Rays face tough road in their quest to win the AL East

 

The MLB 60 game season schedule is out and it will be a challenging season for the Tampa Bay Rays. 

As was reported last week, the Rays will open the season against the Toronto Blue Jays for a weekend series at home July 24-26. 

The Rays will play all ten games against the Yankees in a 28-day window from August 6th through September 2nd. The Rays were 7-12 against the Yankees last season and were outscored 96-56.

If the Rays are to win the division, they are going to have to play much better against the Yankees. 

The way this schedule breaks down the Rays will play ten games against the AL East teams Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Orioles. 

The Rays will then play four games against the Braves and three games against the Mets and Phillies. The Rays will play six games against their in-state rivals the Miami Marlins.

The Rays will have five off-days during the two month season. The regular season ends for the Rays on September the 27th hosting the Philadelphia Phillies. 

The Rays will travel a total of 10,939 miles which is the fifth-highest total in the league. 

Talking with the media about the 2020 schedule manager Kevin Cash said “I don’t think we look at the schedule under any circumstance and think it’s even worth time complaining about it. There isn’t. That’s the schedule. We feel good about it. We know for us to be successful, no different than any season, you have to play well in your division, you have to beat the teams that you play the most. That’s the way they’re aligned, and we’re just going to have to find a way to compete well.”

The Rays have one of the most talented and versatile rosters in all of baseball but are projected to finish second in the American League East behind the New York Yankees according to the online sportsbook Bovada. 

The Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers have the lowest win total projections as they are projected to win 21 games. 

Bovada has the New York Yankees and the Los Angels Dodgers as the favorites to play in the 2020 World Series. 

The Rays are expected to be one of the four playoff teams in the American League joining the Yankees, Astros, and Minnesota Twins. 

With their deep and versatile roster, a lot of experts will still overlook the Rays to make any kind of playoff run. Even though the Rays took the Houston Astros to five games in the divisions series in the 2019 playoffs. 

Buster Olney of ESPN is the one expert who thinks the Rays could make it the 2020 Worlds Series. 

Olney speaking with Mike Greenberg on Get Up said that he likes the Rays deep bullpen and thinks that maybe a difference-maker in their march to the World Series. 

Olney also likes the ways the Rays have come together as a team. Olney visited the Rays spring training back in March. 

This 60 game schedule will be more of a sprint than a marathon so it will be important to get off to a great start and not have any extended losing streaks.

In this shortened season, a seven-game losing streak would be the equivalent of losing 19 games in a row in a 162 game season. 

The Rays will need to get off to a great start to win the AL East.