Los Angeles Angels Quietly Becoming A Contender
Is it possible for a team to be an afterthought within a major-market city like Los Angeles? The Los Angeles Dodgers dominate the headlines in that area, and even the Los Angeles Lakers‘ never-ending coaching search is a prominent topic for debate. The ongoing L.A. Clippers saga is still a story, and the L.A. Kings are on the verge of the Stanley Cup Finals. But what about the Los Angeles Angels? The Angels could easily be viewed as the forgotten team in the City of Angels, yet they are quietly becoming a contender within the AL.
As June approaches, the Angels are finally showing what they have been capable of the past few seasons. They are sporting a top-six record within the league and would host the Wild Card game if the playoffs started today. But all of that has been brushed to the side out in L.A., and the Angels are likely okay with that.
Mike Trout is a household name for the Angels, and Albert Pujols is playing like the Pujols of old carrying the team along with Trout. Somewhat surprisingly, the Angels are currently fifth in the league in runs scored without Josh Hamilton. Once Hamilton is ready to return, the Angels may finally be ready to become serious contenders and start getting some headlines of their own.
The Oakland A’s are still a very quality team within the AL West, but their major competition for the division crown this year may be their counterparts in Anaheim and not Texas. During the 2014 season, Howie Kendrick and Garrett Richards are stepping up as viable role-players to keep the Angels close to the A’s hip within the standings.
If the Angels can continue to play well they just may start to become contenders for more than just the division. The team has been somewhat of a disappointment the last few seasons, but they may be finally starting to put it all together now. You may have to search awhile before finding any headlines on the Halos out west, but quietly the Angels are becoming serious contenders.
Nick Schaeflein is a Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.