Rays Playing Role in Playoff Race

To Host Royals and Red Sox

The Tampa Bay Rays might be 10 games out of the wild card standings but that doesn’t mean the team hasn’t had an effect on the postseason race in the American League. Thanks to a series win at Yankee Stadium, the Rays improved to three games better than .500 before their weekend series in Boston.

With those two wins against the Yankees by a combined score of 9-2, the American League Wild Card race has stayed interesting with the Yankees, A’s and Mariners all making a bid for one of two postseason spots.  Tampa will have a further opportunity to influence that race when it hosts Boston for a three-game at Tropicana Field Aug. 24-26. Before that, however, the Rays will entertain the Royals for a four-game set.  

 Royals vs. Rays

  • Game 1: Monday, Aug. 20 – 7:10 p.m.
  • Game 2: Tuesday, Aug. 21 – 7:10 p.m.
  • Game 3: Wednesday, Aug. 22 – 7:10 p.m.
  • Game 4: Thursday, Aug. 23 – 7:10 p.m.  

 Red Sox vs. Rays

  • Game 1: Friday, Aug. 24 – 7:10 p.m.
  • Game 2: Saturday, Aug. 25 – 6:10 p.m.
  • Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 26 – 1:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Adam Kolarek, right, and catcher Michael Perez celebrate after the ninth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in New York. The Rays defeated the Yankees 3-1. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A look back: Snell dazzles in limited work.The Rays are being cautious with All-Star pitcher Blake Snell since his return from the disabled list. Despite working only five innings in each of his last two starts, Snell has made the most of his time on the mound.  In his past two starts against the Blue Jays and Yankees, Snell has not allowed a run in his 10 innings of work and has only allowed two hits and struck out 12 in a pair of wins. With those victories, Snell has improved his record to 14-5 this season and lowered his ERA to 2.10.  His win against the Yankees helped Tampa capture its first series win in New York since 2014.

A look at the series

The Rays have not seen the Royals on the field since mid-May, when they swept a three-game series in Kansas City. Those victories started a six-game winning streak for Tampa, the team’s second longest winning streak of the season.

While the Rays and Royals aren’t very familiar with each other, Tampa has seen plenty of its Eastern Conference rival Boston this year. Coming into the three-game series at the Trop, Tampa and Boston will have played each other 13 times in 2018.

Boston took seven of the first 10 meetings against the Rays. That trend is nothing new for a Boston team that started the week on a pace to win a franchise record 115 games. The Red Sox have the best record in Major League Baseball and are poised to capture the American League East and home field advantage throughout the postseason.  

The weekend series at the Trop will be the last three matchups between the Rays and Red Sox this season.

 For the fans

  • Monday: Salute to Service Mondays presented by Suncoast Credit Union
  • Tuesday: $2 Kids Tuesdays presented by Morgan Auto Group
  • Wednesday: Senior Special Wednesdays presented by Duke Energy
  • Thursday: $19.98 Ticket Combo Thursday presented by Coca-Cola
  • Friday: $7.11 for upper deck tickets presented by 7-Eleven
  • Saturday: All fans in attendance will receive a Wade Boggs Bobblehead* presented by Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
  • Sunday: All fans 14 and younger will receive DJ Kitty Slippers* presented by Crown Automotive Group                                                                                                                                                                                              *While supplies last   

Can’t make it to the games?

You can watch the Rays on Fox Sports Sun or listen on WDAE 620 AM/95.3 FM.

Content provided by Shawn Lafata and the Tampa Bay Rays

For more on the Tampa Bay Rays read this recent story