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Los Angeles Angels Ready For 2014 Season

Los Angeles Angels Tickets

Angels 2014

It’s been a disappointing couple of years for the Los Angeles Angels. After a ten-year stretch that saw them average ninety wins a season the Angels have suffered through back-to-back difficult seasons. In 2013, after entering the season as division favorites, the Angels struggled most of the season before a late run gave them a respectable record. While the Angels have struggled the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers have competed for top spot in the division. In the past two winters the Angels have opted for big free agent signings like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, spending over $400 million combined on the two players who both had difficult seasons in 2013. This past winter Los Angeles went in a different direction, making less high profile moves designed to build the overall talent level and depth of the club, especially the pitching staff. With several good offseason moves and health from Albert Pujols expectations are up again in Anaheim.

Here’s why the Angels will make the playoffs in 2014:

Trout and Calhoun: During his first two major league seasons Mike Trout has produced numbers that rival Hall of Famers such as Willie Mays. The twenty-two year-old sensation is the best overall player in the game at an age that many top level talents are still playing double AA ball. He’s a once in a generation talent who’ll now occupy centerfield after the Peter Bourjos trade. Joining Trout in the outfield is the talented Kole Calhoun. With Bourjos in St. Louis the 26-year-old Calhoun will have an everyday role and look for the lefthander to put together a solid season. He put together solid numbers in 222 plate appearances last season, a performance that should continue since the young outfielder has produced at every level he’s played at.

A Healthy Pujols: Albert Pujols tried to gut it out and play with severe pain from Plantar Fasciitis last season, but the severe pain greatly limited the former five-time MVP and eventually ended his season. His inability to run and play the field greatly impacted his performance and impact on the team. After season ending surgery Pujols looks healthy this spring and should have a big season. If Pujols can rebound with a big season the Angels offense will be extremely dangerous.

Offseason Trades: The Angels used two big assets, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo, to acquire help and fill a couple of glaring needs, third base and the pitching staff. The Angels acquired third baseman David Freese and pitchers Tyler Skaggs, Hector Santiago and Fernando Salas in the Bourjos/Trumbo deals. While Freese, a former World Series MVP struggled last season, he’s a big improvement over what the Angels trotted out at third last season. Skaggs and Santiago are talented young starters that will give the Angels two very good arms behind Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson. In 23 starts for the White Sox last season Santiago had an excellent 3.56 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 149 innings pitched. The 6’5” Skaggs, a native of Santa Monica, is one of the top young lefthanders in the game. Although they are young both players give the Angels and upgrade n the starting pitching department. Salas is a dependable reliever who saved 24 games for the Cardinals in 2011. He’ll join another former Cardinals reliever, Joe Smith, in a revamped bullpen.

Even with the offseason moves the Angels still enter the season with a few question marks. Behind the top five starters there is very little rotation depth, so an injury to a starting pitcher or some tough outings from Skaggs and Santiago could force the Angels to rely on a player like Joe Blanton in the lineup. Offensively the big question mark will continue to be what type of production the Angels can get from Josh Hamilton. The former Ranger had a brutal first half and a somewhat better second half last season, but still well below his career standards. If Hamilton continues to struggle the Angels may miss the big bat of Mark Trumbo in the lineup. Additionally although the acquisitions of Smith and Salas will help the bullpen the Angels relief crew hasn’t been the same since Bud Black left to manage the Padres several seasons ago. They have the depth and several good arms in the pen. If they can find consistency and closer Ernesto Frieri can avoid his bouts of wildness the Angels bullpen should be in good shape.

PECOTA, the advanced statistical system invented by Nate Silver for Baseball Prospectus projects the Angels to be a playoff team in 2014. PECOTA projects a wild card finish for the Angels based on having the second ranked offense in the American League for 2014, based on improved seasons from David Freese, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.

The Angels Start off the 2014 Season on March 31 against the Seattle Mariners. Opening Day Angels Tickets run from $55 to $355 per seat. Of course the biggest series for the Angels this season is going to the the Yankees who will be on the Derek Jeter fair well tour. The first meet up is May 5th – 7th at Angels Stadium. Angels Vs Yankees Tickets from from $95 to $300 per ticket for right behind the dugout seats. By: Chris Cabrera

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Can The Angels Turn Things Around In 2014

Angels Stadium

Angeles Stadium

After an up and down regular season that started with high expectations the Los Angeles Angels head into the 2014 with a surprising amount of optimism. A solid late season run combined with a solid finish by Josh Hamilton, not to mention the incredible play of Mike Trout, gave the team some momentum as the season ended. The Angels made some interesting moves in the offseason that could very well inject some new life into the roster. The health of Albert Pujols is another factor that could help propel the Angels to a turnaround. The Angels 2014 Home Opener is March 31st against the Mariners and tickets for the Angels Opening Day are on sale now.

Here’s a look at five big questions facing the Angels as they head into the 2014 season:
Will the St. Louis Albert Pujols make an appearance? The Angels paid massive money for Pujols before the 2012 season and haven’t got the return they expected. In 2012 Pujols started slow but rebounded to have a good season, but one lacking next to his lofty career standards. Last season Pujols suffered from plantar fasciitis all season and batted just .258 in 99 games with reduced power. The Angels still owe Pujols $189 million over the next seven seasons and need production from their slugger. If the future Hall of Famer can come close to his St. Louis Cardinals form the Angels may have the most formidable lineup in baseball.

Josh Hamilton

Hamilton

Same with Josh Hamilton: The uncertainty that surrounds Pujols is magnified with Josh Hamilton. The former Rangers and Reds slugger is a prime example of the potential risks inherent in massive multi-year guaranteed free agent contracts. Hamilton hit just .250 last season with 21 home runs, numbers that pale in comparison to his peak years in Texas. Perhaps even more concerning is his penchant for strikeouts. After striking out fewer than 100 times for three consecutive seasons Hamilton has averaged 160 strikeouts per season for the past two years. The Angels still owe Hamilton over $100 million over the next four seasons, so like Pujols, they need production from their other big money player. A lack of offense from Hamilton and/or Pujols limits the team’s ability to make additional moves to bolster the roster.

Did they upgrade their pitching? The Angels starting rotation and bullpen struggled last season. The starters had a penchant for not getting deep enough into games, while the bullpen struggled due to potential overuse. Los Angeles made a couple of moves to improve their rotation, acquiring Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago that has the potential to improve the depth and quality of their starters. Both starters were acquired in the three-team trade that saw the Angels send Mark Trumbo to the White Sox. Skaggs, who the Angels originally drafted in 2009 before trading him for Dan Haren, is one of the better young lefthanders in the game. The twenty-five year-old Santiago put up solid secondary numbers with the White Sox last season. He’s a potential number two starter who averaged nearly a strikeout per inning last season. Skaggs and Santiago, combined with a healthy Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson give the Angels a deeper pool of starting pitching talent.

Is David Freese an upgrade over Alberto Callaspo? The Angels rolled the dice, sending talented outfielder Peter Bourjas to the Cardinals, along with Randal Grichuk, for Freese and Fernando Salas. The former World Series hero hit just .262 with nine home runs last season, a steep drop-off from the previous season. His defensive numbers also suffered from a year before. Like Hamilton a productive Freese could help propel the Angels lineup to new heights. The big question is what version of David Freese the Angels are receiving.

American League West

AL West

A tough division may have gotten tougher: The AL West is suddenly one of the top divisions in all of baseball. The Oakland Athletics, two time defending division champions, should be as competitive as ever while the Texas Rangers look to rebound from a disappointing end to last season. The Rangers upgraded their lineup with the acquisition of Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers and Sin Shoo Choo from the Cincinnati Reds. Meanwhile the Seattle Mariners made a big splash in signing Robinson Cano from the New York Yankees and Corey Hart from the Milwaukee Brewers. Both the Mariners and Rangers could very well get in on the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes as well. There’s no question that the AL West will be even more improved next season, putting additional pressure on Pujols, Hamilton and the Angels to perform up to expectations.

Look for the Angels to potentially make a couple of additional moves before they report to spring training in late February. Even with the presence of Skaggs and Santiago the club may look to bolster their young rotation with one or two of the quality starters still available, like a Matt Garza or Bronson Arroyo. By: Chris Cabrera

Barry’s Ticket Service buys and sells Angels Tickets for all games at Angel Stadium.

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Who would be the Dodgers Top five American Leauge Opponents?

Dodgers Tickets

A Veiw from Behind the Los Angeles Dodgers Home Plate

This Dodgers’ first division title since the Manny Ramirez-led 2009 edition, and if the season ended today the lead of 10 1/2 games would be the largest margin since they won by 13 ½ games in 1955. Dodgers Playoff Tickets are on sale now and if the playoffs opened now, the Dodgers (88-65) would face St. Louis (89-64) in the first round, with the Cardinals having the home-field advantage. The Braves (90-62) own the NL’s best record. A look forward to the possibilities of who the Dodgers top five American League Opponents might be in the World Series.

5. Oakland Athletics: The A’s have used their traditional formula to once again make a strong postseason run, good pitching and timely hitting. The A’s roster is devoid of superstars but comprised of a young and talented pitching staff and fundamentally sound position players. Due to their penchant for getting on base the A’s are 7th in all of Major League Baseball in runs scored, even though their batting average is in the lower third of baseball. The A’s pitching staff is in the top ten across the board in all key statistical areas, including runs allowed, earned run average and opponents batting average.

4. Baltimore Orioles: The Baltimore Orioles are likely out of the race in the AL East, but are in five-way battle for the two wild card positions in the American League. The Orioles have an up and down pitching staff, but one of the top lineups in the American League with sluggers Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Manny Machado. Davis, the Orioles slugging first baseman, has 48 home runs and 128 RBI’s on the season, with a .300 average. His all field power in the middle of the lineup is formidable and can change the game in an instant. Davis is joined by Adam Jones, another elite hitter with home run power. Jones is a top defensive center-fielder and offensively has hit 30 home runs and driven in 100 runs. The third part of the Orioles big three, Machado, is one of the top young hitters in baseball with a league leading 47 doubles on the season.

3. Texas Rangers: The Texas Rangers have made multiple deep postseason runs of late and are a battle tested group with solid starting pitching and professional hitters. The Rangers starting rotation is anchored by Japanese import Yu Darvish, who has as dominant stuff as any pitcher in baseball. Darvish leads the American League with 240 strike outs to go along with a 2.91 ERA. The Rangers have a solid bullpen, lead by veteran closer Joe Nathan. Offensively former Dodgers Adrian Beltre leads the Rangers in nearly every offensive category.

2. Boston Red Sox: The Dodgers had a hard fought series with the Red Sox last month at home, losing two of three to the AL East leaders. After a tough year last season the Red Sox have roared back to take command in the AL East. The Red Sox have the second best run differential in all of baseball and are first in all of Major League Baseball in runs scored. Veteran stars David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury help pace the offense.

1. Detroit Tigers: The Detroit Tigers have the best hitter in baseball in Miguel Cabrera, and one of the top starting pitching units in the game. The Tigers have the top run differential in all of baseball. Cabrera, the defending AL MVP and Triple Crown Winner leads the American League in batting average (.356) and runs batted in (133). Along with Prince Fielder, Cabrera forms perhaps the most feared middle of the order combination in the game. The Tigers pitching staff is lead by Max Scherzer, the leading American League Cy Young candidate. Scherzer is 19-2 on the season. Last year’s Cy Young winner Justin Verlander has had a down season by his standards but is the dominant pitcher in the game when in top form. Anibal Sanchez, with 12 wins and a 2.68 ERA gives the Tigers a 1-2-3 starting pitching combination that rivals the Dodgers rotation.

CJ Wilson Los Angeles Angels Pitcher

CJ Wilson LA Angels

CJ Wilson LA Angels

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Pitcher CJ Wilson

Christopher John “CJ” Wilson was born on November 18, 1980 in Newport Beach, CA. He is a professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Attended high school in Fountain Valley in Fountain Valley, CA and attended his college at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. After graduating high school, Wilson went undrafted. Instead, he was offered walk-on roles at Division I universities. In the end, he chose to attend Santa Ana Junior College. “Realistically, I was physically behind and couldn’t compete at the D1 level yet. Don Sneddon and his coaching staff at Santa Ana really gave me the chance to work my way into maturity by emphasizing self-discipline. I wanted to be a Major Leaguer and knew I could do it with the right amount of work and focus. ”

After two very productive seasons at Santa Ana JC, the young pitcher got a scholarship offer from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He took the offer and transferred to Fountain Valley believing it would positively impact his chances for the June Draft. His standout performance that year earned him MVP honors in the Orange Empire Conference and California Junior College Co-Player of the Year, thought he still went undrafted.

The sinistral pitcher decided to apply himself in his academics, juggling daily practice while actively making an effort in his passion, film. He took a hefty course load in his major, screenwriting, and attended classes with well known actors, writers, and directors.

He was finally drafted in the 5th round of the 2001 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers. He was scouted by Tim Fortugno, who also resided in Huntington Beach. “Tim believed in me and took a chance on me. It was the happiest day of my life. ”

The next few years, Wilson started off by flying through the Minor Leagues, starting the 2001 season in Pulaski of the Appalachian League, afterwards being promoted to Single-A with the Savannah Sand Gnats. He moved through High-A Charlotte (Florida State League) and into Double-A Tulsa (Texas League) by late 2002. His exceptional start was not without faults, however, as he encountered several major obstacles, namely:

2001 – Promoted from rookie ball to low-A ball mid season, then suffered stress fracture in leg.
2002 – From High A ball All-Star to complete game playoff win in AA.
2003 – AA ace to open the season, Tommy John Surgery in August.
2004 – Missed entire season, setbacks from surgery including nerve damage.

Wilson’s real breakthrough season came in 2007 when he became the closer for The Texas Rangers, which “was an absolute dream come true.” He was 11 for 12 in saves in just his second full season in the Majors.

2010 saw Wilson named to the starting rotation. Starting in the majors for the first time since his rookie year, Wilson would prove to be one of the best pitchers in the league and would start the second post-season game for the Rangers. In two seasons as a starter, Wilson compiled a 31-15 record with six complete games, one shutout and a 3.14 ERA (427.1 IP – 149 ER) in 67 starts. His 31 wins are tied for seventh most in the Majors over the last two seasons. For his career, Wilson is 43-35, with six complete games, one shutout, 52 saves and a 3.60 ERA in 325 games (73 starts).

By 2011, Wilson’s talents had helped guide Texas to a second consecutive World Series berth. The lefty made a career-high 34 starts (T1st in MLB) registering a 16-7 record with three complete games, one shutout and a 2.94 ERA (223.1 IP – 73 ER) while walking 74 batters and striking out 206. He finished among A.L. leaders in wins (T4th), strikeouts (6th), ERA (7th) and opponents’ batting average (10th, .232). Wilson’s 2.31 road ERA (121 IP – 31 ER) was the lowest mark in the A.L.

Wilson joined the Angels on the same day Los Angeles agreed to a 10-year, $254 million deal with first baseman Albert Pujols. “It’s crazy, obviously, with Albert going over there,” Wilson told reporters. “It’s a big swing of the balance of power in the West. I thought I was going to make a little bit of difference and he’s obviously going to make a huge one. I mean, nobody saw that coming.”

Currently, Wilson is part of a dynamic pitching foursome that also includes Jered Weaver (the ace), Dan Haren (possibly baseball’s most consistent arm the last seven years) and Ervin Santana (among the most electric in the game).

Barrys Ticket Services sells Angels Tickets for all games at Angel Stadium as well as all road games. We have great seats available for Albert Pujols Bobblehead Night, Angels Vs Red Sox Tickets, Angels Vs Yankees Tickets as well as all other Angels Games.

We also have Dodgers Tickets in stock to.

Los Angeles Angels = Offseason Noise

The Clippers were not the only team in Los Angeles to land major acquisitions over the offseason.   Similar to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim made major offseason noise.    The only difference is that they did not have to use any trade bait to land their big catches.

For months, the race for Albert Pujols was a two-team race between the St Louis Cardinals and the rags-to riches Miami Marlins.   Having locked in Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle and Heath Bell, the Marlins would arguably have had the greatest offseason in the history of sports if they landed Pujols.   However, the Marlins were not willing to give Pujols a no-trade clause, an obvious dealbreaker for the Pujols camp.    One cannot blame the Cardinals for being unwilling to hamper their payroll on one man after an incredible World Series run.   With or without Pujols, they have a solid team and could utilize that free cap space to shore up any weak points.

Like a thief in the night, the Angels snatched Albert Pujols via a 10 year, 254 million dollar contract with a much desired no-trade clause.     And the shopping spree wasn’t over yet.    Later on in the day, the Angels snatched Rangers ace C.J Wilson with a 5 year, 77.5 million contract.

Without a doubt, Dec 8th 2011 had to be one of the five greatest days in the history of the Angels.  It was as if actor Christopher Lloyd resumed his role in the Disney film “Angels in the Outfield”.      It’s not every day that a franchise makes a big splash with a potential Hall of Fame slugger (Please don’t let it come out that he did roids!) and a pitching ace.     All of this was accomplished by GM Jerry Dipoto.  In less than 3 months, he’s accomplished more than many GMs in other sports:   Isiah Thomas as the Knicks GM, Matt Millen as Detroit Lions GM:  Kevin McHale as Timberwolves GM.

He’s managed to lock up All-Star 2B Howie Kendrick for the next four years and avoided arbitration with Erik Bybar 3 days ago.

The Angels have a starting rotation that includes:  CJ Wilson, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Jared Weaver.    Not too shabby.   However, it’s not always how you start; it’s how you finish games.   Finishing games was a major issue for the Angels last year.   As it stands, the bullpen is a major question mark.   Besides the signing of veteran relief pitcher Latroy Hawkins, little has been done to address that question mark into a clear answer.    The Angels blew more saves than any other teamin the MLB last year.  Jordan Walden was Mr. Unreliable.     One has to ponder whether the Angels made a significant boo-boo by not investing in the bullpen enough over this offseason.   With all the moves made, it’s not like they can do much about it now.    They will have to revisit this issue at the July trade deadline.

Overall, they’ve landed one of the greatest hitters of our time.  A man who may be headed right for Barry Bond’s all time-HR record.    Conventional wisdom may see a 10 year contract with a no-trade clause for a 32 year old slugger as risky, but Albert Pujols has been in Beast mode ever since he’s entered the league and shows no signs of slowing down.   Now that he’s in the AL, he will certainly become a DH in the very near future in spite of the fact that he fields his position well.

A stellar offseason has put the Angels as a contender for the 2012 season.

Look out, Texas Rangers.