The Tampa Bay Rays are one of the most underrated teams in MLB.
Over the past four seasons, all they have done is win.
Since 2018, the Rays have won at least 90 games in every season except the 60-game shortened year.
Once again in 2022, the Rays are in the first Wild Card position, and trail the Yankees by 7.5 games in the AL East.
Also, it has been a team effort again for the Rays this season.
They had one All Star this year in pitcher Shane McClanahan.
Other than him they have a bunch of solid contributors that have helped Tampa get to the position they are in.
The Rays are having success while trotting out an offense that is in the bottom half of the AL in most categories.
Tampa has leaned on their pitching and defense to help them win games.
Their 3.29 team ERA is second in the American League, also they are holding their opponents to a .229 batting average.
The Rays have vaulted up the standings thanks to a 14-7 month of August.
Sitting eight games behind the Yankees, winning the division may seem out of reach.
But, Tampa Bay does have six games left with New York and that could be huge for their continued pursuit of the AL East crown.
Diaz might be the best player that no one knows.
The 31-year-old is hitting .277 with seven home runs and 46 RBI.
He also has 63 walks to 48 strikeouts and an OBP of .385.
His 2.5 WAR also leads all Rays’ hitters.
For Arozarena, he has been a staple in this Rays lineup for years.
Randy Arozarena gets things started for the Rays 💥
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) August 16, 2022
He leads the team in hits with 117, and 17 home runs on the season.
What is crazy about Tampa Bay’s season is that their best player, Wander Franco, has only played in 58 games.
Franco is expected back at some point in September, which could be a big boost to the Rays’ lineup.
While McClanahan was the All-Star game starter for the American League, that does not do him justice on how good the lefty has been.
The 25-year-old has been great all season, throwing 147.1 innings with 182 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.20.
His breakout season has firmly put him in the running for American League Cy Young.
The lefty has electric stuff, throwing 100 mph with ease to go along with a stellar changeup and curveball.
Shane McClanahan, 100mph ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/q9tlwWan1F
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 24, 2022
You know that is some heat when you can get a player like Mike Trout to swing right through it.
While McClanahan has been the most valuable pitcher on the Rays, the bullpen has been great as well.
The Rays have perfectly executed the closer by committee approach.
They have five relief pitchers with at least four saves.
With Jason Adam being the top relief pitcher in Tampa.
He has thrown 51.2 innings and given up only 22 hits, with an ERA of 1.22 and an opponent batting average of .129.
This Tampa Bay team may not have any big-money players, but they have all the right pieces in place to make a run in the postseason.