It’s no secret to fans in Florida but the talent of the Tampa Bay Rays is beginning to garner national media attention.
The Tampa Bay Rays are hearing their names called as national pundits begin to choose their World Series favorites.
Recently, Buster Olney of ESPN announced that the Rays were his surprise pick to win the World Series.
He is now my favorite national baseball writer.
Then, his colleague Dave Schoenfield picked Tampa Bay as his pick, too.
He is my new favorite national baseball writer.
Then, Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci wrote that the Rays were the most dangerous team in baseball.
He also wrote an incredible article about how they have become the outliers of the MLB by finding outliers.
Tom Verducci then went on MLB Network to explain to a national audience why they should fear this team’s pitching staff.
Verducci highlighted the magnificent curveballs of Charlie Morton and Blake Snell. He discussed how Tyler Glasnow’s high velocity appears even faster since he releases the ball eight feet in front of the rubber. Check out the video (below) to see his spectacular breakdown of the vaunted staff.
Have I mentioned that Tom Verducci is my favorite national baseball writer?
The Rays moving up in the rankings due to the extreme depth of their pitching staff. Starting pitchers might be limited to three or four innings to start the season so having guys like Yonny Chirinos, Ryan Yarbrough, Trevor Richards, and the elite backend of the bullpen give the Rays a serious advantage.
Other teams won’t have the luxury of pivoting to the type of talent the Rays have in the bullpen. There’s really not a weak spot in the group that finished last season with the number one relief ERA in all of baseball.
While they did trade away their saves leader from last season, Emilio Pagan, they are gaining a healthy and happy Jose Alvarado and a full season of Nick Anderson.
Sports Insider currently has the Rays rated with the ninth-best odds of winning the World Series at +2800.