After The First Week, What To Expect For The Year

Justin KaneContributor IApril 12, 2010

ST PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 06:  An exterior of Tropicana Field prior to the start of the home opener game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles on April 6, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Six games are in the book and a week has gone by in this 2010 MLB season. Its still early I know but lets take this week in perspective and see what the season will hold for the Rays this upcoming season.

Play better on the road:

Last year Tampa was 17 games under .500 on the  (40-41 in 08) and that ultimately hurt their playoff chances. So what Tampa needs to do is start off good early on the road. After tonight they play nine straight on the road.

Find a way to beat NY:

New York came into St Pete and took two of three this previous weekend and it showed that the Yankees still have the edge in the AL East. The Rays won 9-3 on Frida with a strong performance by southpaw David Price. Saturday CC Sabathia took a no hitter into the 8th inning and the Yanks won 10-0 and Sunday Tampa lost 7-3. If Tampa can find a way to beat the bombers at least 10 times, they will win the east.

We need to get our moneys worth:

When Pat Burrell came to St Pete there was so much hype for a run producing DH and so far in his second year, Burrell has not lived up to the hype. Through six games Burrell is hitting .167 with 0 RBI's and 0 homeruns. Tampa can not win the division if Burrell does not start to get it in gear. Here's an option, send Pat down to Durham for a week or two, get him some at bats and build his confidence and bring up Hank Blalock. Also, have the lead going into the ninth, we have a closer now. Rafel Soriano is the new closer, no more injuried Troy Percival.

The bullpen hurt the Rays in their playoff push last year and now with a new closer and some young new faces the bullpen will be better than last year.

Once the season really gets going the Rays will do just fine this year. My prediction is they will win the AL Wild Card.