Tampa Bay Rays experience simple schedule to 9-0 begin


You’ll be able to solely play who’s on the schedule. That’s an axiom as previous as baseball, and it’s principally true. The Tampa Bay Rays obtained to begin their season with 9 video games towards MLB’s youngsters with mittens pinned to their jackets year-round, and so they’ve performed all they’ll do. Which is to beat the ever-loving piss out of them, to the tune of a 9-0 document with a run-difference of +57. That might work out to a +1,026 run distinction over a full season. Which might be tasty.

However sure, it’s onerous to guage what the Rays are once they’ve performed the Tigers, Nationals, and A’s, the final of which they beat Saturday and Sunday by a mixed 22-0. You’d determine that a minimum of on Opening Day they’d face a top-tier pitcher, given that almost all everybody has to. They obtained Eduardo Rodriguez in Detroit, who’s the very definition of advantageous. It’s additionally the one sport they’ve been held to below 5 runs, so clearly they’re butt when going through a heat physique on the mound! Nicely, not likely.

Right here’s the listing of starters they’ve confronted since, and see what number of you knew have been actual folks earlier than studying this: Spencer Turnbull, Joey Wentz, Trevor Williams, Chad Kuhl, Patrick Corbin, Ken Waldichuk, Shintaro Fujinami, and James Kaprielian. Williams and Kuhl the definition of plugs that unhealthy groups signal as a result of somebody has to truly stand on the mound and hurl the ball someplace towards dwelling plate each fifth day. Patrick Corbin is lifeless. Waldichuk isn’t an actual particular person, and Fujinami and Kaprielian are Athletics. So sure…chum.

The Rays’ numbers are fairly hilarious. Wander Franco is slugging .757, which might make him Frank Thomas who can play shortstop. He’s already collected 0.8 fWAR, which might set him on a 14.4 fWAR tempo, which might be the second-best single season of all-time (Ruth, ‘27, you will have heard about it) They’ve 5 guys who’ve a wRC+ over 200 (100 is common). Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs haven’t given up a run in 4 mixed begins. Shane McLanahan has given up two. Zach Efflin has been the actual bum of the group, giving up 4 runs in 11 innings by way of two begins. 4 of their relievers haven’t given up a run to this point.

Nothing lasts ceaselessly, and the Rays will get one thing of a sterner take a look at with three video games towards the Purple Sox after which a decidedly sterner take a look at towards the Jays subsequent weekend (although they’ll’t get anybody out in the intervening time both). There aren’t any huge video games in an MLB common season, particularly with the expanded playoffs, however a minimum of the Rays might need to breathe onerous in some unspecified time in the future this week.

That mentioned, in a division the place one may anticipate the Yankees, Rays, and Jays to type of take equal bites out of one another, who wins the division and will get to skip out on the wildcard spherical may come all the way down to how a lot they beat up on numerous dregs across the league. A 9-0 run towards them might play an enormous function towards both the Yankees or Jays going 7-2 towards them, which might nonetheless be a greater than acceptable run.

Franco is the one price watching. Final season he was blighted by an harm to his wrist, which is one thing that hitters take a very long time to get well from even after they return to the lineup. Whereas 1 / 4 of his fly balls aren’t going to maintain turning into homers (although with this baseball it would), he has proven far larger self-discipline to this point on the plate whereas nonetheless placing up high-end contact numbers when he does swing. That means his 90.5 common exit velocity and 40 p.c hard-hit price is perhaps issues we proceed to see, which ought to result in some fairly bonkers numbers.

On the pitching aspect, although they have been the pioneers when it got here to bullpen utilization and openers, the Rays have gotten fairly standard just lately. And that’s even with looking for all of the items to Tyler Glasnow and put him again collectively once more. Drew Rasmussen is hanging out 35 p.c of the hitters he’s seen in two begins, and the added depth to his cutter to this point this season has made it Bugs Bunny-like (40 p.c whiff price).

The Rays will lose, most likely this week. They gained’t get to face fodder like this for many of the season. However hey, you’ll be able to solely eat what’s served.