The Los Angeles Angels have gotten off to a slow start to the season, and there is one statistic that sticks out like a sore thumb through 26 games played: their 2-7 record in one-run games.
The Angels currently hold the second worst one-run game record in the league, just ahead of the Chicago Cubs (1-5). This is an area that Los Angeles must make an effort to improve in if the Angels hope to compete for an AL West division crown this season. Their struggles in this area are nothing new as they had a 24-28 record in one-run games last season, which was one of their biggest weaknesses.
For the Halos, it will come down to timely hitting and more importantly relief pitching, which is an area that the team had plenty of issues with last season. The offense appears to be one of the team’s strong points, so this puts the onus on the team’s relief pitching to keep them in games and hold leads the late innings.
With that said, their bullpen looks to be taking form with Michael Kohn proving to be a go-to arm, Fernando Salas finding his comfort zone, Kevin Jepsen beginning to settle down after a rough first month of the season, and Joe Smith showing he may be the right guy for the closer spot.
Although the Angels have struggled through the first month of the year, it is still early. With the bullpen starting to become reliable, close games may be an area where they see drastic improvement.