The Tampa Bay Rays look to keep their wildcard spot as they currently sit six games back of the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East and 1.5 games ahead of the Seattle Mariners in the wild card standings.
Month of September
The Rays have tried their best to catch the Yankees, but New York refuses to lose the top spot in the division. Tampa Bay and New York have faced off in two three-game series in September and have split the six games. Overall, the Rays are currently 10-7 during the month and took two out of three games against the Texas Rangers, this weekend.
All we can control is the game in front of us, and we took care of business today
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 18, 2022
AL East Race
The battle for the AL East has been heavy hitting. The Yankees hold the first place spot with an 87-58 record while the Toronto Blue Jays sit in second place with a record of 83-64. The Blue Jays are 5.5 games back of New York and are atop the AL Wild Card standings.
Tampa Bay holds the second wildcard spot and a 1.5 game lead on the Mariners. The Blue Jays took over the top wildcard spot after taking their series against the Rays earlier in the week. Toronto has been hot this month, winning 13 of their last 18 games.
The Final Push
The Rays have 16 more games before the season ends with series against the Houston Astros, Blue Jays, Cleveland Guardians and Boston Red Sox. Six of the 16 games will be against Houston who holds a 96-51 record, the best in the American league.
Harold Ramirez and Yandy Diaz lead the team at the plate with a .306 and .296 batting average.
On the mound for the Rays, Shane McClanahan leads the team in wins, ERA and strikeouts. The pitching staff for Tampa has recorded a combined ERA of 3.33, helping the team stay afloat in the playoff conversation.
A Look Ahead
The Rays look to make the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. Tampa has played in the wildcard game in two of their last three playoff appearances.
McClanahan is one of the top candidates for the AL Cy Young award. It would be Tampa’s first winner since Blake Snell in 2018 and McClanahan would be third pitcher in franchise history to win the award, joining Snell and David Price.
The Rays begin their series against the Astros 0n Monday night.
Houston clinched a playoff birth on Friday.
— Houston Astros (@astros) September 17, 2022