Blog Entry

Playoff Race: AL Wild Card not over yet?

Posted on: September 9, 2011 10:36 pm
 
By Matt Snyder

For the past several months, it has seemed like a foregone conclusion that the AL Wild Card would be the Yankees or Red Sox -- whichever one didn't win the mighty AL East. And it probably still will be, but the Red Sox may at least have to sweat to bring it home. On the strength of a John Jaso three-run home run and Wade Davis complete game, the Rays beat the Red Sox 7-2 Friday night. Considering the head-to-head matchups left on the schedule, this thing has a chance to get interesting.

Boston Red Sox
Record: 85-59, WC leader
Remaining Schedule: 2 at TB, 2 vs. TOR, 4 vs. TB, 4 vs. BAL, 3 at NYY, 3 at BAL
Coolstandings.com playoff chances: 96.2 percent

Tampa Bay Rays
Record: 79-64, 5.5 GB
Remaining Games: 2 vs. BOS, 3 at BAL, 4 at BOS, 4 at NYY, 3 vs. TOR, 3 vs. NYY
Coolstandings.com playoff chances: 3.8 percent

It's still 5 1/2 games and there are less than three weeks to play. That's a huge gap and it's why the computer spits out a 3.8 percent chance for the Rays. But if the they get really hot and keep beating the Red Sox head-to-head, things could shrink quite quickly. Take note of the six remaining head-to-head games. It's far, far easier said than done, but if the Rays win all six of those, that's more than the entire 5 1/2 game gap between the two teams. Also, the Red Sox do have to play the Yankees on the road.

On the flip side, look at the Rays' upcoming schedule. That's an awfully grueling road trip the Rays have coming up after these next two games. It's a 10-gamer that includes four each in Boston and New York. The odds are pretty good that trip buries them, but that doesn't mean there's no shot.

Maybe it's wishful thinking that this thing gets close, because otherwise there's only going to be drama in one race (thank you AL West!). But the Rays still have a chance of making the AL Wild Card race interesting. If the Rays happen to win the next two games, we have a race.

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Category: MLB
Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 6:52 pm
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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 11:39 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:03 am
 

Playoff Race: AL Wild Card not over yet?

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Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: September 10, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Playoff Race: AL Wild Card not over yet?

Wow, EZ...Im a die hard Tampa Bay Rays fan and I have to admit, I felt kinda bad reading your post!!!  Its obvious you are a hardcore RedSox fan really feeling some pain!! You are spot on regarding Lackey and Wakefield. They are grossly overpaid for their output and its costing Boston where its hurts the absolute most...the standings. I could care less about the financial impact, thats their own fault for giving these astronomical contracts to players just above so-so. As for Carl Crawford, he has changed. He left Tampa where he loved what he helped build and he was definately the most popular Ray, Devil or otherwise, ever. He followed the money and not his heart. Economically, I cant blame him but it has totally reflected in his attitude and play. How else can you explain a career .298 hitter batting .249  A 20 HR threat hitting 9 and a 50 stolen base thief nabbing only 15? He doesnt like Boston and it shows in his stats...and thats very sad. Injuries are part of the game, it does seem that Boston has been bitten pretty hard this year. You bring up a great point regarding payroll...Joe Maddon has gotten everything he can out of this team and more. The players love and respect him and give 100% all the time (except Upton, he slacks some). I have to question some of Francona's lineups and decision making over the course of this year. Regardless of the outcome of the AL EAST race, its gonna be great to watch and see how it all pans out.  Go Rays!!!



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: September 10, 2011 1:58 pm
 

Playoff Race: AL Wild Card not over yet?

This Red Sox fan has had it.Many of us let April slide, but it looks like April comes twice this year.Francona has to use Lackey every 5 days regardless of his 6.03 ERA.Why? Because the loser makes over 15M bucks for that HUGE ERA.Same with the 72 year old Wakefield.Why?Because he's "gotta" get that 200th win.It's groundhog day all over again.Maybe the 9th time will be the charm.None of this is Francona's fault.He didn't know Matuzaka was only going to make a few starts for his many millions.Clay Buchholz was a big part of this pitching staff,but he's no use to the team hurt.The guys got great stuff but maybe some pitchers are only meant to have a good year or 2.Hopefully he'll get better by next spring & the team ships him far, far away.
Bostons payroll is 4 or 5 times more than the Rays.The Sox are only ahead of TB by 5 games.It would do the Red Sox some good to have their behinds handed to them & miss the playoffs entirely.Maybe then they can stop reading how good they are & spend the offseason reading about how poorly they began & ended the season.It can't all be blamed on Crawford.I had no idea he didn't know how to stand at the plate.Oh, well, he's got 6 more years to get it right.
I know you diehard Sox fans are gonna rip me & call me a traitor.The truth hurts.The Rays are coming to play & Boston is just mailing it in.Maybe Youkilis........nm...He's gotta get an MRI.This team is toast.Very wealthy toast.



Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: September 10, 2011 12:49 am
 

Playoff Race: AL Wild Card not over yet?

No doubt, Mr. Peaboy...all these talking heads on sports radio shows and ESPN have solidly declared the Yankees and RedSox are in the playoffs. I would absolutely LOVE nothing more than for the low budget, lost half their players to free agency, Tampa Bay Rays to SPOIL the freaking party!!!  C'mon Tampa Bay, do your thing. Maddon believes, his players believe and I believe!!! Go Rays!!



Since: Aug 18, 2008
Posted on: September 10, 2011 12:23 am
 

Playoff Race: AL Wild Card not over yet?

As Yogi would say, "it's not over til it's over".  Wait for it.  That's the sound of the "GASP!" coming from all these clowns that there might still be a playoff race!



Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2011 11:52 pm
 

Playoff Race: AL Wild Card not over yet?

I have been saying the exact same thing to anyone who would listen for the last two weeks. Everyone keeps telling that Im dreaming or to put my pipe down. Here is more food for fodder: The RedSox have lost 9 of their last 12 games. Their pitching staff is in shambles. Their team is hurt. They arent hitting. These factors all weigh in favor of the Rays. Now, the Rays have to play lights out. They have the best rotation in the American League, hands down. Their defense is usually top notch. Hitting, well, thats the weakest link. If they can continue to produce 4-5 runs per game every game, the Wild Card is within reach...we shall see


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