MLB Playoff Race: LA Angels Will Mount Furious Comeback in Season's Final Month

Brian LendinoCorrespondent IISeptember 4, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 03:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim scores on a sacrifice fly from Torii Hunter #48 (not pictured) in the six inning against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum on September 3, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

With roughly one month left in Major League Baseball's regular season, the Los Angeles Angels will use their mix of talent and experience to mount a furious comeback and reach the postseason. 

Despite being nine games over .500, there's no question that the 2012 season has been a bit of a disappointment for the Angels after the front office opened up their checkbooks in the offseason, signing Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson. 

Currently, the Angels are sitting 3.5 games out of the American League Wild Card lead, and if they are to reach the playoffs, they'll have to overcome the Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers ahead of them in the standings. 

However, if LA has any hopes of making the playoffs and not becoming the butt of all jokes in the St. Louis area, they'll need to begin their hunt for October now in their series against their division-rival Oakland Athletics. 

How they accomplish this task is a whole different story.

It will have to start with finding a bit of consistency in their starting rotation. 

With talent that includes Jered Weaver, Zack Greinke, CJ Wilson and Dan Haren, the Angels will have to rely on their pitching to keep them in games down the stretch, because outside of Weaver, the rotation has been abysmal. 

Zack Greinke is a mere 3-2 with a 4.82 ERA since coming over from the Milwaukee Brewers at the trade deadline, while Wilson and Ervin Santana have combined to walk 131 batters and Santana boasts a 5.32 ERA.

This doesn't go without saying that the offense has to do its part as well.

Rookie phenom Mike Trout has handled his business to the tune of MVP discussions and Albert Pujols has turned it on in the second half of the season after an atrocious first half.

However, despite their individual offensive prowess, the Angels' lineup has been held to two or fewer runs an astounding 13 times since the All-Star break—a run barrier that needs to be broken on a nightly basis for the team to reach the preseason goals they set for themselves. 

Los Angeles has now won six of its last seven games, and with six games remaining against the Athletics, the Angels seem to be hitting their full stride in the home stretch of the season. 

The balance of experience and youth in the batting line up, as well as a pitching staff that seems to finally be hitting all the right notes, don't be surprised if you see the Los Angeles Angels mount a comeback and snag one of the two coveted AL Wild Card spots. 

I mean, St. Louis and Tampa Bay found a way to do it last year; it can't be that hard.