5 Startling Team Statistics from the Angels' Season Thus Far
The Los Angeles Angels' season has been anything but predictable. On paper, the team with the seventh highest payroll ($127.8 million) heading into Opening Day appeared to be on a short list of true World Series contenders. The names on the offensive side of the ball alone led many to believe that, in the very least, the team would cake-walk its way to the playoffs.
However, the team didn't exactly stick to the script.
The Angels currently have a 40-43 record through the first 83 games of the season and are a full eight-and-a-half games behind the division-leading Oakland Athletics.
While the Angels have showed promise with winning streaks of eight games in May and seven games (currently) spanning the end of June to the beginning of July, the team's record in home games nevertheless stands at a dismal 21-23 this season.
The following slideshow uncovers five other revealing statistics as to why the Angels 2013 campaign has been such a struggle.
*All statistics are current through July 3.
12-17 in One-Run Games, 17-21 in Two-Run Games
"Check a team's record in one-run games and you'll see what they are made of."
We hear analysts say it all the time. And in lieu of the Baltimore Orioles' tremendous 29-9 record (third best winning percentage in MLB history at .763) in one-run games last season, the statistic has gained notoriety around the league.
Unfortunately for the Angels, they are on the wrong side of the coin when it comes to one-run games, posting just a 12-17 record this season. They have also struggled in two-run games this season, winning just 17 out of 38 contests.
When the Angels win, they tend to win big. When they lose, they lose small. During the team's current seven game winning streak, the Angels have yet to register a one-run victory.
The Halos will need to learn to eek out close games when they encounter them if they want to get back into the A.L. West race.
Making a move for a bullpen arm (or two) definitely appears to be a logical solution to this problem for the Angels.
MLB Ranking: 23/30 in Men Left on Base Per Game (7.10)
In the game of baseball, it is difficult to win games when you leave runners on base. And according to TeamRankings.com, the 2013 Angels have done that just about more than any other team in Major League Baseball.
The squad currently ranks 23/30 in this crucial offensive category with an average of 7.10 men left on base per game. A large reason why: the Angels have grounded into double plays an average of 1.01 times a game, the most in the league.
To put these numbers in perspective, let's compare them to the numbers being put up by the division-rival Texas Rangers. The Rangers have left an average of 6.82 men on base per game and only grounded into double plays an average of 0.79 times a game.
*Although this statistic does not necessarily correlate directly to winning (A.L. East-leading Boston Red Sox currently strand more runners on base than every other team in their division), it does paint a picture of missed scoring opportunities for a team in a given year.
MLB Ranking: 25/30 in Team ERA (4.23)
If you can't pitch, you can't win. And the Angels definitely can't pitch.
The team currently ranks 25th in baseball with a team ERA of 4.23.
The main culprits? Garrett Richards (5.30 ERA in 56.0 innings), Tommy Hanson (5.10 ERA in 47.2 innings) and Joe Blanton (5.07 ERA in 97.2 innings).
Although the Angels' pitching staff wasn't expected to be world-beaters this season, they weren't expected to be this far below-average either. The money spent on offseason offense (and the lack thereof spent on pitching) appears to be biting the Angels on the backside as they currently sit a country mile out of first place.
General Manager Jerry Dipoto signed starters Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson to the 2013 roster for a combined $18.7 million. When you consider the fact that Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols are getting paid $17.4 million and $16 million in 2013 respectively, you can see where the front office's priorities were in its last two forays into free agency.
MLB Ranking: 24/30 in Fielding Percentage (.981)
As good as the Angels are at batting (sixth best Team AVG. in baseball), they are equally as bad at fielding. The 2013 Halos currently have a fielding percentage of .981, ranking the unit 24th in the league.
The Angels also rank miserably in errors committed per game (26th in the league at 0.72) and double plays turned per game (28th in the league at 0.78).
The Angels defenders with the most errors this season are Alberto Callaspo (10), Howie Kendrick (9), Erick Aybar (8) and Hank Conger (5).
MLB Ranking: 28/30 Average Stolen Bases Against (.815)
The running game used to be a staple of Angels baseball in the 2000's. Now it appears the tables have been turned.
So far this season, opposing teams have found it rather easy to run against the Halo defense. Perhaps a bit too easy—the team ranks 28th in all of baseball when it comes to throwing out would-be base stealers. In layman's terms, opposing teams have found success stealing bases against the Angels 81.5 percent of the time.
Chris Iannetta has had a particularly rough go at it behind the plate. In 56 chances, he has only thrown out six runners. Hank Conger has been considerably better, catching his man 9 out of 25 times.