LA Angels 2012: Why the Angels Will Win the AL Pennant

Bleacher ReportContributor IIIDecember 8, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 22:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning for his third home run of the night during Game Three of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Cardinals won 16-7. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have just become the team to beat in the American League. Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson will elevate the Angels to a seat of power for the foreseeable future.

In order to appreciate the magnitude of these deals, it is important to realize just how good the Angels already were. They finished 10 games above .500 last year on the strength of dominant pitching and defense.

The Angels fell short, but resolved to remedy that situation in a hurry. Their pitching staff is now one of the best and deepest in the game, if not the best. With C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana at the front of their rotation, the Angels are set up to shut down nearly any offense.

Some analysts are already speculating that the Angels will let Haren or Santana go. But this rotation is so talented and deep that they could afford to do so. The Angels already had the best team ERA in the American League before they acquired Wilson. And if they do trade one of their starters, they will get something big in return. Either way, the Angels will come out on top.

If the Angels had any weakness last season, it was hitting. While they had decent production from Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells, they did not have an impact hitter, someone who could be a huge RBI producer. Enter Albert Pujols, the best in the business.


Albert Pujols will give the Angels scary production—he hits for power and average, takes walks, comes through in the clutch and is a proven champion. The Angels already had some great pieces—placing Albert Pujols in the center of their offensive will make them a force to be reckoned with.

Who can stack up against the Angels? Competition might come from the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox,Texas Rangers or Detroit Tigers. Each of these teams can boast an intimidating offense, but Los Angeles has a painfully obvious advantage in pitching, even over the Justin Verlander led staff in Detroit. Furthermore, the Angels' offense, now anchored down by Albert Pujols, can no longer be discounted. In terms of depth and balance in all aspects of the game, the Angels are peerless.

With C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols, the Angels have gone from contenders to favorites, literally overnight. There is a new superpower in baseball: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.