While only sitting two games back of the Yankees, the Rays have a serious opportunity to take the AL East. However, with the recent Yankee insurgence against the Rays it will be a daunting task to get back on top.
The Rays enter the second half winning eight of their last ten. Not shabby, the only problem is the Yankees are too. It is going to be a battle of attrition between the two teams, and it will ultimately come down to their remaining meetings in the regular season. The first of which actually begins Friday. Whoever can edge the other out in the remaining games will take the AL East crown.
As for the miracle on crutches, the Boston Red Sox, I strongly believe they are the odd men out. By the time they get up and rolling again at 100%, it will be too late. Clay Buchholz (10-4) is close to returning though it is more of a question whether he can return to his pre-break dominance. Dustin Pedroia’s broken foot is still afoot. It was a tad comical watching him lean on his crutches at the all-star game. Ellsbury is out with fractured ribs and has only managed nine games this season. Ace, Josh Beckett is still suffering from old man syndrome- back pain. Both of Bean town’s catchers are on the fritz, Martinez and Varitek, are both suffering from dents caused by foul tips. Even Boston’s depth players such as Mike Lowell are on the DL. It is only a matter of time before one of the magical crutches snap.
If Tampa Bay can resurrect James Shield’s 2008 heroics, and get B.J. Upton back onto the tracks then it is their division to lose. Regardless, due to the current make up of the AL East and wild card it is inevitable- blocking an ugly collapse- the Rays will be playing October baseball.
About the Author
Written by Charlie Crabb
Charlie Crabb is currently studying journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Crabb is also a pitcher for an elite baseball travel team known as the Ottawa Knights, who play -with success- in tournaments all over North America. His current goals are to graduate and play ball at a professional level.