The slide that the Tampa Bay Rays have been on over the past few weeks is so drastic that it is actually surprising that they still hold any wildcard position. They still cling to the second wildcard spot but their latest bad week is shrinking that lead every single game right now. They are one of the more potentially good teams in Major League Baseball but right now they can’t win a series against anyone, much less playoff contenders. That is the bad news.
As they continue to lose and split series against mediocre to downright bad teams, the Rays are about to embark on a stretch where three of their next four series are against strong playoff contending or leading teams. The Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles make up those three series. The way they are playing right now suggest that by the time they get to the Orioles they won’t be in the wildcard lead anymore.
There is only one thing they can do at this point. The first big series comes early this next week against the Red Sox. This was the same team that the Rays were battling for first in the American League East just a few weeks ago. Now they are a whopping seven to eight games out, depending on game outcomes.
Still, though their chance at the East is gone, they need to go out there and find their best baseball and throw it at the Red Sox to prove they are going to hang on to their playoff spot one way or another. If they cannot find that attitude, they very well might not be contenders at all come the final week of the season.