As part of our preview for the upcoming 2012 season, we’ll be doing a 10 Bold Predictions for 2012 series that will be featured between now and Opening Day. Our fourth prediction deals with who we see bringing home the World Series Title in 2012, the Anaheim Angels.
Some folks reading this post will be quick to jump at us and say that this is hardly a bold prediction. However, a deeper look would reveal that simply trying to predict who emerges out of the scuttlebutt of a 162 game season and three playoff series is no easy thing.
The Anaheim Angels are baseball’s closest version of the Miami Heat. They’re loaded. But even the Heat weren’t able to get the chemistry just right to get through the postseason and emerge as the NBA’s best in their first season of assembly.
The Angels will hardly be a lock. They’re predicted at an over/under of 89.5 wins heading into the season which is trailing the Yankees (93), Detroit (94), and Texas (94) in their own division. As a side prediction, its easy money that they get over 90 wins. Take that bet and run with it.
The 2011 version of the Angels brought home 86 wins last season, their Pythagorean W/L record was 85-77; meaning that their resulted play was right around where it should have been (they weren’t particularly lucky or unlucky). So you’re telling me that adding Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson, LaTroy Hawkins, Chris Ianetta, and the return of a healthy Kendrys Morales will only be worth about three wins to last year’s total? Come on now.
But this bold prediction is not about the Angels 2012 win total, it’s about them being the only postseason team to win their final game in October.
The rotation is a beautiful thing, and being able to run out Jered Weaver, Wilson, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana on most nights will serve them well and keep them out of a lot of prolonged losing streaks. We particularly like being able to trot Santana out against most team’s fourth starters. In a postseason series, a deep pitching staff is what will push them past other teams we like such as Texas and Detroit.
They’ve got the offensive firepower in the lineup if they remain healthy to rattle the walls of any park. The mix of youth combined with veteran presence is very solid on this team up and down the lineup and they’ll have versatility to get creative at several spots. They still have one of the best managers in the game in Mike Scioscia.
It’s not easy to find a weakness. We perceive their only possible weakness to be defensively, which should remain around league average and won’t be enough to hold them down.
When the dust settles on the 2012 season, the cream will have risen to the top. And the Angels will be the sole survivor of the regular and postseason. The 2012 World Champions will be the Anaheim Angels. You can book it and lock it right now.