By Pete Schwichtenberg @schwick26_pete on August 22, 2014
The Los Angeles Angels have been rolling since the All-Star break, being one of baseball's best teams as they have moved into first in the American League West. But they are not a team without issues. Here are their five biggest concerns as they enter the final month of the season.
Since the signing of Albert Pujols, the Angles have crumbled under high expectations and failed to make the postseason. With a large lead over the two wild cards, the club's biggest foe could simply be themselves.
Getting to the playoffs is one accomplishment, but winning a short series when you face pitchers like Jon Lester or Felix Hernandez will be an uphill battle. With ace Garrett Richards out, the Angels will need to play perfect baseball to advance.
The end of the schedule may be among the most difficult in all of baseball. Ten of their last 13 games are against either the Mariners or the A's. These teams will be looking to not only gain ground, but knock the Angels out.
On paper, when Josh Hamilton signed with Los Angeles, they looked to have the best lineup in baseball. But the game is not played on paper, and he has not been close to living up to his contract. Recently, he was benched for a mental break. If they are going to go far in the playoffs, they need him to get back to being a player who is feared.
With Garrett Richards out, the Angels must make a move. Currently they have journeyman Wade LeBlac pitching in his absence. With just over a week left until the waiver deadline, adding a pitcher like Bartolo Colon could help ease the burden of everyone in the rotation.
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