Friday, June 11, 2010

Watch out AL West, the Angels are hitting again

The Angels are closing in on the Rangers in the AL West, even after they lost Kendry Morales for the season in a freak walk-off accident.  They are still dealing with mediocre pitching (23rd in ERA in 2010 vs. 21st in 2009), but their hitting is coming around after a weak start, just as in 2009:

Overall: 293 (8th in ML)
April: 99 R (22nd)
May: 139 (6th)
June: 55 (3rd)

Overall: 883 (2nd in ML)
April: 105 R (14th)
May: 128 (T-18th)
June: 148 (T-2nd)
July: 185 (1st)
August: 180 (1st)
September: 120 (17th)

From June-August of 2009, they had a healthy Kendry Morales (probably the 2nd Half AL MVP), Vladimir Guerrero and Chone Figgins.  They also had some players with exceptional months that probably can't be counted on again, like Erick Aybar leading the ML in hitting during July of 2009. 

So, it seems unlikely they'll be #1 in July and August again, but they're proving right now by being #3 that they can be productive even without Kendry Morales and after losing some of the their other stars.  One good sign is that Hideki Matsui is stepping up after a slow start (.400 in June, .184 in May), and he can be a streaky hitter who can carry a team for a while.

They probably cannot count on their hitting to carry them to 97 wins again (even with mediocre pitching), but it should be good enough to keep them in the race all year even if the pitching doesn't get a lot better.

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