When you have the best player in the game manning your outfield, you're in good shape. Mike Trout had a 'down' year in 2014 and still wound up winning the A.L. MVP award. Trout's slash line of .287/.377/.561, coupled with his league-leading 187 strikeouts, did represent a slight downtick from his first two seasons, but that can't take away from his "best player around" status. Another consistent, MVP-worthy year from Trout should give the Halos a great chance to have one of the league's best offensive attacks yet again.
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With Garrett Richards expected back sometime around Opening Day, the Angels' rotation will receive a strong boost when he gets back out there. After his catastrophic knee injury derailed his Cy Young-worthy season in 2014, the Halos had to make do — and they did, coasting to the West title anyway. Assuming he doesn't have any more setbacks in his recovery, a healthy Richards, combined with Jered Weaver, Matt Shoemaker and a host of other capable candidates should provide a consistent starting staff that can help the Angels win a ton of games.
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The back end of the bullpen
Huston Street was as steady as steady could be after coming over from the San Diego Padres in 2014. Fixing a problem that plagued the Angels all year, thanks to Ernesto Frieri's early-season disasters, Street calmed things down and gave Mike Scioscia a reliable ninth-inning option. He and Joe Smith should again team up to be a deadly one-two punch out of Scioscia's bullpen and, in turn, be difference-makers all season long.
Experience and consistency
Albert Pujols busted out in 2014 after an injury-plagued 2013 caused many to assume he was "out of gas." His slash line improved to .272/.324/.466, with his HR and double totals improving from 17 and 64 (in '13) to 28 and 105 (in '14). Another injury-free year from Albert in 2015 will really make a difference as far as the Angels' offense is concerned, especially if he can continue to team up with Trout as a dynamic duo in the middle of the lineup.
Jered, the No. 1
Early reports say that Jered Weaver feels pretty great after bulking up a bit this offseason. Weaver, 32, had another solid year in 2014, tossing more than 213 innings and amassing a record of 18-9, a 3.59 ERA and his highest strikeout total since 2011. Weaver also reinvented himself a bit, transforming from the hard-throwing hurler he was earlier in his career to a craftier, more savvy pitcher utilizing all of the pitches in his repertoire. It seems foolish to expect anything but another dominant year from Weaver in 2015, as he's definitely proved himself to be one of the league's most consistent and reliable starters.
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They've proven they can win without Hamilton
Josh Hamilton's recent A.C. joint shoulder surgery has thrown a wrench into his 2015 plans. At this point, the Angels no doubt know they can't really rely on him being out there on an everyday basis — or even contributing consistently if and when he is able to play every day. However, last year showed that the Halos coped without him just fine. He only managed to appear in 89 regular-season games, and the Angels still came up just short of 100 wins on the year. While they know they can't count on him for much in 2015, it shouldn't really affect their success rate given what happened in '14.
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The West is uneven at best
The A.L. West will be a tough battle once again, but it's anyone's guess how the additions made by the Seattle Mariners will pay off. The Oakland A's totally reinvented their roster again, the Rangers are relying on healthy returns from some key players and the Houston Astros will be better but probably not "good enough" yet to threaten for a division crown. Within that context, the Angels seem like they should be the most consistent force in the West in '15. Most of their core players are returning and that, coupled with their experience, should go a long way once again.