Through the first five games of the 2021 MLB season, the Los Angeles Angels have a 4-1 record. However, more important than the record is the way the Angels are winning games. The Angels are battling and competing all the way until the end. And so far, they’ve come out on top. So it begs the question, “is it tome to believe in the Angels hype?”
Why the Hype?
The question of is it time to believe in the Angels hype comes with a few more questions that must be answered first. Firstly, why is there hype surrounding this team and not other Angels teams of the past? And that’s not a simple question to answer, as, on paper, this team seems quite similar to even just last year’s team. However, the pitching staff additions, though they may not seem like much, are improvements. And that’s really what the Angels lacked the past few seasons. Adding depth to the roster and the pitching staff is what was needed to get through 162 and contend.
The Ohtani Factor
When Shohei Ohtani first arrived in MLB and the Angels, he was handled with “kid gloves,” and rightfully so, in my opinion. Ohtani was a new commodity, an unknown entity. In order to understand what you had with him, he had to be treated a bit more delicately. But now, a few more seasons in, and it seems like the Angels have thrown away the kid gloves with Ohtani. On April 4th, 2021, Shohei did something here in MLB he’s not done since his days in Japan; he would pitch and hit in the same game. If we continue to see Ohtani delivering pitches at 101 mph and hitting homeruns 450 ft, this will be a special season in Anaheim.
Mike Trout Wants to Win
Mike Trout is usually a reserved player; he doesn’t usually say much to “rock the boat.” But this offseason, Trout would verbalize his frustration with the Angels’ inability to make the postseason during his tenure. Mike Trout is the best player in the game and has only played three postseason games. A fact that is an absolute tragedy. And for the Angels, when your best player, the best player in the game, voices his desire to play in the postseason again, you have to make moves to make that a reality.
It’s Too Early to Call it, But the Angels Look Strong.
It’s far too early in the season to start making claims about the postseason. But with five games under the Angels’ belts, they’re playing with a level of hunger that we haven’t seen in the Trout era. If the Halos are going to be successful in 2021 and reach the postseason, they must continue playing with that hunger. Mike Trout seems to finally have the protection in the lineup that forces pitchers to pitch to him. And having other players in the lineup that can make opposing pitchers pay for pitching around Trout is crucial. The Angels have a talented roster and added where they needed to this offseason. This makes for a strong case and a reason to believe in the Los Angeles Angels’ hype.