Mike Trout, along with Bryce Harper is the favorite to win the MLB MVP in Vegas and at the online betting outlet, Bookmaker in 2019.
But what about the Los Angeles Angels as a whole? Is it going to be another year where one of the top four players in the league's talents are wasted?
The Los Angeles Angeles won 80 games last season. And in 2019 they have been upgraded to an 82.5 win season. But due to a slow start, we are already seeing analytical sites downgrade their projected regular season wins to 81.
The Angels dropped three out their four games series against their division rivals, the Oakland Athletics. They did show signs of life in Game 2, putting up 6 runs against the A's bullpen. In four at-bats, Mike Trout smashed in two RBIs and scored a run himself. Cole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons also joint the RBI action, helping to lead the Angeles to their sole victory of the series.
Now the Angels go on a tough stretch of games. They face the hot-start Seattle Mariners for two games, then get four games against the Texas Rangers. After that, they finally leave the division, but in doing so face the Brew Crew in a three-game interconference showdown. Then they get three games against the Cubs, before heading back to the AL West to face Rangers and Mariners again.
So it could be a while before the Angeles get to .500. In fact, even with the MVP leader on the squad, the Angels are 12 to 1 to win the AL West (4th on the odds-boards in the division) and on the Yes/No to make the playoffs, the Los Angeles Angeles are -400 on the 'No' answer. So, in other words, they are heavily favored to miss out on the post-season in 2019.
That said, it isn't all doom and gloom. Despite the fact that Team Rankings has the Los Angeles Angels back at No. 19 in their predictive power rankings, they still have Mike Trout's crew with a 25 percent chance of making the playoffs. This is much better than the implied probability of not making the playoffs (80%) shown by those -400 odds.
Right now the Los Angeles Angels are 26th in the league in runs scored. They are putting up just 2.25 runs per game. It isn't just power hitting that is causing issues. LA is No. 27 in hits. RBIs are much more difficult when there is no one on base, let alone in scoring position. The one area where the Angels lead the league is in strikeouts. They are No. 1, leading the MLB at the good 'ole swing and miss.
Defensively, they are fielding the ball solidly. Keeping runs to an average of 3 per game, and 7 hits. This is good for No. 8 and No. 11 in the league respectively. But they are dead last in strikeouts. So far, the Angels pitching staff just hasn't been able to get outs at the plate. If this continues, they are in for a long, long season. Especially in a division where teams are scoring 8 runs per game like the Mariners are.
All in all, Trout remains one of the best players in baseball. But he will have a tough time winning league MVP if his team resides on the bottom of its division. If the Angels can't get their pitching together, and start making contact with the ball ... Mike Trout will just get one year older with his team no closer to a pennant.