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Angels Sign Rendon; 2020 World Series Odds Improve to +1600

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in MLB Baseball

Dec 16, 2019 · 11:56 AM PST

Anthony Rendon running bases
The uncertain status of free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon is among many factors causing the 2020 World Series odds of the Washington Nationals to climb. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr)
  • Los Angeles Angels are priced at +1600 to win the World Series
  • Angels signed Anthony Rendon to a seven-year, $245 million deal 
  • Starting pitching remains a concern for the Halos

The Los Angeles Angels have been one of the big players this MLB offseason, and have been at the center of many rumors. Although they missed out on Gerrit Cole, the Angels still made a major splash in free agency, landing MVP candidate third baseman Anthony Rendon on a seven-year, $245 million contract.

As a result, Los Angeles’ 2020 World Series odds have shortened. Their average price is +2167 and they’re in at +1600, the same price as the Red Sox, Mets, Brewers and Cardinals.

2020 World Series Odds

Team Odds
New York Yankees +325
Los Angeles Dodgers +700
Houston Astros +900
Atlanta Braves +1200
Philadelphia Phillies +1200
Washington Nationals +1400
Los Angeles Angels +1600
St Louis Cardinals +1600
New York Mets +1600
Milwaukee Brewers +1600
Boston Red Sox +1600

Odds taken Dec. 16th

Solving Starting Pitching

Failing to sign Cole was a major blow for the Angels. He isn’t the only marquee free agent starter they have seen sign elsewhere, however. Madison Bumgarner agreed to a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, Stephen Strasburg re-signed with the Washington Nationals and Zack Wheeler committed to a $119 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. A trade for Dylan Bundy has been the Angels’ only rotation upgrade so far this winter.

The Angels’ rotation owned the second-worst ERA in the Majors last season. Only the Orioles’ starting staff gave up more homers per nine innings. Their ground ball rate was the lowest in MLB – to call it a weakness is an understatement.

Their current six man rotation (per Fangraphs’ depth chart) is Shohei Ohtani, Bundy, Andrew Heaney, Patrick Sandoval, Griffin Canning and Jaime Barria. Ohtani’s return to the mound is massive. Bundy has upside.

They still need reinforcements if they are to be considered serious contenders in 2020, and it’s hard to understand why they didn’t trade for Corey Kluber, considering the reasonable price the Texas Rangers paid.

Rendon, Mike Trout and Ohtani (when he’s not pitching) make for a middle of the order as scary as any in the game. Justin Upton is a good hitter, and the ascending Jo Adell is an exciting prospect. Without addressing their pitching, all of that offensive talent will be wasted in 2020.

Houston Stand In the Way

Evaluating the Angels as World Series contenders requires a look at their path to the post-season. The Houston Astros have won the American League West three years in a row and are the overwhelming favorites to do so again in 2020, despite losing Cole.

The Angels have a lot of work to do if they are to seriously rival the Astros (who won 107 games last season) for the division. As it stands, a wildcard berth is their best hope of playing a postseason series.

Getting to the wildcard game isn’t easy to judge. The amount of wins required each season varies (the Rays won 96 in 2019 and had to settle for the second spot). The West isn’t going to be an easy place to accumulate wins either – the Mariners are the only team who will be weak. Texas have added Kluber to a solid rotation and have some offensive talent. Oakland have won 194 games over the last two seasons. The Astros will be eyeing 100 wins once again.

No Value

Making the playoffs, let alone winning the World Series, is still a big ask for this Angels roster. They are reliant on Ohtani both staying healthy and pitching like he did in 2018. They need Bundy to become more than a league-average starter.

In a challenging division, getting back to the playoffs would be a good outcome in 2020. The Angels must add pitchers if they are to be considered a genuine post-season threat – Hyun-Jin Ryu would be a great signing.

The +1600 doesn’t represent any value at the moment. Ryu and a couple of bullpen arms could change that, of course. For now, though, the Angels have a flawed roster despite their three superstars.

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