MLB: Why Tampa Bay Will Not Win the AL East

mike spiroContributor ISeptember 12, 2008

When Tampa Bay parted ways with their association with the Devil, they seemed to part ways with their history of losing as well. However, Tampa’s historic and surprising season will soon come to an end.


The Boston Red Sox are primed for postseason play. Despite not having Curt Shilling at their disposal, the Sox will overtake the Rays in the final two and a half weeks of the regular season, and here’s why:


Boston is currently two and a half games behind Tampa, with 16 games left to play. The Rays have 17 games remaining. However, starting Friday, the Rays will play those 17 games in 17 consecutive days, playing only seven of them at home.


Tampa also has some hurdles to overcome before the season comes to an end. Aside from not having any days off to rest, Tampa’s last seven games of the season are on the road. Additionally, the seven home games that they do have left are against Boston and Minnesota.


Boston, on the other hand, will play 10 of their last 16 games at Fenway, where they are 49-21 in 2008. Aside from the Rays, the Sox finish up with Toronto, New York, and Cleveland. Toronto has won nine of their past 10 games. However, the chances of them keeping that up are slim, especially in Boston.


Pitching is what wins games, and comparing the Rays to the Sox is a laughing matter. The Red Sox are built for the playoffs. The Rays, whose pitching staff is very young, are clearly not experienced. Tampa’s story has been one for the ages, and a playoff appearance alone justifies the team’s success, but anything more than a wild card slot and first round loss seems unlikely to me.