The Orioles are going to be playing a one-game playoff of some sort, whether they tie the Yankees for the division lead or whether they lose it today and have to face either Oakland or Texas in the wild card game.
Know what’s nice to have in a one-game playoff? A hot hand. Chris Davis has a hot hand.
Davis hit a homer last night — the only run in the Orioles’ 1-0 win over Tampa Bay — and has now hit homers in six straight games. In that stretch he has seven homers overall and 13 RBI. For the season he’s at .272/.328/.505 with 33 homers and 85 RBI in 558 plate appearances.
There have been a lot of improbabilities in the Orioles’ magical season. Davis stepping into a full-time role for, really, the first time in his career and raking like he has is one of them.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: