The Tampa Bay Rays are trying desperately to make a comeback and catch the Athletics for the final wildcard in the American League. It is likely going to be a case of the Rays just running out of time. There isn’t much more rope for them to deal with, as they get one final shot at making a run next week. The A’s would have to collapse and the Rays almost have to win out. They hurt their chances by blowing a 6-run lead to the Blue Jays in the 9th inning a couple of nights ago. The Rays have still been good lately with a record of 5-2 in their last seven games.
It was an ugly loss for Tampa that may have been the kill shot on their season. Impressively enough, the Rays forgot about that loss and bounced right back the next night. That’s what good teams are capable of doing, but they’re probably going to have to save it for 2019. It’s quite similar to what the Athletics did last season.
They played pretty poorly in the first-half, but turned it on late to give themselves a respectable finish to the 2017. If anything, the Rays can look at what the A’s did and attempt to emulate it beginning next April. A lot of people don’t take April and May ball seriously, but for teams like the Rays, a good start would have made them a postseason team right now.
Bad starts during marathons hurt just as much as running out of gas late in the race. Rays’ starter Tyler Glasnow was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a trade for Chris Archer. Not a bad trade if you’re the Rays. They get to dump Archer’s contract and they didn’t get a BP pitcher in return. The Jays will look to respond after getting thumped by a score of 11-3 last night. Head below for our free Rays vs. Blue Jays pick.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick
Tyler Glasnow (1-4, 4.06 ERA) vs. Thomas Pannone (3-1, 3.77 ERA)
The Blue Jays have been giving rookie Thomas Pannone a look in August and September. He made his first appearance at the major league level on August 10th against the Rays. Pannone entered from out of the bullpen as a reliever and didn’t last long. He gave up 3 hits and 2 runs 1.2 innings before getting yanked from his pitching duties.
Since then he’s bounced around as a spot starter and reliever. This will be his fifth start of the 2018 season, as he hopes to impress and find a place in the rotation for 2019. Pannone goes into Saturday with an ERA of 5.94 and 1.38 WHIP in his last three outings. It’s only been 11 at-bats against this lineup, but the Rays have looked good with a team batting average of .364 and .417 OBA against Pannone.
Glasnow is coming off a sharp outing against the Texas Rangers. He foiled their day, as they couldn’t score in 6 innings of work from Glasnow. They managed just 2 hits in a 3-0 loss to Tampa. This was following a hard loss against the Indians, where Glasnow gave up just 2 runs but the Rays were shutout in a 2-0 loss. It was an ugly trip to Toronto the last time he was here.
Glasnow got belted for 7 runs without recording 3 outs. It took him 58.5 innings just to get 2 outs. This is in contrast to an impressive start Glasnow had at Rogers Centre on August 12th. He gave up just 2 hits and 1 run across 5 innings. I think that bad start was just an outlier for him, as his ability to bounce back has shown. I’m going to look for the Rays to make it two in a row in Toronto on Saturday.