If the season ended tonight, the Tampa Bay Rays would not make the playoffs. They trail the New York Yankees by 2.5 games in the AL East, and they trail the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland A’s by 1.5 games each.
The Rays should be a playoff team this year, because with the exception of certainly the Texas Rangers and maybe the Yankees and Washington Nationals, the Rays are the best team in baseball. They’re unquestionably one of the four best, along with Texas, the Yankees, and Washington. The Rays have top-to-bottom what is undeniably the best pitching staff in baseball, particularly in the second half with Matt Moore establishing himself as a stud, David Price and James Shields pitching very well, and Fernando Rodney emerging as the game’s best closer this year. Wade Davis, a middle-reliever for the Rays, is their second- or third-best bullpen pitcher, has no home in the rotation, and would be a #4 starter or better on almost every other MLB team.