Sports: Baseball is Back!
by Aeden Alexander
After the Major League Baseball Lockout has ended the season is right underway as both local Los Angeles teams the Angels and Dodgers look to make a run for it all this year.
Expectations are high in Southern California after an amazing offseason from both local clubs. The two teams went with different routes that would fit what they were looking for and both have improved significantly heading into the season.
The Dodgers are the 2022 favorites to win the World Series and that’s not by coincidence. Not only did the Dodgers manage to bring back many of their core players but as well brought on some new guys.
The biggest move however for them would be the addition of 2021 World Series MVP Freddy Freeman. Freeman was the first baseman for the Braves and will continue to hold down his position in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers as well managed to trade outfielder A.J. Pollock for all-star closer Craig Kimbrel. Also re-signing Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw to a short deal to finish off his career.
Although they brought in high-level players, the Dodgers did indeed lose people as well. Previous World Series MVP and starting shortstop, Corey Seager, decided to sign with the Texas Rangers as they offered him a 12-year, 325 million dollar contract which will include over 140 million just in the first four years.
Across the city in Anaheim, the Angels made many moves this offseason that improved their roster dramatically.
The Angels look to make their first playoff appearance since 2014 when they got swept by the Kansas City Royals which would be what this generation considers their Babe Ruth in Mike Trout to be his only playoff games.
Despite the key injuries in the previous season regarding Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, the Angels have one of the best offenses in the league led by the two-headed monster in Mike Trout and reigning unanimous MVP, Shohei Ohtani.
The three all-star players only played in 32 games last season which would be a dumpster fire for the Angels struggling to find a rhythm and consistency.
The main problem that the Angels have had in the previous years is their pitching and committing to go get the top guys. This year that changed for Anaheim.
Not only did the Angels focus on signing free-agent pitchers this year, but they also used every pick in last year’s draft (20) on pitchers. This made headlines and other teams know the Angels are in to win now.
The first priority for the Angels was re-signing all-star closer, Raisel Iglesias. They would quickly complete this deal giving him four years worth 58 million dollars. This would be key for the Angels as he was their most reliable arm last year having a 2.57 ERA (earned run average).
After this the Angels would continue signing more pitchers, landing lefty reliever Aaron Loup from the New York Mets who had an astonishing .80 ERA in 2021. With Loup, the Halos also signed Michael Lorenzen and Ryan Tapera.
Another key signing for the Angels pitching staff would be starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard is coming off Tommy-John surgery and is looking to return to his dominant self. With the Mets, Syndergaard had a career 3.3 ERA.
Not surprisingly this amazing offseason for the Dodgers had led them to the number one spot on many fans and analytics pre-season predictions. The Dodgers were rated +450 to win it all this year.
Despite the struggling spring for the Dodgers, they still will look to their big contract guys to carry them through the year. With Trea Turner in his main position as a shortstop and Cody Bellinger back in center full time, they are bound to make something happen.
They opened their season up in Colorado against division rival, the Colorado Rockies. In a three-game series that should have been a cakewalk for LA, the Rockies managed to stun the Dodgers taking two of the three.
Many believe that the Dodgers are elite on both sides of the ball, but just like in their spring training this was not the case this past weekend. The Dodgers would begin the series winning 5-3 with ace Walker Buehler on the mound. The next two struggled to get the offense going while the pitching gave up ten runs in two games while only scoring three.