LAA Angels: 10 Reasons Halos Have the Best Rotation in the AL West

Michael C. JonesContributor IIIAugust 8, 2012

LAA Angels: 10 Reasons Halos Have the Best Rotation in the AL West

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    It's no secret the Los Angeles Angels are deep when it comes to starting pitching.

    But they are far ahead of the rest of the American league West when it comes to possessing elite talent, something that will prove crucial in the final stretch of the pennant race.

    There are many reasons, both obvious and obscure, that make the Angels a threat to win AL West in 2012.

    Here are 10 of them:

10. Coaching

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    Manager Mike Scioscia knows how to deal with pitchers as a former catcher. He and his staff have managed to survive a litany of setbacks that included injuries to players like Jered Weaver and Dan Haren.

    With the guidance of an experienced coaching staff, the Angels pitchers have all of the tools necessary to improve as the year goes on.

9. The Rangers Can't Match Up

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    Through 21 games, highly-touted Texas Rangers rookie Yu Darvish has been unable to reach his potential and has struggled with a 4.57 ERA through 21 games. The rest of the staff hasn't been wildly impressive, either, posting a .250 opponent BA through 109 games.

    The acquisition of Ryan Dempster should help the team improve , but it still doesn't give the rival Rangers a better staff.

8. Defense

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    There are literally Angels all over the outfield behind each one of the starters' outings, and that makes the job of each pitcher much easier: just throw strikes.

    Between Torii Hunter and sensational rookie Mike Trout, there is a lot of ground that is off limits to hitters who hope to sneak one by the Angels' athletic outfield.

7. Mike Trout

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    The now 21-year-old celebrated a birthday on August 7th, but he's been a gift to his team and the pitching staff.

    How?

    His play lifted the Angels from an awful slump as they were double digit games behind the first-place Rangers during the early part of the season. When Trout entered the lineup, he gave the entire team a shot of adrenaline and hasn't looked back.

6. Offensive Threats

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    As a starter, knowing you have Albert Pujols, Trout and Mark Trumbo in the lineup to offer up some run support is a nice feeling, and the Angels' hurlers can take the mound each day knowing that this special trio of players is ready to perform each game.

    Though Pujols struggled early on and Trumbo has missed some time with injury, they are as reliable as anyone in baseball to produce. That makes any starter's job easier.

5. Numbers

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    Despite substandard seasons from players like Ervin Santana, the Angels have managed to remain fourth in the American League in opposing batting average, holding hitters to just .247.

    If this talented rotation can get its act together, then they will be among the AL leaders in every pitching category. They have too much skill not to be among the best.

4. There's No Better AL West Rotation

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    Though the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners have strong staffs of their own, they can't match the talent of the Angels from top to bottom. Aces like Felix Hernandez give teams fits every fifth day, but the Angels can dominate at any given time.

3. Got Greinke?

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    He hasn't paid major dividends just yet, but Zack Greinke makes the Angels' rotation downright dangerous.

    Weaver and C.J. Wilson have managed to hold the staff together while other starters struggled. But with the addition of Greinke, there will be a lot of pressure taken off them and everyone else.

    The Greinke-Weaver-Wilson combination is as good as any three-man rotation in Major League Baseball.

2. Depth

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    With Greinke, the Angels now have the deepest rotation in the AL west and possibly even the majors. If one of the big three struggles, the Angels can rest assured they will get production from someone else in the rotation.

    Case in point? Ervin Santana is the fifth starter for the Angels. Even though he's struggled mightily in 2012, that's a lot of talent for the back of any rotation.

1. Jered Weaver

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    No matter what the Angels do in 2012, any success they have will have a lot to do with the stellar season of Jared Weaver. In 20 starts, he leads the American league in opposing batting average (.197) and ERA (2.13).

    With an ace as good as Weaver, the Angels can make a deep run in the postseason. He has 15 wins on the season and figures to be a lock to win 20.