The Tampa Bay Rays will look to take advantage of a weaker Red Sox team in the American League East and thus, stay near the top of the division. The Rays were busy this offseason and even though the subtractions from this team are large, they did a fantastic job at acquiring players to step into those roles and keep them competitive.
OF Brian O’Grady
OF Hunter Renfroe
OF Jose Martinez
OF Manuel Margot
OF Randy Arozarena
DH Yoshitomo Tsutsugo
C Travis d’Arnaud
3B Eric Sogard
3B Matt Duffy
OF Tommy Pham
OF Avisail Garcia
OF Guillermo Heredia
The Rays have been busy this offseason. While they didn’t make the big splashes like other teams, they pieced together a very good team ahead of the 2020 season. The biggest surprise came in the form of a trade with the Padres, with the Rays shipping off OF Tommy Pham for OF Hunter Renfroe as the focal point. While Pham has a great bat, Renfroe eclipsed the 30 home run mark with the Padres, hitting 33 through 140 games. The Rays would also acquire Jose Martinez from the Cardinals, who’ll be in the lineup against lefties in a very good lineup. While Martinez struggled with the Cardinals last year, his surrounding cast wasn’t exactly good to begin with. Martinez could succeed with his new team and potentially return to his 2018 form, when he slashed .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs and 83 RBI.
The Rays didn’t go through their offseason without some big losses. Avisail Garcia, who has one of the more underrated bats in baseball, is with the Brewers. Travis d’Arnaud, who clubbed 16 home runs through 92 games, has moved onto the Braves. The Rays did sign Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo but we have to take a wait-and-see approach with him. Overall, the Rays did a very good job at making sure these losses in the lineup won’t be felt in a big way with the additions they made via trade.
Before the season begins, the American League East feels fairly predictable. The Yankees on top, followed by the Rays. The Red Sox, Blue Jays and Orioles will be in the mix for the rest of the division but none of them look as if they have a legitimate chance of winning the division. That brings us to the Rays, who were 44-32 against fellow AL East teams. With the Red Sox on a downtrend and the Orioles and Blue Jays likely to struggle, the Rays should once again be one of the two top teams out of the East. Their current win total on the DraftKings Sportsbook is set at 91.5. This team won 96 games last season but have maintained enough for me to believe they can exceed their total. I like the other three teams to go under their win total, so it makes plenty of sense to take the over on the Rays. One of their biggest strengths, their bullpen, remained mostly intact. With this in mind, the Rays should continue to stifle opposing lineups and rack up the wins.
Tampa Bay Rays OVER 91.5 wins -112
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