I don’t know where the Los Angeles Angels will be at season’s end. Nobody does. This frightens me to no end.
The Angels are still very much alive in the race to the postseason. Los Angeles is a mere two games out of the final playoff spot in the American League, which currently lies in the grasp of the Oakland Athletics.
Aside from an abysmal display against the A.L West-leading Texas Rangers, the Halos have performed admirably as with time running out. The Angels are coming off a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox as they enter the final three series of the season.
With the Angels keeping things so close this late, one gets the creeping suspicion that their season will end in one of two ways.
The first way that comes to mind is a horrific, last-day-of-the-season elimination a la the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves a year ago. Such an elimination would be a whole lot more painful if the Angels had been in contention all season, but to come so close only to come away with nothing would be devastating. The worst part is the Angels will close the season out with a three-game set in Seattle against the Mariners. Seattle would love nothing more than to knock their A.L. West rivals out of contention.
On the flip side, the Angels could complete the comeback and triumphantly waltz their way into the playoffs in much the same way as the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays did last season. It would take a Herculean effort from the Halos with plenty of help elsewhere, but such a finish could supercharge the Angels toward a title (much like the Cardinals of last season).
Of course, there is a bevy of other possible outcomes, but these are the only two I anticipate being likely. On paper, sure, the odds are the Angels will decide their postseason fate some other way, but my gut tells me it’ll be one or the other momentous outcome.
Over the last five years or so, the Angels have been quite boring when it comes to their involvement in the playoff picture. They’ve either won the division outright or fallen out of contention with plenty of time to spare. Should the Angels fail to make the playoffs, the most merciful option would be for it to happen quickly. It won’t be any more pleasant, but the shock of losing out on the final day of the season would make such an elimination unbearable.
With their recent history, the Angels are due for a big moment—for better or for worse. All fans can do at this point is wait and endure the torture.