The Tampa Bay Rays are the American League East champions, having won the division for the first time in a decade. With that settled, there isn’t much for the team to play for over their final three games of the abbreviated regular season.
However, their fate has not been completely settled as of yet.
Heading into play on Friday, the Tampa Bay Rays sit in the top seed in the American League and are slated to play the 8th seeded team during the first round on Tuesday, September 29th; a best of three game series.
The Rays hold the top spot with a two game lead over the Minnesota Twins and a 2.5 game lead over the Oakland Athletics; the Rays will clinch the top spot with a victory and an Oakland Athletics defeat. The Toronto Blue Jays are currently in the 8th seed, three games behind the Cleveland Indians. With any Cleveland victory or Blue Jays defeat, Toronto will be locked into the 8th seed.
Tampa Bay’s opponent this weekend, the Philadelphia Phillies, has much more at stake. The Phillies are on the outside looking in, sitting a half game behind Evan Longoria and the San Francisco Giants and a full game behind the Miami Marlins. Philadelphia will most likely need to win their final three games in order to make the postseason. Meanwhile the Marlins need two victories to clinch and the Giants need to win three of their four games against the Padres.
There are many scenarios that can work themselves out over these next three days of action, but there will be plenty of eyes on the Rays series against Philadelphia, with the Phillies giving it their all to make the postseason.
Here is how the postseason would start out if the season ended today.
8 - Toronto Blue Jays @ 1 - Tampa Bay Rays (Tropicana Field)
7 - Cleveland Indians @ 2 - Minnesota Twins (Target Field)
6 - Houston Astros @ 3 - Oakland Athletics (Oakland Coliseum)
5 - New York Yankees @ 4 - Chicago White Sox (Guaranteed Rate Field)
8 - San Francisco Giants @ 1 - Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodgers Stadium)
7 - Cincinnati Reds @ 2 - Atlanta Braves (Truist Park)
6 - Miami Marlins @ 3 - Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field)
5 - St Louis Cardinals @ 4 - San Diego Padres (PetCo Park)