Prediction: The Rays will return to the playoffs
The last time the Tampa Bay Rays were in the playoffs, Desmond Jennings was roaming the outfield, the Rays actually had 5 starting pitchers, and Delmon Young was a Ray. Lets just say it has been a while to say the least.
Now, the next time the Rays will make the playoffs, they will do so with 3 starting pitchers, Kevin Cash managing, and Willy “the kid” Adames at shortstop. Led by Blake Snell on the mound, the Rays will eclipse their 90 win total and end up in the wildcard game just as they did in 2013.
I won’t predict what happens after that, but playing in the 2019 Wildcard game isn’t really a bold prediction at all. Oakland, who beat the Rays out for the last spot in the playoffs last season, has starting pitching issues and is expected to take a step back. The Mariners are rebuilding and well, the Angles will likely be the Rays biggest threat.
The American League is top-heavy, led by the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, and New York Yankees. The Cleveland Indians won 91 games and their division while the Rays won 90 games and finished 18 games out of first. It looks as if the Tribe will win the Central again as the Twins still need to add pitching.
So that leaves the Rays, Athletics and Angels in a race for the second Wildcard. Like I said, the Athletics will likely take a step back and I believe the Rays will win more games than the Angels in 2019. Heck maybe they will shock everyone and even beat out the Yankees for home field advantage.