prove they are a force to be reckoned with in 2020.
1. Anthony Rendon: 1.010 OPS
If the Angels do compete for the AL West this year, signing Anthony Rendon will be a huge reason why. Rendon received the biggest deal in team history, as the Angels offered a seven-year, $245 million contract to pry him away from Washington. Rendon is a world-class hitter who dominated the NL in 2020. In addition to drawing walks and hitting for average, Rendon had a career-high .279 isolated power in 2019. That translated to an amazing 1.010 OPS, which, if he keeps that up, should power the Angels' lineup for years to come. Signing Rendon was the move to make for any team in "win now" mode, and it should benefit the Angels significantly.
2. Projected Position Players' Value: 29.9 fWAR
There's no doubt the Angels have assembled a great lineup. Featuring Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani, and Andrelton Simmons, the Angels are projected to have the third-best lineup in the AL by FanGraphs WAR, only behind the Astros and Twins. Having a better total wins above replacement (WAR), a stat that holistically tracks player contributions, is a good measure of the best teams in baseball. Trout, the 28-year-old reigning AL MVP, is the best player in baseball and has shown no signs of slowing down. The Angels also have a deep roster of position players that they can rely on. Even lesser-known players like Tommy La Stella, David Fletcher, and Brian Goodwin were all worth over 1.9 WAR last year. Adding Rendon, a bounce-back year from Justin Upton, and a full season of Ohtani should make this lineup downright dangerous for 2020, something that the projection systems are already bracing for.
3. Hansel Robles: 2.88 FIP
While the Angels' lineup is rock-solid, pitching is another matter entirely. The bright spots are all in the bullpen, where the Angels have developed a solid group of young arms. Hansel Robles, let go by the Mets in 2018, was the biggest success of 2019. Over 72.7 innings, Robles had a 2.48 ERA and 2.88 FIP. His excellent 4.69 K/BB ratio and ability to throw multiple innings makes him an incredibly valuable bullpen piece. Kenyan Middleton and Ty Buttrey have also shown promising signs and can lock down the seventh- and eighth-inning slots. The Angels made moves to solidify their rotation by signing Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran, but they missed out on Hyun-Jin Ryu and were hurt when the Ross Stripling/Joc Pederson trade fell through last week. If the Angels can keep a steady bullpen to get them through the trade deadline and reduce innings from their starters, they should be in position to add a rotation piece for the stretch.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.