Tampa Bay Rays recent road trip is an optimistic start to August

After a July that never seemed to get better for Tampa Bay, a successful road trip to start August may be just what the Rays need.

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages

The Tampa Bay Rays were 8-16 during the month of July this season. The run differetnial during that month was also -24, by far the lowest of any month this season.

However, July is now past this Tampa Bay team as August has arrived. And the start of the month has most certainly been better. The Rays have won three consecutive series that were all a part of a nine-game road trip.

This came after three-straight series defeats/ties to the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and Miami Marlins.

Technically speaking, four of those games were at the end of July. But, the momentum has carried into August as they defeated the Astros, Yankees, and Tigers in 2-1 series splits. During this stretch, the run differential has also taken a turn as they were +6 in that department during this span.

This is a pleasant thing to see also because although Tampa Bay has not been horrible on the road, they have not exactly been the best with a record just above .500 at 31-27.

This new trend of winning baseball has come at a great time for the club as well. During July, the Orioles took the lead in the AL East and are now three games up on the Rays with a record of 70-42.

However, the recent successful road trip has allowed them to gain a big gap in the top wild-card spot in the American League. As of Tuesday, they sit four games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays who have the final wild-card spot. The Astros have the second spot and the Rays are 3.5 games ahead of them.

Although Tampa Bay seems to dig themselves a hole, the good start to August has helped them remain in a comfortbale spot for a playoff spot. Their next opponent will be the St. Louis Cardinals in Tropicana Field for a mid-week, three-game series.