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Unlike the rest of their rivals in the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays don’t prefer to have the lineup loaded with sluggers. The Rays prefer to build their teams with solid pitching as the foundation and put an emphasis on defence-first baseball. Part of that is because Tampa doesn’t have the big budgets others like New York and Boston do to attract sluggers, and that means that the Rays rely heavily on internal scouting and development to build a winner.
The Rays have experienced more consistent success with that methodology since 2008, and at times it can be baffling to bettors. Oddsmakers have to stay sharp as well as they are the ones that have to put out sharp numbers with their Tampa Bay Rays odds.
Tampa Bay Rays’ Standings
It’s often a grind for the Tampa Bay Rays standings placement to get to the top, but it’s rare you’ll find them at the bottom of the AL East. This year’s current standings can be found here.
Bet On Tampa Bay Rays’ Games
Hampered with a smaller budget and a fanbase that is fleeting at best, Tampa Bay has to overcome many off-field challenges each year to produce a winner. The organization is a big believer in analytics and they’ve got to be because developing home-grown stars is their best path to success. You’ll often see some of those stars (David Price, Carl Crawford) leave town for bigger money elsewhere once their rookie contracts are up and it’s tough to ever see that changing.
One home-grown star that did decide to stay was Evan Longoria. Longoria has been the centrepiece of the Rays organization for a few years now, but the Rays are still trying to find those complementary pieces to put (and stay) around him. They’ve always put a high priority on pitching and currently have some of the best young up-and-comers in the game with Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and Matt Moore, but it remains to be seen if those guys do the way of David Price and chase big money elsewhere.
To find success betting on this Rays organization, bettors typically have to understand the Rays analytical approach to the game and use that thinking with their wagers. The Rays emphasis on “small-ball” baseball means that bets on this team won’t often get bailed out late by a 3-run HR. It can be a frustrating way to follow a team, but at the same time, the Rays are constantly undervalued because of it and can be a very good bet as underdogs each year.