A few weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Rays were holding on to very slim hopes of making the playoffs this season. The Tampa Bay Rays were 9 games behind the Boston Red Sox, and it did not appear that Boston was going to go into a severe slump to end the season. After a sweep of the Red Sox over the weekend, the Rays have pulled to only 3 games behind Boston. With only 16 games left in the season, it appears that the Tampa Bay Rays now have a legitimate shot at winning the Wild Card in the American League.
Over the last 10 games, the Tampa Bay Rays have won 8 games while the Red Sox have only won 2. This has allowed them to gain 6 games on the Red Sox in this period. Winning the Wild Card will not be easy for the Rays, but if they continue their great play they will have a great chance. Both teams play similar schedules with their remaining 16 games with the teams playing each other four more times in Boston this weekend. To have a realistic chance of making the playoffs and winning the Wild Card, the Tampa Bay Rays will have to win at least 3 of the 4 games.
The majority of baseball games in September and October are determined by pitching. It is the end of a long season and most of the hitters are tired, so the great pitchers are able to dominate. This gives a extreme edge to Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes. The Rays have an entire rotation that can keep them in the game, but Boston is struggling to find reliable starters after John Lester and Josh Beckett.