After a heartbreak of a 2019 season losing in the American League divisional round to the Houston Astros in the elimination game 5, after this awkward 2020 season making the playoffs after winning the division crown the Tampa Bay Rays are looking to make a statement.
This young core of talent got a taste in 2019, looking for more in 2020. With the Number 1 overall seed in the American League the Rays are the team to beat and the World Series must go thru Tampa Bay, although now the Rays must play in a “bubble” just as the Tampa Bay Lightning had to do when they won the Stanley Cup Finals.
But their level of success this season will be determined more by what they accomplish in October.
Tampa Bay’s chase for the first World Series championship in franchise history is off to a strong start, as it completed a sweep of Toronto Blue Jays in the best-of-three American League Wild Card Series with an 8-2 win in Wednesday’s Game 2 at Tropicana Field.
Now the Rays will get a day or so rest as they await the results from the Yankees/Indians series and find out who they will face in the ALDS. Charlie Morton was next if Toronto would’ve forced game 3 in the Wild Card Round so odds are that with Snell & Glasnow will have to rest and be used in games 4 & 5 if pushed that far in the next round as Morton looks to be starter of game 1 of the ALDS Series per what we’ve known so far but is not official yet.
On the mound, Tyler Glasnow picked up right where the pitching staff left off Tuesday. The right-hander opened the game with three consecutive fastballs to Cavan Biggio to record a strikeout. The last heater came in at 99.3 mph at the knees to get Biggio looking and set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Glasnow struck out eight and allowed two runs on six hits over six strong innings. His only mistakes were two pitches to Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen, who turned both into solo home runs. Rays pitching has allowed only three earned runs over the past 29 innings, dating back to the regular season. Tampa Bay also improved to 10-2 in games started by Glasnow in 2020.
The Rays will play in the ALDS for the sixth time in franchise history. Over the weekend, they’ll fly to San Diego, a place they hope to call home for the next few weeks, as Petco Park will also host the AL Championship Series. The World Series will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington beginning Oct. 20.
This Rays team is very special and talented, do not count them out as they will be motivated by having lost in game 5 of this round last season.