The Rays Tank: Magic Numbers, Rookie Hazing, And Other Links

Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Reaching the playoffs will require another historic September performance from Tampa Bay.

In 2007, the Colorado Rockies won 13 of their 14 final games to win the National League Wild Card.

The Rays have won seven consecutive games. There are only seven games remaining.

As things stand, Tampa Bay remains three games behind the second Wild Card. Normally, in the final weeks of the season, we like to throw around "magic numbers" for how many wins it will take to secure a playoff slot. This year, it is not so simple.

In order to win the Wild Card, the Rays must go nearly undefeated in their final seven games, and there are many mathematical roads to get there. To illustrate what lies ahead, I've created this table projecting team records, given how many games the teams could win over their remaining schedules:

Today

Games Left

Win 0

Win 1

Win 2

Win 3

Win 4

Win 5

Win 6

Win 7

Schedule

Rays

85-70

7

85-77

86-76

87-75

88-74

89-73

90-72

91-71

92-70

4 at CWS, 3 vs BAL

Baltimore

89-67

6

89-73

90-72

91-71

92-70

93-69

94-68

95-67

3 vs BOS, 3 at TB

Oakland

88-67

7

88-74

89-73

90-72

91-71

92-70

93-69

94-68

95-67

1 at TEX, 3 vs SEA, 3 vs TEX

Los Angeles

86-69

7

86-76

87-75

88-74

89-73

90-72

91-71

92-70

93-69

1 vs SEA, 3 at TEX, 3 at SEA

New York

90-65

7

90-72

91-71

92-70

93-69

94-68

95-67

96-66

97-65

4 at TOR, 3 vs BOS

Detroit

83-72

7

83-79

84-78

85-77

86-76

87-75

88-74

89-73

90-72

1 vs KC, 3 at MIN, 3 at KC

Chicago

82-73

7

82-80

83-79

84-78

85-77

86-76

87-75

88-74

89-73

4 vs TB, 3 at CLE

Texas

91-64

7

91-71

92-70

93-69

94-68

95-67

96-66

97-65

98-64

1 vs OAK, 3 vs LAA, 3 at OAK

Using this table, we can see that if the Rays were to repeat the Rockies performance from 2007 - that is, win 6 of their remaining 7 games - Tampa Bay would be secure if Oakland wins only two more games, and if Los Angeles does not win more than four.

We can also see that it's possible for the Yankees to win only one of their final games and miss the playoffs entirely.

While the possibilities seem endless, the Rays will most certainly need to pass two of the contending three: Oakland, Baltimore, and Los Angeles.

And now Links!

  • The Rays participated in their annual hazing tradition last night, this time with a raucous rendition of Call Me Maybe, performed by the rookies in full leotard costumes and with some stellar choreography - all captured on video!
  • Rumor has it that Nationals 3B coach Bo Porter has been named the new manager of the Houston Astros - a position Rays bench coach Dave Martinez had interviewed for. To read more on Bo Porter, here is the full story, a recent interview from Fangraphs, and an entertaining GIF.
  • In preparation for Shields's start this evening against the White Sox, check out Tommy Rancel's recent write up on Big Game James's new put-away pitch: The Cutter.
  • With the dominant performance of David Price on Tuesday night came a flood of attention for the Cy Young contender, and anticipating an offseason full of trade rumors, Jonah Keri examined the historical trends in trading an elite pitcher such as Price. His extensive research proved the obvious: rarely does lightning strike twice.
  • Using the Red Sox as a spring board to discuss market value, Dave Cameron argues - similarly to Keri's article - that teams should be retaining their stars, as television contracts and contract prices are bound to skyrocket in the near future.
  • Tango takes his issue with xFIP and flyballs: "There's an assumption that all flyballs are equally distributed for each pitcher, that whether you are Jered Weaver or AJ Burnett, that if you give up a flyball, expect one-tenth of those to become HR." What say you, is xFIP useful or misleading?
  • ESPN's Rob Parker ignorantly criticized advanced statistics in baseball because they can't win you a world series. Funny, he claims to have watched Moneyball, but he seems to be forgetting the Red Sox hired Bill-Freaking-James at the end of the movie, and then won two World Series leaning on sabermetrics. Then again, this guy spends his mornings debating with Skip Bayliss, so this is probably a troll.
  • Finally: Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Kevin Millar, Johnny Damon, and a hot tub. The story you never asked for, but you can read anyway.
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