Tampa Bay Rays – August 14- September 6
This is 3/4 of a month of important games. With exception to two three-game sets against the Yankees, these are all games the Rays are supposed to win. Between these dates the Rays will face the weakest stretch of their schedule, starting with the Blue Jays on August 14-17, three games against the Yankees in New York, then they host the Blue Jays for four games at home.
That is followed up by three games in Tampa against the lowly Orioles with six of the following nine games against the Marlins.
Winning the games they are supposed to win against weak opponents can narrow this down to a two-horse race between Tampa Bay and the Yankees.
Tampa Bay Rays – September 7-16, Defending Champs
The Nationals are the defending champs and they will face the Rays in four of the eight games during this stretch. While the Nationals boast a great top of the rotation, they lost superstar Anthony Rendon to free agency and didn’t even win their division last season. The NL East has a lot of teams like the Nationals, Mets, and Phillies that hung around the 80-90 win range last season.
The Rays need to make a statement against the defending champs during this stretch.
Tampa Bay Rays – September 21-27, Finish Strong
Those quality teams on the cusp of success last season will stand in the way of the Rays at the finish line. The Rays face the Mets and the Phillies in the final six games of the season. The final stretch of this short season will involve hurdles like two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, the rookie home run champs Pete Alonso, Bryce Harper, J.T Realmuto, Zack Wheeler, and more.
It’s not an easy road, but the Rays have one of the best pitchings staffs in the league. The microscope will be on the offense, as we recently covered, the Rays were below average after the top two spots in the lineup and they lost their primary number two-hitter this offseason in Tommy Pham.
What do you think of the Rays 2020 schedule?