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The Rays are the scariest team in baseball.


anselmO

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Anybody saying BOS or NYY will finish ahead of the Rays is nuts.

Kazmir/Shields/Garza/Price/Sonnanstine..

Anything else need to be said?

I can maybe see Boston doing better.

Regardless, if the Rays miss the playoffs, I'll highly surprised.

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Two years ago, Detroit was going to be a dynasty with their brilliant, young pitching. A lot went right for the Ray's last year.

Agreed. The AL East in general is going to be tougher this year. The Rays had a 29-18 record in one run games last year and a Pythagorean Won-Loss record 5 games worse than their actual record. A lot of this may have been due to their bullpen, but it's hard to replicate. Drop their one-run games record to .500 and suddenly they've only won 92 games and they're struggling to make the playoffs.

Not to mention, a lot is expected of Price but will he be able to match Edwin Jackson's '08?

Kazmir had a .275 BABIP last year as well as a 4.37 FIP.

Garza had a .278 BABIP last year as well as a 4.14 FIP.

Their offense was only 9th in the AL last year.

Not to mention, all 5 of their opening day starting pitchers made a total of 153 starts! Only 9 games were started by other pitchers.

I'd say the odds of them replicating this is highly unlikely. They're going to be good though, but nothing, NOTHING in baseball is a sure thing.

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Two years ago, Detroit was going to be a dynasty with their brilliant, young pitching. A lot went right for the Ray's last year.

Yeah but Detroit only had 3-4 good pitchers, and they were all at the MLB level at that time. Tampa still has Price coming up this year and has 7-8 pitchers who would be starters on MLB teams. Their pitching situation is night and day better than Detroit's ever was.

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Two years ago, Detroit was going to be a dynasty with their brilliant, young pitching. A lot went right for the Ray's last year.

Detroit was a mirage... They had short term success but it wasn't built on a strong foundation for long term success. I.e. they have/had and awful minor league system after the few guys that helped them overachieve a couple of years ago. Tampa Bay has an unbelievably good foundation where they should be able to have success even if they get hit by the injury bug.

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A lot went right for the Ray's last year.

Certainly some things went right for them. They won a huge number of one-run games, I believe, which is likely to even out this year. And I think it is possible they miss the playoffs given the depth of this division. But remember a lot went wrong for them last year too. How many teams make the playoffs in a season where their pre-season ace, closer, 1B, SS, 3B, LF and CF miss significant time on the DL?

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One is nuts if he believes the Orioles will have 5 starting pitchers throw 200 innings in 2009. One is nuts if he believes the Orioles will finish 1 or 2 in the AL East.

One who believes the Yankees or Red Sox have a chance or are going to top the Rays in the Rays in the standings this year is not nuts. At all. I believe the Rays will finish 3rd. A lot of publications agree. You may disagree. But you can't say its nuts to believe the Red Sox and/or Yanks are gonna win the AL East crown.

Note: baseball argument... not personal argument... nuts has its place

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Their organizational depth is amazing. They could get half a dozen bad injuries to starters and still be fine.

This is simply not true. They are in great position depth wise but believe me the guys in the minors are not sure things to step in and have the same success today.

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I don't want to speak for Ruzious but I think perhaps he means some of the depth signings and not just the free agents. Guys like Adam Kennedy. That said I don't think any team can say they would be fine with 6 front line injuries.

Back to the central question... While I don't think the Rays are clearly favorites, I think their defense could tip things in their favor. The Yanks look like they are going to turn a lot of opponent batted balls up the middle into hits. The Rays arguably have a gold glove candidate at C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF and CF. In a division that houses perhaps the 3 best teams in the league, things like who stays healthy and defense could well tell the story.

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