With an 8-5 victory over the New York Mets, the Tampa Bay Rays have clinched their first AL East division title since 2010 and their third in the team’s history (2008).
It only took 37 wins for the Rays to clinch the division this season. Man, that sounds strange to say. But for 2020, it’s oh so fitting. Coming into the season, the Rays expectations were to do exactly what they accomplished.
Before the season started Vegas odds for the Rays to win the division fluctuated from +600 all the way to +325 (closing line) pending on the dates — and what New York Yankees were injured at the time.
“I don’t know if you can ever prepare for a moment like that. It’s pretty special,” manager Kevin Cash answered when asked about clinching. “The message to the guys was congrats, thank you and take a moment and look around the room and the many people that have been apart of the club this year, from staff, certainly our players, injured players. This is not an easy thing to do.”
After clinching with a 4.5 game lead on the Yankees with three games to play, the Rays now look to lock up the number one seed in the American League.
If the season ended today, the Rays would hose the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round of the playoffs.
Tyler Glasnow started the clinching game and continued his September dominance. Glasnow went six strong innings allowing two runs on three hits striking out eight. He improved to 3-0 in September (5-1 overall).
“Everything felt good. I think my curveball wasn’t as sharp as I wanted it to be. I left it up on a lot of 0-2 and 1-2 counts, but it was there selectively when I needed it,” Glasnow said after his start.
I’m convinced that there’s not a team in Major League Baseball that has more fun that the Rays.
Soak it in boys, you've earned it pic.twitter.com/HvrRJEWYcw
— Tampa Bay Rays – y (@RaysBaseball) September 24, 2020
Who doesn’t love to Cha Cha Slide?
— Kailey Mizelle (@KaileyMizelle) September 24, 2020
This is the greatest video I have ever seen.
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) September 24, 2020
The Rays look to clinch the one seed in the American League as they host the struggling Philadelphia Phillies for three games starting Friday.
Friday’s matchup features Vince Velasquez (1-1; 5.46) facing Charlie Morton (2-2; 4.64). The Phillies have announced their weekend starters, Zack Wheeler (4-1; 2.67 on Saturday and Aaron Nola (5-4; 3.06) on Sunday. The Rays have not announced who they’re starting at the moment.
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