The Tampa Bay Rays are Serious

Carl Crawford, Dioner Navarro, and Akinori Iwamura
Remember when the Tampa Bay Rays defense was like a circus act and their lineup was kind of a joke? Like... two years ago?

Well, don't let the sun-shiny logo fool you. They are straight us business now.

Coming off a weekend sweep of the Los Angeles Angels, the Rays pounded the New York Yankees 7-1 Monday night for their fifth consecutive win, inching within a half-game of the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox. This last victory was a bit sweeter, as they defeated evil nemesis Andy Pettitte, who allowed five runs on eight hits over just four innings of work after a previous record of 8-1 at Tropicana Field.

This ? Looking pretty good for Tampa right now. Matt Garza is 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA over three straight quality starts since returning from the disabled list at the end of April, while Jason Bartlett has improved their defense and contributed some key hits, raising his average to .248.

Speaking of defense, Akinori Iwamura continues to shine up the middle, as the only starting second baseman in the AL without an error. He is also riding a team-best 10-game hitting streak coming into Tuesday's game against Yankees' ace Chien-Ming Wang, who is 7-4 lifetime against the Rays with a 3.53 ERA in 12 starts.

Our baseball-betting tip of the day: watch out for the 21-13 Rays, who are five games over .500 for the first time in the franchise's 11-year history. Just sayin'.

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Anonymous said...

They're young and talented, and they are going to go a long way.