After a disappointing weekend split in Baltimore, the Rays ended their highly-winnable 21-game stretch going 13-8. That’s probably a little worse than they would have liked, and when combined with Oakland not just surviving, but thriving, in one of their toughest stretches of the remaining calendar, it makes the road to the postseason a little more challenging.
However, all is not lost. The Rays playoff odds remain strong: Baseball Prospectus (71.4%) and FanGraphs (62.4%) have the Rays are well above 50-50 favorites to make the playoffs, with Baseball-Reference (46.1%) having them slightly below 50-50.
Part of what makes B-Ref’s odds a little lower for Tampa Bay is that the Rays are done with the fluffy part of the schedule, and on to the meat and bones. The next five pitchers they face are, in order: Verlander, Cole, Greinke, Clevinger, Bieber. Four of the five rank in the top ten in all of baseball this season in fWAR, and the only one that doesn’t (Clevinger) is only not there because he hasn’t thrown the innings for a cumulative stat like fWAR — his FIP and xFIP are actually both the best of the bunch.
The Rays will counter with Charlie Morton on Tuesday and Yarbs on Wednesday (those should be some amazing games, by the way), but after that it gets a bit sketchy these days. Getting three out of six would be great, but maybe more importantly, winning that Cleveland series will be huge for the Wild Card crunch.
We’re set up for quite the playoff race. Try to enjoy it instead of stressing over it. Easier said than done, of course.
Rays News and Links
- How the Rays quietly built a great team — Getting the MLB.com feature treatment. No surprise to any of us here, but still nice to see.
- Former Tampa Bay Rays owner Vince Naimoli dead at 81 years old
- Oh, the pain: Ranking the Rays injuries that have hurt the most — Is there an “all of them” option?
- Tampa Bay Rays 2019 Midseason Top 50 Prospects — I never tire of thinking how sustainable this current run is (hopefully, furiously knocks on wood).
- Tampa Bay Rays battle through home woes, inconsistent play — Time to bring us back to earth a bit after that last article gassed us up a bit.
- Power Rankings — ESPN; Bleacher Report
- Marc Topkin’s takeaways from the Rays’ 8-3 loss to Orioles
- Top 10 prospects — From a 2019 fantasy perspective. Rays two of top three
- Sunday Notes — Our old friend LoMo is out there looking for work.
- The future star who got away from each MLB team — Can you guess ours? Sprechen sie Deutsch?
- Mooning over baseball in Miami — For our friends who follow Florida baseball as a whole
Tweet of the Weekend
The #Rays got a break today. Cleveland lost and so did Oakland. So going into tomorrow, Tampa Bay is a half game behind Cleveland, a half game ahead of the A's.— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) August 25, 2019