If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Unlike most team blogs, we do not very often tell you what the Tampa Bay Rays should do. We prefer to live under the premise that the people that run the Rays are smarter than we are, and know many, many more things that even the most learned fan will never know.
However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans. Looking back at last year’s 12 Days of Raysmas, we see that the Rays didn’t come through on very many of our wishes, and the result was a somewhat disappointing season. Let’s hope that changes in 2010.
On the sixth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, SIX months with at least 15 wins…
This is a simple, but very important wish because there are two factors at play here.
1. SIMPLE MATH – If the Rays win at least 15 games each month, they will win at least 90 games. Sprinkle in a couple of months in which the Rays get hot and win 16-17 games and all of the sudden the Rays have 94+ wins. In the last five seasons, the American League Wild Card team won either 94 or 95 games.
2. CONSISTENCY – Here is the breakdown of the Rays 2009 record by month:
The Rays were inconsistent in 2009 and it cost them dearly. In the first and last months of the season they were a combined 22-33 (.400 win percentage). Over a full season that would be 97 losses. From May through August, the Rays were 62-45 (.579). Over 162 games, that projects to 94 wins. In other words, the Rays played like a playoff team for four straight months.
In most months, 15 wins is an easily attainable mark and doesn’t require a team to play above their means. But the schedule won’t make it easy for the Rays to get off to a better start in 2010.
Here is the breakdown of the Rays 2010 schedule (first number is the number of games each month and second number is the number of games each month versus the Yankees or Red Sox):
April and Sept/Oct once again look like they could spell trouble for the Rays with almost half (17 of 36) of their head-to-head match-ups with the Yankees and Red Sox coming in those months. If they can get off to a good start and post a 15-8 record out of the gate, the next four months will offer a good opportunity to get the Rays to September still in contention.