Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Road ahead

After some claimed the Angels season was over, here we are in first place again, 3.5. game ahead in the wild card. Will it last?
Let's take a look at the remainng schedule:

2@SEA 2-MIN 2-TEX 2-TB. 2-CWS
3-TOR 3-BAL 3@TB. 3-TEX 3@DET
4-BOS 3-KC. 3@CWS 3-BAL 4@LAA
3@BAL 3@DET 4-TOR 4@TB. 3@KC.
3@TB. 4@BAL 3-KC. 3@TOR 3-DET
3-OAK 3@LAA 4@SEA 3-DET 4-TB
3@BOS 3-SEA 3-TB. 3@DET 3-LAA
3@SEA 3@CLE 3@TB. 3-OAK 3@TOR
4-DET 4@BOS 3@TOR 3-KC. 4-OAK
3-TEX 3-MIN 4-BAL 3@CWS 3@TB
3-TB. 3-TEX 3-TOR 4@KC. 3@BAL
4@OAK 4-LAA 4@BAL 3-TB. 4-TOR

Home sweet home?
LAA: 23 @ home, 24 on the road
OAK: 24 @ home, 23 on the road
NYY: 22 @ home, 26 on the road
CLE: 26 @ home, 20 on the road
BOS: 26 @ home, 22 on the road

Top dogs? Gimmies?
(Games against teams over .500/ 10 games over .500 / 10 games under .500)
LAA: 20 / 17 / 14
OAK: 22 / 19 / 09
NYY: 22 / 12 / 16
CLE: 18 / 09 / 16
BOS: 26 / 19 / 10

On the bright side, the Angels' schedule is a little weaker than the Athletics'. Unfortunately, the wild card runner-ups also have relatively weak schedules, so the Angels should try hard to win the division and not lay back and wait for the wild card to fall into their laps. Even Boston, though 5 games ahead of the Yankees, is not through yet.
The Angels absolutely have to avoid making mistakes and drop games to Tampa Bay and Seattle, 10-4 is a must against them if you remember how Oakland is handling these kind of teams (they outscored KC 32-5 in a three games sweep).
Against Boston and Chicago, I would be happy if the Angels could play .500 ball, maybe 6-4 to gain confidence for the ALDS.
The Halos should also win most of the series against Toronto, Texas, Baltimore and Detroit, maybe a sweep here or there. They absolutely have to avoid something like what happened in the SkyDome a few weeks ago. 10-6 is not too much to ask.
So let's say the Angels go 25-15 over the last month of the season, that would leave them at 91-64, with 7 games against Oakland left. Even if the Angels lose these series, let's say 3-4 or even 2-5, 93 wins will most likely be enough for the postseason. So while the two remaining series against Oakland mean a lot, the Angels can take some pressure out of these games by playing well against the other teams. It doesn't have to be like last year (though I'd take it if the Angels come out on top again).


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