This is a very important upcoming road trip for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays begin a 10 game road trip in New York tonight with a three game stop at Yankee Stadium, before going to Oakland for the weekend and will stop In Minnesota to play three against the Twins.
The Rays are quickly approaching the half way point of the season as they have played 71 games and are 43-28 and trail the Yankees by a half game in the American League East.
The Rays have been one of the best teams in baseball this season and if they want to keep that status there are a few things they will need to improve on.
1. A winning record against teams with a winning record. The Rays are 4-8 this season against the Yankees, A’s, and Twins whom the Rays play on this road trip.
The Rays are just .500 against teams with a winning record. This will need to improve as the Rays move into the second half of the season.
2. The Rays have to be better in the close games. They are 2-7 in one run games and as the season goes on, the Rays will play in more close games an will need to find a way to close them out.
The one run won loss record and the inconsistency of the bullpen is related. The Rays bullpen has been a problem since late April. This bullpen, the way it is constructed right now will not get you over the top in the playoffs.
Chaz Roe has been awful. Austin Pruitt gets lit up every time he steps on the mound. Ryan Yarborough in his role as an opener has an ERA right around five. You never know what you will get from Diego Castillo and Jose Alvarado the two primary closers from night to night
The Rays are on pace to win 98 games and they will finish with just 20 saves if they keep up the current pace.
Emilio Pagan has been the most consistent pitcher in the bullpen this season with an ERA of.81. Oliver Drake has also been good since he joined the big league club.
Jacob Faria was recalled over the weekend, hopefully he can step in, eat some innings, and bring some stability to the bullpen.
Word from the front office is that the Rays are willing to spend some money and add payroll if necessary to get this team the help it needs to get back to the playoffs.
The starting pitching of Charlie Morton, Blake Snell, Yonny Chirinos, and Ryne Stanek in the opener role have been outstanding as they have an ERA under 2.8. The Rays should get Tyler Glasnow back in mid-July.
There is a lot of baseball yet to be played. A lot can happen. But this teams needs a couple of quality relief pitchers if it has any hopes of playing baseball in late October.