Tonight is a big game on many levels. A win by the Rays pulls them back to within one-half game of the division lead and would leave the Rays and Yankees tied in the all-important loss column. Also, the American League Cy Young Award could be on the line as two of the favorites, CC Sabathia and David Price will go head-to-head.

But more importantly, if the Rays win tonight, they will clinch the season series with the Yankees (10-8). And in doing so, the Rays would clinch the tie-breaker with the Yankees should the two teams finish the season tied atop the AL East.

If the Yankees win tonight, and the two teams finish tied, the division title will be decided by divsional record. A Rays loss tonight would leave them 40-29 in the division with the Yankees at 36-27. The Rays have three divisional games remaining (vBAL) while all 9 of the Yankees remaining games are intradivisional (3vBOS, 3@TOR, 3@BOS). If the Rays win 2 of 3 versus the Orioles, the Yankees would have to go 7-2 in their final 9 games to win the tie-breaker (the Rays would hold the third-tiebreaker, 2nd-half record).

In other words, in addition to the easier schedule, the Rays are in a strong position with tie-breakers, even with a loss tonight. Therefore, in order to win the division, the Yankees most likely must win it outright, while the Rays need only tie.

Advantage: Rays

 
 

20 Comments

  1. RivalsTees says:

    You lie! YES-PN just said yesterday the division was already clinched by the Yankees. You forgot Tuesday’s game was worth more than one game. None of this can be true.

  2. Brett says:

    I wanna hear what don has to say about this.

  3. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Just win tonight Rays. That will just make everything that much simpler. And more importantly it will shut the Yankee fans up.

  4. Gus says:

    The Rays ever own the season series against NY?

    I know in 2008, Cleveland and NYY were the only teams that had the Rays in season series. Would be nice to have that, especially if they meet again. (Although Yankees fans insist Girardi is managing not to win the division! Tell that to A-Rod’s aching hip at 12:30 am last night).

  5. Hal says:

    CC is the only player left from the ’05 team. Can I get a Toby Hall anyone? I was thinking that Carl was the only “Devil” Ray left with the team, but I guess that we didn’t officially end our association with the Devil until ’08 as ’07 was that strange transitional year – still officially the “Devil Rays” but the Greens simply read “Rays.” Still quite a few guys from the ’07 team on the squad, but I could have sworn that Rocco came before ’06 – guess I was wrong.

    • Gus says:

      Rocco logged more time in the Green than just about anybody this side of Crawford. Should have been the rookie of the year in 2003. Dan Wheeler also goes back pretty far. Upton had some time in the D-Ray gear also. Zobrist too I think.

  6. Thad says:

    Minor correction: I think the 3rd tiebreaker is “last half of intraleague games” which would be AL only. Not sure how that shakes out for either team.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      That is correct but did the Rays play any interleague games in the second-half? I didn’t think they did, but don’t have schedule in front of me.

      • Thad says:

        No, but point being that it’s not the record for their last 81 games. It’s the record for the last half of their AL-only games (the way I read it anyway). So, they played 18 INTER-league games and will have played 144 INTRA-league games. So, it’s their record over the final 72 AL games. Which ends up being the final 72 games anyway. But doesn’t include the 9 AL games before that.

        Not a big difference, but could have some impact. I just looked at it and ironically, they both went 7-2 in games 82-90, so it’s a wash anyway.

  7. Thad says:

    Further complicating things, the Yanks currently have a half game lead in the 3rd tiebreaker (last half of AL only games), so if Yanks win tonight and all remaining games being AL only games, and Yanks and Rays finish tied, I think the tiebreaker has to automatically go to the 4th tiebreaker.

    Fourth tiebreaker is I think you go game by game backwards from Tiebreaker 3, expanding the sample size until you get a difference. So working back from game 91 (the first of the final 72 games), you only have to go to game 90 where the Rays bombed the Yankees in the Bronx to see that the Rays win the tiebreaker.

    SOOOOOO, I think that if the Yanks win tonight AND the two teams TIE at the end of the season, I think the Rays win the tiebreaker going all the way to the fourth tiebreaker.

    • Thad says:

      Of course, that’s assuming they remain tied in the division also at the end of the season. If tied head to head and within division, then all of what I said applies.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Well, no matter how it happens, if they finish tied, the Rays would have the best record in the final 72 games since the Yankees were 2 games better after game 90. Seems weird, but it’s impossible for a 1st place team after game 90 to win the 3rd tiebreaker. By definition, other team has to have better record in final 72 to force the tie.

Leave a Comment