Have a read on below at some quick stats and facts on the Tampa Bay Rays to get you started:
|Colours:||Navy blue, light blue, yellow & white|
|Hall of Famers:||Wade Boggs|
|Hall of Fame General Managers:||None|
|Legends:||Fred McGriff, Wade Boggs, Greg Vaughn, Aubrey Huff, Carl Crawford, Ben Zobrist & Evan Longoria|
|Retired Numbers:||12, 66 & 42|
|World Series Championships:||None|
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The Tampa Bay Rays are tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks as the youngest franchise in Major League Baseball. Like the Diamondbacks, the Rays entered the sport in 1998. But the team already holds a strong history, as the club has made it to the World Series twice in its short life.
But issues surrounding whether the Rays can draw in fans have plagued the team since the beginning. The team continues to produce a quality roster with many top prospects, but the greatest worry involves whether the Rays can afford to keep them around in the long term.
The Rays started playing in 1998 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The city of Tampa had tried for years to bring in a Major League Baseball team, even building a domed stadium in the suburb of St. Petersburg with the intention of luring an MLB team.
The club almost landed the Chicago White Sox in the late 1980s, but the White Sox stayed in Chicago following an eleventh-hour agreement to build a new stadium in the city. The club also tried to get the Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers to move to St. Petersburg when those clubs were looking to build new ballparks.
The city of Tampa would eventually be granted an MLB team in 1995 as part of MLB’s expansion effort. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays would start playing in 1998. The team is named after the devil ray, a giant manta ray that can grow up to five meters in width and 3,600 pounds. Such rays can be found in the nearby Gulf of Mexico.
The team started playing at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, where the team still plays today. The domed stadium was first opened in 1990 and was the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team and the Tampa Bay Storm indoor football team for a few years before it became a baseball stadium.
The Trop remains the only MLB ballpark with a permanent roof as of 2021. The venue also features a few catwalks that support the slanted roof structure. A ball that hits one of the two inside catwalks will remain in play, while any ball that hits the two outside catwalks between the foul poles is a home run.
Players have been known to hit the lights on the catwalks, thus leading to lighting delays. The 1998 Devil Rays finished in last place in the AL East with a 63-99 record. Outfielder Quinton McCracken led the team with a .292 average.
The Devil Rays were consistently at the bottom of the AL East at the start, as they wouldn’t finish outside of fifth place until 2004. The team’s worst record came in 2002, when the Devil Rays went 55-106. Outfielder Randy Winn had a .298 average with fourteen home runs.
The club traded Winn to the Seattle Mariners for the right to negotiate a contract with manager Lou Piniella. Piniella was successful in the past, as he managed the Cincinnati Reds to the 1990 World Series title and led the Seattle Mariners to a 116-46 record in 2001. But he failed to bring the Devil Rays anywhere in three seasons, as he went 200-285.
The Devil Rays’ ongoing struggles continued to mount, leading to extreme fan disinterest in the Tampa area. The team’s poor performance and the relatively inaccessible location of Tropicana Field caused the team’s attendance values to drop. The team started planting tarps over the upper deck seats at the Trop.
These tarps can still be found throughout the ballpark to this day. The team also played a three-game series in 2007 in Orlando at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in a move that was seen as an effort to gauge whether the team should move to Orlando.
Joe Maddon became the team’s new manager in 2006, but the club went 61-101 that season. The season was highlighted by an instance where the team hit into a triple play. Russell Branyan flew out, Rocco Baldelli was called out when trying to advance, and Aubrey Huff was called out because he left his base early when tagging up.
The club changed its name to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. The team changed their uniforms and came up with a new name to try and create a new image. The “Rays” name relates to the sun’s rays as a moniker to Florida’s state nickname, the Sunshine State.
The 2008 Rays saw one of the most remarkable single-season improvements in baseball history. The team went from a 66-96 mark in 2007 to a 97-55 record, a total that remains the best in the team’s history.
The 2008 squad won the AL East title mostly with a homegrown roster featuring David Price, Matt Garza, Evan Longoria, Melvin Upton Jr., Dioner Navarro and Akinori Iwamura. The team defeated the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox in the playoffs, but they lost the World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games.
The sudden success of the Rays got fans interested in the team again. The club almost drew two million fans in 2009 and 2010. But the team slipped to 84-78 in 2009 and missed the playoffs. The club won the AL East again in 2010 with a 96-66 mark.
The 2011 club finished 91-71 and won a wild card spot. The team clinched the wild card on the last day of the season. The team was losing 7-0 to the New York Yankees in the eighth inning, but the team then scored six runs in that inning.
With the team down to their last strike in the ninth inning, Dan Johnson hit a home run to tie the game. Evan Longoria then hit a home run in the twelfth inning to give the Rays to victory. The victory happened right as the Boston Red Sox lost their last game, ensuring the Rays could reach the playoffs.
The Rays lost in the ALDS to Texas in four games. The team would return to the playoffs in 2013, but the team saw increasing concerns over their financial viability and whether they can stay in St. Petersburg.
The team often failed to sell out their home playoff games. The club also closed off the upper deck at Tropicana Field for most of their games, cutting the capacity from 42,375 to 25,000.
Joe Maddon left the Rays after the 2014 season, finishing with a 754-705 record in nine years. He would lead the Chicago Cubs to a World Series title in 2016. Former Rays catcher Kevin Cash became the new manager.
The Rays’ performance has been overshadowed by issues surrounding the team’s ability to draw fans. The City of St. Petersburg and the Rays have an agreement to keep the team at Tropicana Field until 2027.
But there have been many concerns about the financial status of the Rays and whether they can draw fans and bring in enough money to be competitive. There was even a proposal to have the Rays play a significant number of their home games at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, the ballpark where the Montreal Expos played before moving to Washington.
But the Rays continue to compete, as the club routinely has one of the sport’s top farm systems. The Rays regularly develop and promote players from the Durham Bulls, Montgomery Biscuits, and Bowling Green Hot Rods minor league teams.
Many of those prospects helped the Rays as they returned to the playoffs in 2019. The team went 96-66 and won their Wild Card Game over Oakland before losing in the ALDS to Houston. The Rays featured many homegrown stars like Kevin Kiermaier, Ji-Man Choi, Charlie Morton, Blake Snell and Brendan McKay.
The Rays returned to the World Series in 2020. The team finished 40-20 in an abbreviated season. The team lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. The team was notable for having many twelve pitchers start a game during the season, as manager Kevin Cash often uses an unorthodox approach to managing his pitching staff.
Cash often uses a bullpen by committee in many of the team’s games, plus the club uses its starting pitchers in various situations. But his efforts became controversial after pulling his starter during the sixth and final game of the 2020 World Series. His move is believed to be a part of why the Rays lost.
If you are a fan of the Tampa Bay Rays, then you know that the only thing that matters right now is how they are expected to perform in the 2021 season. Do the Tampa Bay Rays have the star power to make it all the way to the playoffs in 2021?
As soon as more information about the next season comes to light, we will provide our expert MLB picks and preview for the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2021 season, so make sure you stay tuned!
The Tampa Bay Rays are always doing what they can to stay competitive. But the team has become infamous for not spending enough money, which is a problem in a division that also features the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The team’s farm system is still strong, especially with the club having a few of the best young prospects in the game right now.
The Rays hold a +2500 line to win the 2021 World Series. The team is also third to win the AL East at +450. The New York Yankees led the way at -220, while the rising Toronto Blue Jays have a +410 mark.
The Rays will be without two of their top starting pitchers from last season. Blake Snell was traded to San Diego, and Charlie Morton signed with Atlanta. The team brought in Michael Wacha from the New York Mets and Chris Archer from Pittsburgh to replace them.
The team still has some appealing young players to watch. Outfielder Randy Arozarena is expected to make a significant impact, and shortstop Wander Franco may appear on the Rays roster this season. Franco is the top-rated prospect in the sport.
These factors help the Rays to stay competitive and to have a decent shot of making the playoffs. But the sportsbooks haven’t always been kind to the Rays, especially since they are in a tough division. The 2020 season was different, as their odds kept rising during the season.
The Rays started the 2020 season with a +1500 line to win the World Series. The club’s odds went to +1175 at the midway point as their lead in the AL East kept growing. The team saw a +750 line in the Wild Card Series, but the team swept Toronto in two games to advance. The club had a +395 line at the start of their ALDS games against the New York Yankees, but the Rays advanced in five games.
The Rays went to a +240 World Series line before their ALCS games against Houston. The Rays won that series in seven games. They soon became the underdog to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. The Rays had a +175 line to win. The team tried pulling off the upset, but they lost to the Dodgers in six games.
The team’s 40 wins in 2020 blew out the sportsbooks’ expectations. The team had an average win/loss total line of 33.5. But the Rays have regularly gone well over the line, as they are 8-2 against that line in the last ten seasons.
The Rays saw more luck during the regular season, as the sportsbooks favored them in most situations. The Rays went 35-18 when they were the favorites.
The Rays were also successful at Tropicana Field, as they went 20-9 at the Trop in 2020. The stadium is a unique environment, as it is the only permanent dome in the game, plus it is one of a handful of venues that uses artificial turf. These factors might have influenced the team’s performance.
Finally, the team knows how to win in the clutch. The Rays were 14-5 in games decided by one run last regular season. The development could be from the Rays’ unique pitching managing system, as the team doesn’t always stick with the same starting pitchers all the time.
Still got some burning questions about the Tampa Bay Rays? Well, we have answered some of the most common questions people have, hopefully, you will find the answer you are looking for below!
Where do the Tampa Bay Rays play?
The Tampa Bay Rays play at Tropicana Field, a ballpark in the Tampa suburb of St. Petersburg.
Who owns the Tampa Bay Rays?
Stuart Sternberg owns the Tampa Bay Rays.
Have the Tampa Bay Rays won an MLB World Series?
The Rays have not won a World Series, but they did win the AL pennant in 2008 and 2020.
Who is the Tampa Bay Rays general manager?
Erik Neander is the team’s general manager. He attained this position in 2016.
Do the Tampa Bay Rays play tonight?
Check the top of the page to see if the Rays are playing tonight. SportsTips will provide details on what the Rays are doing and what their odds are for winning their games.
What is the Tampa Bay Rays record?
The Rays went 40-20 in 2020. The record was their best in history, although it was in an abbreviated season. The team’s best full-season record was 97-65 in 2008.
Did the Tampa Bay Rays win last night?
Are you looking to see if your bets on the Tampa Bay Rays were correct? SportsTips will help you see what’s happening with the Rays and if they won their last game.
How much are the Tampa Bay Rays worth?
The Rays are worth $1.05 billion, making them the second-least valuable team in the sport. The Miami Marlins are the only team worth less money, as they are worth $980 million.
Who do the Tampa Bay Rays play tonight?
The Rays will play games against some of the toughest teams around in the AL East, plus they play the Miami Marlins in two editions of the Citrus Series every season. SportsTips will report on when the Rays play next and who they will face.
How to watch the Tampa Bay Rays?
Fox Sports Sun airs Rays games on television throughout the state of Florida. You can watch their games on MLB.tv if you live outside the team’s coverage area.
Will the Tampa Bay Rays make the playoffs this year?
The Rays reached the playoffs in the last two seasons.
Will the Tampa Bay Rays get the 1st pick in the MLB draft?
The Rays have the twenty-eighth pick in the 2021 MLB draft.
When do the Tampa Bay Rays play?
Most Rays games occur at around 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Check SportsTips to see when they play next and if the team has a good chance of winning their next match.
Where did the Tampa Bay Rays finish the season?
The Rays won their third AL East title in 2020.
How many games did the Rays win?
The team won 40 games in 2020. Their 40-20 record was second only to the Los Angeles’ Dodgers 43-17 mark for the best record of the shortened season.
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