Opponent Preview: Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels come into town this weekend for a three game series against the Reds. They currently sit at 9-10, in second place in the AL West behind the reigning World Series Champion Texas Rangers. 


It’s impossible to talk about the Angels’ offense without first mentioning arguably the greatest hitter of this generation, outfielder Mike Trout. Though he’s struggled with injuries in recent seasons, Trout has remained elite when healthy. 

That remains very much true this season, as Trout has strengthened his case for remaining the best hitter in the game. He’s slashing .270/.357/.662 with a 184 wRC+, with 8 HR. He’s also returned to the running game this season, stealing 5 bases already after stealing just 6 bases from 2020-2023 combined. 

The one knock against Trout is that, despite 8 HR, he only has 11 RBI. That’s more of an indictment on the rest of the roster, and the fact that he hasn’t come up with runners on base very frequently, having come up just 20 times with runners in scoring position. 

Beyond Trout, there aren’t too many bright spots for this Angels team offensively. Catcher Logan O’Hoppe, outfielder Taylor Ward, and corner infielder/DH Miguel Sanó are the only other players with more than 40 plate appearances and a wRC+ over 100 this season. Outside of Trout and Ward, who have 14 HR combined, O’Hoppe is the only other Angel with multiple home runs, and he only has two. 

Among the struggling Angels hitters are former Red Brandon Drury, last year’s first round draft pick Nolan Schanuel, and aging veteran Anthony Rendon, who hasn’t been without his fair share of controversy the past couple seasons. As a whole, the Angels sit 16th with a 100 wRC+, but again, most of that can be attributed to a few players. 

It’s also worth noting that the Angels haven’t seen very many left handed pitchers this season. Aaron Hicks leads the team with just 14 plate appearances against LHP. For comparison, the Reds’ leaders in plate appearances against LHP this season are Spencer Steer and Elly De La Cruz, with 26 PA each.

Here’s a look at the Angels’ offense as a whole.

Source: Fangraphs


As rough as the non-Trout Angels offense has been this season, the pitching hasn’t exactly been much better. They rank in the bottom third of the league in ERA and FIP, and rank 18th in both xFIP and SIERA. The starting pitching has been middle-of-the-pack, and the bullpen has been where they have truly struggled. 

The Angels will start two LHP and one RHP in this weekend’s series. Friday will see lefty Tyler Anderson, who comes into the weekend with one of the most drastic differences in the league between his ERA and advanced metrics. While he currently sits with a 1.47 ERA, his 3.60 xERA, 4.29 FIP, and 4.95 xFIP all cast serious doubt on his ability to continue to limit runs. As a low strikeout pitcher, he seems hittable for this Reds roster. 

Saturday’s starter will be left hander Patrick Sandoval. Unlike Anderson, Sandoval’s advanced metrics are better than his ERA. While he has just a 4.67 ERA, his 4.58 xERA, 2.86 FIP, and 4.24 xFIP all indicate he’s been at least a bit better than the ERA. Sandoval generates a lot more strikeouts than Anderson, but has also struggled with walking hitters. He’s limited home runs throughout his career, so might be fairly well suited to pitch at Great American Ball Park.

Sunday’s starter will be the lone right hander in 25 year old José Soriano. Soriano holds highest strikeout rate from any starter the Reds will see this weekend, and has been a strikeout pitcher throughout his young career both in the Majors and Minors. Soriano, like Sandoval, struggles with walks. While SIERA and xFIP like his performance  quite a bit more, his 4.80 ERA, 4.93 xERA, and 5.60 FIP show him to be very much hittable.

The Reds will miss the Angels’ best pitcher, Reid Detmers in this series. Here’s a look at the Angels’ starters so far this season.

Source: Fangraphs

As mentioned earlier, the Angels’ bullpen as a whole has been rough. It certainly doesn’t help that two of the three relievers with the most innings for the Angels this season, José Suárez and José Cisnero currently sport ERAs of 8.74 and 7.56. Advanced metrics agree Suárez has been awful, but they’re more positive on Cisnero, particularly his 3.59 xFIP. Adam Cimber, who has the second most innings and a 0.90 ERA, is the opposite with poor advanced metrics. 

Much as the Angels likely expected coming into the season, Matt Moore and closer Carlos Estévez have been the team’s most reliable relievers. Interestingly, neither of those two have walked a batter in 14 combined innings, and former Red Hunter Strickland has added 6 innings of his own without a walk. Fellow former Red Carson Fulmer, on the other hand, has walked 6 in 6 ⅔ innings. Here’s a look at the Angels’ bullpen this season.

Source: Fangraphs


The Angels came into the season with little to no expectation of winning after losing Shohei Ohtani in free agency. While they started off strong, they’ve begun fading a bit, going 4-6 in their last 10 games. The bottom line is simple. If the Reds can contain Trout, they’re much more likely to be successful against this Angels team. Actually doing so is a much more difficult task, given that Trout is still among the game’s best. 

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Kyle Berger

Kyle Berger is a lifelong Reds fan who has lived in the Cincinnati area for his entire life. Kyle has always been interested in the analytics side of baseball, and recently graduated from Miami University with a degree in Business Analytics. You can follow him on Twitter @KB_48, where most of his Tweets are about the Reds or baseball in general.