The Tampa Bay Rays are the hottest team in baseball.
The Tampa Bay Rays are the best team in baseball.
Use whatever descriptive adjective you want to describe the season’s first nine games. Both are true.
After dismantling the Oakland A’s 11-0 on -a hitter by Drew Rasmussen, the Rays tied the 2003 Kansas City Royals for the best start to a season in the wild-card era with a 9-0 record.
Finally, the baseball gods are smiling on the Tampa Bay Rays.
After being smitten with injuries the last two seasons, the team has been healthy in 2023, which has played a considerable role in their blazing start.
Wander Franco and Brandon Lowe are 100 percent, which has played a significant part in the offense’s hot start.
Every game, the Rays are setting some new records.
Rays Are Scoring Runs At A Record Pace
The Rays are outscoring opponents 75-18. That is a plus 57 run differential, which has never happened before to start a season in the wildcard era.
You have to return to before the turn of the century to find a team with a larger run differential than the Rays plus 57.
The 1884 St. Louis Maroons had a plus 78 run differential, and the New York Gothams had a plus 63 run differential in their first nine games.
Tampa has swept the season’s first three series, taking down the Washington Nationals, Detroit Tigers, and the Oakland A’s.
The Milwaukee Brewers were the last team to start a season with a winning streak longer than the Rays. The Brewers won 13 in a row to start the 1987 season, which is the MLB record.
With their hot start at the plate, the Rays have hit 24 home runs in their first nine games, which trails only the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals, who hit 25.
In the 11-0 win over the A’s on Sunday, Brandon Lowe hit his third career grand slam and drove in five runs to help the Rays win. Wander Franco and Harold Ramirez also homered for the Rays.
Lowe talked about the team’s hot start after Sunday’s 11-0 win. “When you’re rolling as a team, you just keep it going. You don’t question anything.”
You just show up and take care of business. It really just feels like we’re playing our game. This is exactly what we figured was going to happen when we got everybody back healthy. “We knew we were gonna be good.”
The thing about this Rays team is they are not one-dimensional. They lead the league in hitting at .289, in home runs with 24, and have the best pitching in the major leagues with a 1.89 ERA. The starting rotation has a 1.90 ERA with 60 strikeouts.
Oh yeah, they are pretty good defensively too.
Kevin Cash talked about the team’s hot start to begin the season. “When you’re winning games like this, a lot of things have got to be going well. So I think we’re all pretty impressed with every facet of it.”
How Long Can The Rays Maintain This Hot Streak?
On Monday Night, they will go for their tenth straight win against the Boston Red Sox at the Trop.
Josh Fleming will make his second start of the season tonight after a rough first outing last week in Washington.
Fleming allowed five runs in three innings and will need a much better outing tonight to keep a spot in the rotation.
Now is the time for the Rays to stack up those wins. Starting May 5th, the schedule gets a little more demanding with series against the Yankees, Orioles, the Yankees again, Mets, Brewers, Blue Jays, and Dodgers.