For most of the second half of the Major League Baseball season the Tampa Bay Rays have been contending for the lead in the American League East and leading the A.L. Wildcard race. For the last few games however they really have started to slip. This is exactly the wrong time to begin a losing trend and that fact shows in the Rays current placement in the various races for the postseason. They need a really good week to begin September.
In the division race against the Boston Red Sox they have fallen to 4.5 games back. Then in the wildcard race they lost ground to the Oakland Athletics who now are the leaders in the race. That leaves the Rays in the second wildcard slot with four teams chomping at their heels. It also leaves them out of playoff spots to fall back on. First they tried for the division but led the wildcard. Now they are second in the wildcard but have only nothing to fall back on.
That isn’t nearly as good of a place to be. This coming first week of September has them going up against the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners. Both teams have been okay of late but having had terrible seasons. Regardless of the Angels and Mariners good points, the Rays need to wipe the field with them this week and regain some ground on their many opponents whose number just keeps growing. It isn’t exactly now or never for the Rays but they need to win now so that it will not be.