Prediction #9: Angels win World Series
I promise I am not a SoCal fanboy. I’ve never lived west of the Mississippi!
Baseball is not one of the sports I cover closely. I barely follow the team I like to claim as my own, the Cincinnati Reds. That said, I don’t think this prediction is nearly as out of left-field, or um, well, as my LA Lakers prediction. What’s funny about that is I definitely know more about basketball than baseball. Maybe that’s why I’m willing to make such a bold basketball pick.
Anyway, from where I sit, winning the World Series is generally about pitching depth, not just in your starting rotation, but also in your bullpen. I’m not going to pretend like I know a ton about the Angels pitching staff, but they do have a couple of All-Stars: Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. They also have a few pitchers with career winning records in Joe Blanton, Tommy Hanson and Ryan Madson (and some other guys with under 10 career games with winning records which I’m not counting as well as some guys who are just above .500, which I don’t think are worth including). Those last three, the solid non-All-Star pitchers, were not on the Angels last year. This is the pitching depth the Angels will need to win the World Series.
Let’s get real though, the reason I picked the Angels was because of the protection the acquisition of Josh Hamilton gives to Albert Pujols (or vice versa). We’ll know quickly whether Hamilton has left his party life-style behind him. Surely LA will show him more temptations than Dallas. If he can’t stay sober and keep his pants up, it will derail the Angels hope of a second World Series title.
For those thinking Albert Pujols is getting old, he turns 33 on January 16, but he’s in the middle of a 10-year contract that started last year, so obviously the Angels think he still has plenty of legs in him. And those of you thinking that Josh Hamilton is a spring chicken, remember that he dealt with drug addiction in the early part of last decade. He is currently 31. So, even though the Angels have faith in the longevity of Pujols, the Angels need to get this done in the next couple of years though.
While making predictions before the trade deadline is a recipe for failure, with their pitching staff and their power hitting, I think 2013 is the Angels year.