Team 813 Staff Predictions
Jon Miles: 99-63
In 2019 I predicted that the Rays would hit 97 wins but would only be the Wild Card team due to either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox having a late surge to take the lead from the Rays, which the Yankees did.
In 2020 I’ll predict a similar path for the team. The Rays might have trouble early in April and May, but it will work it out well before the All-Star Weekend and hopefully they will have a handle in the American League standings. The Rays have some stiff competition in the Yankees, Red Sox and Astros as favorites but you cannot forget about the Athletics or Twins either.
If the Rays want to win the AL East, they will have to shut down the Yankees and Red Sox when they face-off.
Cecelia Metz: 100-62
Coming into 2020, the expectations are going to be quite high for the season. The Rays are going to be expected to make the playoffs for good reason. Their recent acquisitions will make a huge difference along with a healthy Glasnow and Snell. Plus, the Rays get that nasty combination of Nick Anderson and Emilio Pagan for a full season.
I predict the Rays will compete for the AL East title and win it down the stretch. There will be more teams in the running for the two Wild Card slots than last season and a lot could happen in a one-game playoff. A division win would be a huge advantage for the Rays to set their rotation and not have to worry about one mistake costing the entire season.
The Rays are definitely a force in the American League and I think they will be in the Wild Card matchup once again. They don’t have the firepower to compete with the New York Yankees right now. However, this will be a huge year for Brandon Lowe offensively.
My bold prediction for this Rays squad is that Lowe will hit at least 35 home runs. Call me crazy since we don’t know what type of baseballs we will be playing with. His slugging percentage in 2019 was .514 and that was better than Oakland’s Matt Chapman, who finished with 36 home runs. Slugging percentage isn’t the end-all and be-all for home runs but playing in hitter-friendly parks will be an added bonus for him. Plus with most of the American League in a rebuilding/retooling stage, he won’t be facing Gerrit Cole every night.