JFor only the third time in their history, the Tampa Bay Ryas are the American League East champions.
The Rays won the division beating the New York Mets 8-5 and lead the Oakland A’s by two games for overall best record in the American League with a 37-20 record.
This is the Rays first division title sine 2010.
The Rays won the division on their. strength of their pitching. How good could this Rays team have been had they had not been hammered by all the injuries.
if there was ever a case built for having a deep farm system, this year proved how valuable that farm system can be.
The Rays used 24 pitchers this year, 25 if you can’t the one third of an inning that Michael Brosseau pitched in a blowout loss earlier in the season.
Josh Fleming, Ryan Thompson, Aaron Slegers, and Ryan Sheriff have all contributed to this team winning the division title.
The Rays used a closer by committee approach as Kevin Cash seemed to push the right buttons most of the time this season.
With three games left in the regular season, 12 pitchers have recorded a save led by Nick Anderson with six.
Tyler Glasnow and Pete Fairbanks lead the Rays with five wins each. Fairbanks getting all of his wins in relief.
Fairbanks also leads the Rays in appearances with 26 appearances.
Nick Anderson leads the Rays with a .59 ERA, while Tyler Glasnow has 91 strikeouts to lead the team.
Yonny Chirinos, Jalen Beeks, Andrew Kittredge, and Chaz Roe were all lost to the Rays with season ending injuries.
Jose Alvarado last pitched in a game on August 2nd.
Injuries have been more abundant this season not just with the Rays, but with all teams.
With Charlie Morton pitching Friday night against the Phillies, the Rays will be able to have their top starters Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, and Morton pitch in the first three wildcard games next week.
If the season were to end today, the Rays would play the Toronto Blue Jays in the wild card round. But a lot can happen in the final three days of the regular season.
Offensively, this team has been a disappointment.
The Japanese import Yoshi Tsutsugo has been the biggest disappointment, followed closely by Hunter Renfroe,.
Tsutsugo is hitting .195 with eight home runs and 23 runs batted in. he has been a streaky hitter all season.
Hunter Renfroe who hit 32 homer last season in the national league will end up hitting below the Mendoza line this season. Renfroe is hitting .148 with eight homers and 21 runs batted in.
Austin Meadows is another player that the Rays were expecting a lot more out this season. meadows was slowed by COVID to start the season and is now on the DL with a strained oblique strain.
Meadows hit.205 with four homers and 13 runs batted in.
Brandon Lowe gets my vote for team MVP. Lowe is hitting .274 with 14 homers and has driven in 36 runs. Lowe has carried this team offensively this season getting clutch hits and driving in runs at critical points in the games.
Wily Adames is hitting .260 with eight homers and 21 runs batted in, has been pretty consistent all season.
Adames started off on a tear, but has cooled off the last couple of weeks.
COVID or not, the East division is a tough one to win when you are competing with the Yankees and the Red Sox year in and year out.
The Rays want a lot more, and this was just their first step in bringing a World Series title to Tampa.