Baseball fans across the Southland are rejoicing this weekend as Spring Training baseball gets underway in Florida and Arizona. This year, both Los Angeles teams have plenty to prove, but for markedly different reasons.
For the Angels, it’s about proving they’ve made the moves to be a contender in the AL West. The Halos finished the coronavirus-abbreviated 2020 season at 26-34, good for 4th in the division. But during the offseason they beefed up their pitching rotation by signing veterans José Quintana and Alex Cobb, added a couple of new faces in shortstop José Iglesias and right fielder Dexter Fowler, and maybe most exciting for Angels fans will be the expected return of two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who has struggled with injury since coming into the league in 2018 but is said to be fully rehabbed from Tommy John surgery last year and ready to go for Spring Training. And having the best player in baseball on your roster in Mike Trout can only help the Angels’ chances of proving they’re a contender in the AL West.
For the Dodgers, it’s about proving they can win it all again. After finishing the 2020 regular season 43-17 and winning the NL West, the Dodgers cruised to their first World Series in 32 years. The offseason saw a few familiar faces depart Los Angeles as Kiké Hernández, Joc Pederson, Pedro Báez and Alex Wood all went to other teams. But the core of the Dodgers’ World Series lineup returns, and the Dodgers were able to land one of the best free agent pitchers available in right-handed fireballer Trevor Bauer, so it’s fair to say expectations are high for the Dodgers to come out and show that they’re the best team in baseball and can be consistently for a full season.
Today on AirTalk, we’ll convene the Triple Play to look at what to expect this year from the Dodgers and Angels.