Blue Jays: What the Wild Card picture really looks like
Los Angeles Angels (3.0 back of the 2nd WC Spot)
The Angels have had an up and down season, but still find themselves in the hunt, despite being below .500. They’ve had great seasons from obvious candidates like Mike Trout, but have also enjoyed a breakout year from Andrelton Simmons, who is hitting .301 with 11 home runs and 16 stolen bases, to add to his all-world defence.
As with many teams that are out of the playoff picture, the Angels are lacking in the pitching department more than anything. They have been playing better lately, winning six of their last ten, but it feels like they needed to add to their rotation for them to become serious contenders. FanGraphs gives them a 10.5% chance of making the playoffs.
This team is a curious case, as they were expected to be serious sellers at the trade deadline, and were even rumoured to be shopping Zach Britton and Brad Brach in trade talks. Neither player garnered the kind of offer that made Dan Duquette pull the trigger, so both remain with the team as well as the rest of their veteran core.
The even more unexpected part of their deadline was that the Orioles actually became buyers, bringing in Tim Beckham and Jeremy Hellickson to join the team. Neither qualifies as a bold move and were likely more intended at improving the team next year and beyond, but they certainly help the Orioles’ chances in the short term as well.
With guys like Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Britton, and more coming off the books after 2018, Duquette would love nothing more than to take a final run with this group. As has always been the case, their starting pitching will need to improve, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility, especially when their offence is clicking. Fan Graphs says those chances are currently set at 7.9%.