AL West: Surviving, not thriving

Los Angeles Angels

Angels closer Carlos Estévez's 4.76 ERA through 17 IP to date has validated some of our preseason skepticism. But a 4.22 xERA and much-improved 4% BB% suggest that he's actually been better than expected, saving eight games in nine opportunities on a team where late-inning save chances are few and far between. His current numbers still seem unlikely to survive another four months (see his 1H/2H splits from 2023), but at least for now, Estevez is getting an assist from a bullpen with a collective 4.71 ERA and no obvious replacement should he stumble.

Among the best performers currently fronting Estevez, all are 30-something veterans with little closer history or swing-and-miss stuff that might scream “ninth inning."

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