After being officially eliminated from the Wildcard race on Monday, the Tampa Bay Rays look to get back to their winning ways on Tuesday against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field.
We’re obviously proud of what we’ve accomplished this year, third baseman Matt Duffy said. It is unfortunate, you can go back and look at a game here, a game there that we let get away or should have won. The reality is that’s baseball. … With where we stood coming into the season, the expectations that were on us, I think everybody kind of expected us to have as many losses as we have wins now.
We’re not a hidden little secret anymore. I think the Red Sox and Yankees and other teams in the league are going to approach us with a little more caution going forward. That’s going to make our jobs tougher next year.
The Rays fought hard for a postseason berth, going 25-8 since August 19 and 38-22 since the All-Star Break.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) September 25, 2018
Well, Marc, to answer your question, Baseball Prospectus had the Rays pegged for 84 wins (+/- six games), so my guess is them.
With the immediate postseason window settled, Tampa Bay’s focus now shifts to winning at least 90 games for the first time since 2013. The Rays will need to win three of their final six games to get to 90 victories, and two more to reach 50 wins at the Trop.
Tampa Bay is 8-8 against the Bronx Bummers and would need to take two of the final three games to take the season series. That will be a challenge, however, as the Rays will face Luis Severino tonight.
The New What Next
Jake Faria (4-3, 5.17 ERA) will get the start for Tampa Bay, pitching opposite of Luis Severino (18-8, 3.38 ERA).
Faria threw two scoreless innings his last time out against the Rangers. The right-hander has made just three appearances in September, allowing five runs across five innings. Faria last started on August 1- against New York, allowing one run in 3-1/3 innings in a 6-1 victory. Jalen Beeks is also available to provide length today.
Beeks allowed two runs on two hits (two solo home runs) across three innings on Friday. That outing came on the heels of a two-inning shutout appearance on Wednesday in Arlington. Beeks hasn’t given up a ton of runs, just six in his last seven appearances, however, he also has thrown more than four innings just once (8/24 vs Boston).
Severino picked up his 18th win on the season on Wednesday, allowing one run on six hits and one walk across seven innings. He collected six punch outs. Severino was in control all along, allowing just one extra-base hit en route to his first win, and quality start, of September. Prior to Wednesday’s outing, the right-hander hadn’t completed seven innings since August 8. Severino has now allowed just two runs over his last two starts (totaling 12-2/3 innings). He is 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA in three starts against the Rays this season, but 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA at the Trop after a disastrous five-inning, six-run outing on July 23. Key Matchups: Jake Bauers (3-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB), Matt Duffy (2-8), Carlos Gomez (1-4), Mallex Smith (3-10, 2B)
Rays 9/25/18 Starting Lineup
You can read about the series in our preview.
— Ji-Man Choi is getting the start at first base while Adam Moore will get the start behind the plate.
— Sure looks like the other Bay Area team, who we’ll be rooting for, is pretty excited for their playoff berth:
— Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) September 25, 2018
— Blake Snell is donating his jersey from win No. 21 to the Rays display in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.