Record:  52-29 Home; 46-35 Road
Manager: Mike Scioscia - Post season managerial experience: 2002 Won World Series, 2004 lost ALDS, 2005 lost ALCS, 2007 lost ALDS, 2008 lost ALDS and 2009 lost ALCS. 
Injuries: Josh Hamilton Day to Day, P Matt Shoemaker Day to Day.
  1. Jered Weaver
  2. C.J Wilson
  3. Matt Shoemaker
  4. Hector Santiago
The Angels have been hit by the injury bug in their rotation all year long. If Matt Shoemaker can’t make his game three start, Santiago is not a capable fill in and should not inspire confidence in the fan base. C.J. Wilson has worked through his worst season as a starting pitcher with an ERA of 4.51 and a WHIP of 1.45. Thus the pressure falls squarely on the shoulders of Jered Weaver, who will likely match up against Jeremy Guthrie in game one. This is a clear advantage for the Angels, and they must not squander this opportunity. Wilson will likely throw against Jason Vargas and the Angels again have the advantage here and an opportunity to go to Kansas City up 2-0. The Angels bullpen has been rebuilt through the year by GM Jerry Dipoto. Huston Street was brought in to close games and has instilled confidence in the back end. Joe Smith, Jason Grilli and Kevin Jepson have all been stellar this year working to bridge the gap to the closer. Joe Thatcher is the lefty specialist and will likely see Eric Hosmer or Alex Gordon in late inning situations. 
Kole Calhoun leads off with 17 home runs in his pocket. He won’t be asked to hit them in this series but his .270 average shows he has some on base skills. Mike Trout in the 2nd spot in front of Albert Pujols puts pressure on opposing pitchers to get the first out because of their power and clutch playing ability. 2B Howie Kendrick has been batting cleanup for them in Josh Hamilton’s wake. Hamilton says he will play but is his swing going to be ready for big league sliders? Erick Aybar is a steady SS and benefitted from a nice year at the plate posting a .278 average. David Freese plays 3B and has a history of post season success with the Cardinals. Catcher Chris Iannetta handles the pitching staff well and has a .378 OBP.  Collin Cowgil will likely DH as he has pop in his bat. Overall this team led the league in runs scored and posted a .322 OBP which isn’t as high as you would think. 
Defense/Pinch Hitting:
Hamilton would likely be replaced in the outfield by Cowgil in a late inning close game. Gordon Beckham was picked up from the White Sox as insurance should Freese struggle. C.J Cron adds a home run bat option as a late inning pinch hitter. 


As previewed earlier, the team burned young Dominican fire-baller Yordano Ventura in the Wild Card game. As such the rotation will consist of Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Vargas and Danny Duffy before Shields is rested enough to comeback. All three are left handed and all but Duffy are hittable. Duffy has a mid-90’s fastball and a changeup that can neutralize good hitters. He is more than a year removed from Tommy John surgery, and suffered from a sore shoulder at the end of the season. If he is sharp that could allow Yost to move one of the other two back in order for Shields to redeem himself after his Wild Card start.  Rookie Brandon Finnegan showed why he was a 1st round pick this June in his relief outing against A’s, and could be a weapon out of the bullpen Yost hadn’t planned on having. 
The lineup showed that they are playoff caliber with their manufacturing runs and stealing bases against the A’s. Terrance Gore showed his base running acumen, along with many other Royals, by running their way into scoring position. With timelier hitting they could have won the game before extra innings as they had runners in scoring position in each of the last 4 innings. 
The Royals feel good story comes crashing down as the Angels are a more competent team with a better manager, rotation, lineup and bullpen. To have a chance the Royals need to steal a game in Anaheim but those chances are slim.  
Angels win series 3-1