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. Think of RI as “Tampa Bay Rays 101.”
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 many of our wishes came true (including that sweet no-hitter), and the result was another division title.
Without further ado…
On the sixth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, SIX months with a winning record…
In 2008, the Rays went 13-14 in September and yet they won the AL East by two games over the Red Sox.
In 2010, the Rays went 11-14 in June and went 13-14 in September. And once again the Rays won the division, this time by one game over the Yankees.
The Rays were still able to win the division in each of those seasons because they played lights out at other times of the year. In 2008, the Rays went 21-7 in August and 19-10 in May. This year, the Rays went 17-6 in April and 19-7 in July.
This year’s team probably won’t have the fire power to run off long win streaks that lead to 19 or 20-win months. So if the Rays want to compete in 2011, they will need to be consistently above average. That means they need six months with 15-17 wins.
If they can average just 16 wins a month, the Rays will finish with 96 wins. And in the Wild Card era, no team with 96 wins has ever failed to make the playoffs.