Tampa Bay leads the Yankees by two games going into the weekend, and although the Rays were on the losing game of a perfect game last week, the L only counted once in their record once.
There’s no question that Tampa Bay’s league-leading pitching staff is driving the ship thus far this season season. The staff’s 2.78 ERA bests the Twins’ 3.51 by a mile. When you compare the Rays’ numbers to the Yankees for earned runs (96 to 116) and opponents’ batting average (.288 to .309) the difference is even more striking.
But it’s the scrappy “get it done” offense that is keeping the team just out of reach of everyone else. GTMI apparently adorns the team’s t-shirts. “Get the man (it’s been questioned in the media if this is actually another M-word) in” – is the prevailing attitude up and down the lineup.
Tampa Bay’s .253 batting average is nothing stellar. It ranks seventh in the AL. However, the Rays have scored a league-leading 189 runs. Basically, when the hits do come, they’re with men on base. They are batting .319 with runners in scoring position and Evan Longoria is tied for fourth in RBI with 29.
So basically, unless the Rays staff hits a lot of bumps along the way, Tampa Bay is in pretty good shape to lead the division through the first half of the season.
Rays fans – you’re awfully quiet. What do you think? What do you like most about this squad?
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Written by Stephanie Geosits