They are currently 62-61, 10 games behind the division-leading Houston Astros.
The Angels are also 7.5 games behind the second Wild Card spot, occupied by the Oakland Athletics, and 8.5 games behind the first one, held by the New York Yankees.
The problem for Los Angeles is that they also have the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays in front of them vying for a spot in October baseball.
What would need to happen for the Angels to have a shot?
Health Is Crucial
First and foremost, the Angels would need to keep Shohei Ohtani healthy.
He has pitched 100 innings and taken 477 plate appearances.
Second, they would need to recover some of their injured stars, especially Trout.
Trout, widely considered a top player who has been dominating the league for years, could help carry the team in its (unlikely) quest for a playoff spot.
The outfielder participated in pregame work with his Angels teammates on Tuesday and could be ready to start a rehab assignment soon.
Mike Trout is back on the field for pregame workouts again today. He's currently playing catch with Justin Upton and moving around in the outfield.
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) August 18, 2021
What Would Need To Happen Schedule-Wise For The Angels To Have A Chance?
The first thing the Angels need to do is win most of the games they have on the calendar for the remainder of the season.
That would be a good way to start this exercise.
Let’s start by saying the Angels’ odds of making the postseason are extremely low.
Then, the Angels would probably benefit from one of the American League East teams, namely the Yankees or Red Sox, to run away with the first Wild Card berth.
That would mean, for example, that the Angels would be better off with the Yankees winning most of their remaining games against the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Athletics.
At this point, the second Wild Card spot is the more realistic avenue for the Angels to dream about a postseason berth, so let the Yankees (or Red Sox, in that case, but obviously not both) have the first one and push everybody else down.
The Yankees running away with the first one would mean that they win most of their games against those opponents, which of course benefits the Angels.
For instance, the Yankees play four straight with the A’s from August 26 to August 29.
If the Bombers win four or at least three, and the Angels can start winning more games, things could get really interesting.
Of course, the Angels would need to get victories in most of their games versus the Yankees, so basically, they would need the Bombers to win most of their games against Toronto, Boston, and Oakland, but obviously not the ones against them.
The Angels and Yankees have a three-game series from August 30 to September 1.
Los Angeles will also need to take all series against direct rivals in the quest for the Wild Card.
In September, they have pivotal series against the A’s and the Seattle Mariners: sweeps in both would be ideal.
Right now, it’s very hard to envision the Angels as a playoff team.
However, they are not dead yet, at least not mathematically, and they could be close to getting back the best player of his generation.
I wish the Angels would make the playoffs just once so we could all watch Ohtani and Trout in meaningful games https://t.co/KiYiOqyLwM
— Doug Allen (@DFRSH757) August 19, 2021
After all, baseball fans deserve to see Ohtani and Trout in the playoffs.