Rays Poised to Strike
The Tampa Bay Rays soared into the ASG. After spitting a series with the Cubs, they took three of four from the Red Sox. The latest success puts them just 3.5 games behind the Red Sox, and tied with the Yankees. Few would have expected the Rays to occupy a WC slot half way through the season, yet here they are. They have a potent offense and a dominant staff of young hurlers. Two key members of the team are represented this week. Corey Dickerson will man the DH spot, while Chris Archer will spin his magic against the NL’s best. After the break the Rays will get a chance to get ahead in the race. While New York and Boston battle it out, Tampa will play Los Angeles, Oakland, and Texas. By this time next week, the Rays may very well leap frog their way into first.
The Rays have already made additions. They grabbed Trevor Plouffe form the Athletics to help out their offense against lefties. Wilson Ramos has been a boon in the weeks following his return from the DL. With Matt Andriese on the shelf until sometime in August, the Rays will have to roll with Blake Snell. This could cause the Rays to search for an upgrade in their already strong rotation. Despite all the rumors, I would be surprised if the Rays parted ways with either Alex Cobb or Archer.
Tampa Bay is closer to the post season than they have been in years. With some more solid play, the Rays might just pull it off.