I am a man without a horse in the race. For the second straight year, my team ― the Tampa Bay Rays ― fell out of postseason contention about a week-and-a-half before the end of the season. Because of it, I’m approaching this postseason as I had the last, follow the teams that most closely resemble the Rays way of play ― quality pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting. There are two teams that parallel my beloved team in some way, shape, or form: the Houston Astros and the Kansas City Royals, and it just so happens that they are set to start the American League Division Series against one another on Thursday.
While I am grizzled by the fact that my team isn’t in the playoffs, I’m pretty excited that my favorite pitcher, James Shields, is getting another shot at the postseason. Since Shields and teammate Wade Davis, along with more than a handful of Athletics, are former Rays, covering Tuesday night’s AL Wildcard Game seemed like a no-brainer.
The Rays head to Houston for a four game set against the Astros, on the heels of two big series wins at the Trop against the Blue Jays and Tigers. The Astros have the second worst record in baseball — they’re just a mere win better than the Marlins. And similar to the Marlins, the Astros tend to be a scrappy team. Yes, the numbers speak for themselves. But I’d imagine that the Rays won’t approach the series lightly.
Huge CONGRATULATIONS to the Rays!! 2010 AL East Champs!!! With the Yankmes loss today, the Rays had the division locked up. But they beat the Royals anyway so as not to back in, but to finish the season a game ahead of the perennial (ie: big-spender) powerhouses. And yet, disrespected by the MLB and network …