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AL West Review and Preview: The Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout stand in the dugout during a game for the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels are in a tough position without a certain superstar and seem headed for baseball purgatory in 2024.

In a season marked by both promise and challenges, the Los Angeles Angels (73-89) navigated the ebbs and flows of the 2023 campaign but fell out of postseason contention well before the final stretch run. Despite falling short of playoff contention, the Angels still had a handful of memorable moments.

The season commenced with high hopes in April, but a slow start resulted in an uphill battle for postseason relevance. May brought glimpses of the Angels’ potential, hinting at a possible midseason surge.

June, however, posed challenges as the team faced formidable opponents and internal adjustments. July saw a mixed bag of successes and setbacks, with standout performances from key players providing sparks of optimism. August showcased moments of greatness, but the Angels struggled to maintain consistency. As September unfolded, the team battled to salvage the season, facing both external competition and internal evaluations with their star players shut down for the season.

Month By Month

Spring Training and March

The Angels led the American League in wins for Spring Training at 18-11, signifying a bit of hope that the 2023 season may be different than years prior with OF Mike Trout and SP/DH Shohei Ohtani. Los Angeles went 0-1 in the month of March, suffering a narrow 2-1 defeat on Opening Day to the Oakland A’s.

April: Finding Rhythm (15-13)

The Los Angeles Angels embarked on the 2023 season with a promising 15-13 record in April, signaling a solid start. Key players showcased early-season prowess, and the team displayed a blend of offensive firepower and pitching stability. April set a positive tone, instilling hope in fans that the Angels could be contenders in the competitive American League.

May: Midseason Promise (15-13)

May brought a continuation of the Angels’ midseason promise, maintaining a 15-13 record. The offense remained potent, with standout performances from key players like Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Pitching contributed to the success, and the Angels seemed to be hitting their stride. The month heightened expectations as the team positioned itself for a potential midseason surge.

June: Challenges Emerge (14-13)

June presented challenges as the Angels navigated a 14-13 record. Formidable opponents and internal adjustments tested the team’s resilience. While inconsistency emerged, glimpses of brilliance from individual players kept the Angels competitive. The month served as a reality check, prompting the coaching staff to make strategic evaluations and refine their approach for the second half.

Infamous Slide

July: Holding Ground (12-11)

July saw the Angels holding their ground with a 12-11 record. The team faced a mix of tough competitors and close contests. Standout performances from key players provided sparks of optimism, but the Angels grappled with maintaining momentum. July became a critical juncture for the team, as they sought to solidify their standing in the playoff race and address any lingering challenges.

August: Late-Season Struggles (8-19)

August proved to be a challenging month for the Angels, finishing with an 8-19 record. The team faced a combination of tough opponents and internal struggles. Injuries and inconsistent performances plagued the lineup, while the pitching staff encountered difficulties. The Angels’ August struggles dimmed playoff hopes and highlighted areas for improvement as they entered the final stretch of the season.

September: Fading Hopes (8-19)

The Angels concluded the regular season with a disappointing 8-19 record in September, fading further from playoff contention. Injuries persisted, and the team struggled to find consistency in both hitting and pitching. Despite individual efforts, the collective performance fell short. September became a period of reflection for the Angels, prompting evaluations of the season and plans for the future.

In retrospect, the Angels’ 2023 season unfolded as a tale of promise and challenges. From a solid start in April to midseason hope in May and hurdles in June, the team faced a rollercoaster ride. July held moments of optimism, but August and September proved to be formidable adversaries as injuries began to pile up. While falling short of playoff aspirations, the season offered valuable insights for the Angels, pointing towards areas for improvement and strategic adjustments in the seasons to come.


The Los Angeles Angels compiled a 2023 season fairly similar to seasons past, faltering down the stretch run and missing out on the postseason.

Despite possessing two of the game’s brightest stars in Trout and Ohtani, depth and pitching woes prevented Los Angeles from ever becoming a true threat to the AL West.

Postseason success and glory likely requires a full rebuild for the Angels, as painful as it may be. With the departure of Ohtani this offseason, the rebuild needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Mike Trout is likely to remain an Angel for life, based on current contracts and no trade clauses. With Trout entering the back half of his career, a successful rebuild gives Captain America a few seasons to win a ring and become a playoff hero.

Can it be done? Most definitely. Will it? I struggle to see the feat being pulled off.

The Angels squandered one of baseball’s best duos ever, having never even been to the postseason with both players on the roster together.

Couple that with a small-market team, (yes, Anaheim is technically a small market), the fact Mike Trout has never once been clutch down the stretch or in the World Baseball Classic, and you get the current state of the franchise.

With Ohtani gone, I certainly don’t expect to see anything change in 2024.

Prediction: Los Angeles Angels (68-94) miss playoffs

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