The American League playoff race is shaping up to be a tight one. Six teams are within 3.5 games of a Wild Card spot, and the Los Angeles Angels (72-77) will get to play one of those teams as well as their division leader.
10 of the Angels’ final 13 games are against either the Oakland Athletics or the Texas Rangers. In years past, such a quirk of the schedule would mean that the Angels were fighting for their playoff lives in the middle of an intense race.
In 2013, however, the Halos are outsiders looking in on the playoff race, yet their recent resurgence in which they have won 17 of their last 23 games leaves them well positioned to play a spoiler role as the season comes down to the wire.
Riding the red-hot bats of Mark Trumbo, Josh Hamilton and Kole Calhoun, the Angels have been finding ways to win no matter who or where they play. Throw in Mike Trout and a stellar showing from both their starters and relievers, and Los Angeles is looking far more complete than it has at any point this year.
This season will still go down as a disappointment no matter how the Halos finish. The team was built for one thing and one thing only: a World Series run. Since that run failed to materialize, expect to see heads roll, most likely Mike Scioscia‘s or GM Jerry Dipoto‘s.
Until that fateful day arrives, however, the Angels can throw a wrench into the Rangers’ playoff hopes, which would feel like sweet revenge for the poor performance of Hamilton this year.