The Tampa Bay Rays have played well enough to launch themselves well into the thick of the American League East pennant race. They and the Boston Red Sox appear to be ready to fight it out until the final days of the season. Currently the Red Sox lead the Rays by a couple of games and it appears their trade deadline acquisition of Jake Peavy has been a huge boost for the team. The Rays have something that will better that however with returning starting pitchers Alex Cobb and Matt Moore.
It is plenty impressive that the Rays have stuck close and even led for a time without one or both of their best pitchers for most of the season. Cobb led the team in overall pitching performance with an ERA around or less than three depending on when you looked and Moore leads the team still with 14 wins. Cobb and Moore returning means a humongous boost to the Rays pitching staff which already is enjoying the renewed Cy-Young winning form of David Price.
There is no mistaking why the Rays are fighting it out for the lead in the East. Their pitching staff, with only returning stars and zero trades, rivals that of the Red Sox with the Peavy addition. It is a pretty fair bet that both of these teams will make the post season with the way they are playing but with returning Cobb and Moore to join Price this Rays team is primed for not only a pennant race but also a run for the World Series Championship. I don’t know if they are the favorites right now but ask me about half-way through September and I might have a different opinion.