Playoff push report
As the Rays headed out of Yankee Stadium at the end of their dismal road trip, they realized their chances to make the playoffs had taken a significant hit. But, as several of them said, they still have a shot.
Manager Joe Maddon's acknowledgement that the AL East title is likely out of reach, as they are five behind the Yankees with 16 to play. But yet the Rays feel they still have a good shot at the second wild card, though the trail the Orioles by four games.
Why such a different feeling with only one game difference? Because they play the Orioles three more times to end the season. In theory, all the Rays have to do is get within three games of the O's and then at least they would have a chance.
This would appear to be a good week for the Rays to make up some ground, as they host the two lagging AL East teams, the last-place Red Sox for four games and the Blue Jays for three.
The Orioles have similar foes, but are on the road, playing at Seattle and then Boston.
The Rays also trail the Angels, who host the Rangers and White Sox. And right behind the Rays are the Tigers, who have the easiest finishing schedule of all the contenders; this week they play the wild-card leading A's and the Twins.
Here are the wild-card standings:
A's 84-62 +2
Orioles 82-64 -
Angels 80-67 2 1/2
RAYS 78-68 4
Tigers 77-68 4 1/2
And the AL East standings:
Yankees 83-63 -
Orioles 82-64 1
RAYS 78-68 5
The computer predictors don't think much of the Rays chances, as coolstandings.com has them down to a 16 percent chance, lowest of all the contenders.