It’s been smooth sailing for the Tampa Bay Rays in the second half of the 2021 MLB season. The Rays have a chance to basically go wire-to-wire to win the AL East division title. The only time the team trailed in the division was way back in the beginning of the season when the Boston Red Sox got off to a hot start. It’s only a matter of time before the Rays close up the division and potentially the No. 1 overall seed in the American League playoffs. Let’s take a look at the Rays magic number to clinch a berth.
Tampa Bay Rays magic number: Clinched AL East
Saturday night, Sept. 25 — Tampa clinched the division with a win and another Yankees win over Boston.
Saturday, Sept. 25 — The Rays won and the Yankees beat the Red Sox, improving Tampa’s magic number to 2.
Friday, Sept. 24 — The Rays magic number remains 4 heading into the weekend. Tampa Bay took two of three games from the Blue Jays and enter a three-game series with the Miami Marlins. If the rest of the division falters this weekend, we could see the Rays clinch the AL East soon.
Wednesday, Sept 22 — The Rays beat the Blue Jays 7-1, and Boston won 12-5 over the Mets. Tampa’s magic number is now four, and they did clinch a playoff spot with today’s win.
Tuesday, Sept 21 — The Rays lost to the Blue Jays 4-2 and Boston won 6-3. Tampa’s magic number remains five.
Monday, Sept 20 — The Rays beat the Blue Jays 6-4. Boston was idle so Tampa’s magic drop by one to five.
Sunday, Sept. 19 — The Rays fell to the Tiger 2-0 on Sunday afternoon and their magic number remains 6 with the Red Sox and Blue Jays both picking up wins. The Yankees lost and are four games away from being eliminated from the division crown.
Friday, Sept. 16 — Tampa beat Detroit 7-4 in extra innings. Toronto lost but Boston won, so the Rays only picked up one game for their magic number toward clinching the division.
Thursday p.m., Sept. 16 — Tampa opened their four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday, beating them 5-2. Mike Zunino broke the game open in the sixth inning with a two-run homer run. The Yankees lost to the Orioles on Thursday, but the Blue Jays and Red Sox had a travel day so the Rays only lowered their magic number by one to 8.
Thursday, Sept. 16 — The Rays enter the weekend with what should be an easy series against the Detroit Tigers. Tampa has had a rough go in September with a 6-8 record after looking virtually unbeatable in August. Either way, the Rays are up 8.0 games on the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Red Sox in the AL East. At 90-56, it would take a major collapse for Tampa Bay to lose the division. At this point, the Rays are trying to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs.