Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from slomag. Show slomag's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    In response to slomag's comment:

     

    I'm not convinced about the Rays - they are better offensively with Myers and a healthy Longoria, but they still have plenty of holes.  And their rotation is not as good as it was in previous years - Moore is for real, and Price is great when he's healthy, but he's started to show some wear on his arm this year.  Cobb, Hernandez & Archer aren't all that great, and Hellickson has been hit or miss, and many of the misses have come against AL East opponents - you have to think a change-up artist suffers a bit with familiarity.

    The key is going to be to keep them from winning the division - make them burn one Price or Moore start in the wild card playoff.

     



    All teams have "holes". The question is, do the Rays have more or less "holes" than the Sox and other contending teams, and if they have more, do they make it up in other areas with superb players.

     

    The Rays are very dependent on health, especially for Longoria and Price, but they have suffered some injuries this year and still hung tough. Luke Scott is back (.835 OPS), Wil Myers is here to stay (.847 OPS). Those are two players the Rays have not had all year. Those two provide a huge boost to what they had in their stead. The Rays now have 6 guys with an OPS over .775:

    .869 Longoria

    .847 Myers

    .835 Scott

    .824 Loney

    .790 K Johnson

    .775 D Jennings

    Then, there is Zobrist (.745) and Joyce (.752) who give some potential for more of a boost over the final 2 months of the season. Their 2 weak offensive positions are SS (Escobar .668) and Catcher (Molina .609/Lobaton .697). They have Ryan Roberts (.688) and Sean Rodriguez (.698) on the bench.

    The pitching staff surely took a big hit when they lost Shields and Davis in the Myers deal, and then they lost Niemann to injury. What's amazing to me, is that despite these losses, Price (5-5  3.75) and Hellickson (9-3 4.62) have not "picked up the slack" at all. The real boost has come from Moore (14-3 3.17), Alex Cobb (6-2 3.01) and Chris Archer (5-3 2.76).

    Team record in starts by...

    16-4  Moore

    9-4   A Cobb

    7-3   C Archer

    Maybe the Moore record is not so surprising, but 16-7 from your 6 and 7th starter combined is stunning. (Assuming Niemann and R Hernandez were the 4 and 5 slots)

    The pen has been in turmoil and changeover for years. Farnsworth was a big factor in their success in recent years, but has only pitched 27 innings this year (5.33 ERA and 1.48 WHIP). The pen has 11 blown saves and a 27% inherited runners scoring percent.

    Rodney has improved, but his 4.40 ERA and 1.42 WHIP is terrible as a closer.

    Jake McGee is at 4.46/1.122 (38 IP)

    C Ramos 4.20/1.352 (41)

    J Wright 2.82/1.105 (44)

    J Peralta 3.07/1.045  (44)

    A Torres 0.30/0.63 (30)

     



    .775 OPS is not an elite number - it's slightly above average - Salty has a .771 OPS, and if they wanted to, the Sox could field a lineup where that was the lowest, second only to Drew's .704.  Loney has an .824 OPS like Iglesias is hitting .350.  He had a great 2 months to start the season, but given the last 6 weeks, and his career numbers, it's hard to say he's a strength in the lineup.  Given his position, I'm more inclined to list him as a liability.

    Archer and Torres are good examples why I'm skeptical about the Rays - how do guys who get knocked around at AAA come up and dominate major-league hitters?  And how long can it last?  

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    I guess their defense is solid--they have done a much better job than the Sox in avoiding unearned runs.  Plus they looks pretty good just watching them.

    I think their hitting is very good for them--4th in the AL in runs scored and in OPS--above their norm. 

    And unfortunately their pitching seems ready to once again be pretty tough.  Price won the Cy Young last year, and Moore looks like he could win it this year, and both of them went 9 innings against the Sox, with Price giving up a late and meaningless dinger to Napoli.  Against the best offense in MLB at home in Fenway. 

    That said, I think the Sox would have broken even in this series if Lackey had started last night against a so-so Rays starter, a righty.  Now it's going to be Wednesday night's matchup--Doubront against Price--next Monday. 

    Right now I think all three clubs--us, the Rays, and the Orioles--are competitive for the playoffs.  The Rays and Orioless were both competitive last year when the Sox stank, but somehow Cherington and Farrell and engineered a terrific turnaround.  While we definitely miss Buchholz, the Sox have done pretty well on the injury side this season--so far.  No big bats on the sidelines for any real length of time.  Hanrahan and Bailey from the bullpen, granted, but they both struggled anyway.  Miller is a real loss. 

    Right now the Sox have no ace, but do have Lackey, Doubront, Lester, Dempster, and Workman--not too shabby.  Uehara and Tazawa have been pretty steady, especially Uehara, in the bullpen.  We need a strong bullpen if only because the starters don't go a lot of innings. 

    I do agree the Rays are well managed and general managed. 

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    .775 OPS is not an elite number - it's slightly above average - Salty has a .771 OPS, and if they wanted to, the Sox could field a lineup where that was the lowest, second only to Drew's .704.  Loney has an .824 OPS like Iglesias is hitting .350.  He had a great 2 months to start the season, but given the last 6 weeks, and his career numbers, it's hard to say he's a strength in the lineup.  Given his position, I'm more inclined to list him as a liability.

    It was never my intention to imply the rays offense was better or more balanced than ours, but not many teams have that many players above .775. The other point is that the Rays have usually had below average OPS numbers, but not this year.

     

    Archer and Torres are good examples why I'm skeptical about the Rays - how do guys who get knocked around at AAA come up and dominate major-league hitters?  And how long can it last?  

    This is the mantra we've heard about TB for 5 years now. They seemingly continue to get surprise performances year after year. Journeymen players have career years in TB. Good to great players leave TB and enter mediocrity or get hurt more often than not. One could say it is mostly luck, but I think there has to be something more to it.

    Chris Archer was a pretty high prospect and did OK in AAA (3.53 ERA and 9.6 K/9).

    Alex Torres is a surprise, but couldn't a Rays fan wonder at Doubront's recent MLB success?

     

    Sox4ever

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from nhsteven. Show nhsteven's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    This is a 3 team race; especially with Dbl Cheeseburger getting thinner, and now looking and pitching like the Rev Al Sharpton

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ice-Cream. Show Ice-Cream's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

     

    Come on Yankees, beat up the Rays!  Can Kuroda pitch tomorrow on two days rest?!?  LOL

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    Wild Card:

    1) Boston +3.0

    2) Baltimore -

    Texas  -1.0

    NYY     -3.0

    Cleve  -3.5

     

    Sox4ever

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from susan250. Show susan250's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    In response to Ice-Cream's comment:

     

    Come on Yankees, beat up the Rays!  Can Kuroda pitch tomorrow on two days rest?!?  LOL



    Agree.  It would be great for the Yankees to win the series against the Rays.  This would help the Red Sox in the standings. 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ice-Cream. Show Ice-Cream's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    Wild Card:

    1) Boston +3.0

    2) Baltimore -

    Texas  -1.0

    NYY     -3.0

    Cleve  -3.5

     

    Sox4ever



    I am not comfortable seeing the Red Sox in a one-game, elimination wild card game vs. any of those teams. 

     
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  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    In response to BurritoT-'s comment:

    Don't forget they will move one of their stud starters to the pen in the play-offs. 



    There aren't as many days off during the playoffs anymore, but usually teams can get by with 4 starters.

    Who would you bet on?

    Price, Moore, Hellickson, Archer

    or

    Lackey, Lester, Doubront, Buch (Dempster?)

    or

    Verlander, Scherzer, Sanchez, Fister (Porcello?)

     
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  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from crix. Show crix's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    Consider the teams the Rays have faced in July and it doesn't take much to see why they've been winning so much lately:

     

    Astros (5th place, AL West, worst in MLB) 

    White Sox (5th place, AL Central)

    Twins (4th place, AL Central)

    Astros (5th place, AL West, worst in MLB)

    Blue Jays (5th place, AL East)

    Yankees (4th place, AL East)

     

    Took 2/3 with the Red Sox with one game left to be played.

     

    They are an obviously very good team, buy you can't ignore the easy schedule they've had lately.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from nhsteven. Show nhsteven's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    In response to BurritoT-'s comment:

     

    Chris Archer 97 pitch complete game against NY tonight, 2nd CG of the season... anyone hear heard of him before now?  Laughing

     



    He was highly touted in the ML (rated as having the best slider in AAA last yr, to go along with a mid 90s heater), and in TB they grow P like cornfields grow corn. He also has 2CG SO in his last 3 starts; of course, the NYY have a weak lineup, so there's that proviso. His rookie numbers for the season

     

     

    67 IP 6-3 2.39 1.05

     

     

     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    In response to BurritoT-'s comment:

    Chris Archer 97 pitch complete game against NY tonight, 2nd CG of the season... anyone hear heard of him before now?  Laughing



    Yes. He was a highly regarded prospect and a key component of the Garza trade. He was drafted by the Indians and later traded for Mark DeRosa.

    Baseball America ranked him the Cubs #1 prospect in 2011- the year he was traded (with others) to TB for Matt Garza.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    In response to crix's comment:

    Consider the teams the Rays have faced in July and it doesn't take much to see why they've been winning so much lately:

     

    Astros (5th place, AL West, worst in MLB) 

    White Sox (5th place, AL Central)

    Twins (4th place, AL Central)

    Astros (5th place, AL West, worst in MLB)

    Blue Jays (5th place, AL East)

    Yankees (4th place, AL East)

     

    Took 2/3 with the Red Sox with one game left to be played.

     

    They are an obviously very good team, buy you can't ignore the easy schedule they've had lately.



    They play almost the identical schedule as the Sox this year. They have had an easier schedule recently, but by year's end, it will just about even out.

    The Sox do have a little more difficult schedule due to our NL "rivalry" teams vs TB's, but that's about it.

    The Rays are 26-16 vs the AL West & Central. We are 28-22. The Rays have played 6 more games vs the AL East than we have. They are a legitimate division leader.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Moore, Price and a solid defense could make Tampa a favorite in the East and in the playoffs

    The Rays pitching staff today:

     

    Price: drafted #1 (2007- 7 drafts ago)

    Moore: drafted in 8th round #245 (2007)

    Hellickson: drafted in 4th round #118 (2005)

    Archer: traded Garza (2011)

    A Cobb: drfated in 4th round at #109 (2006) 

    R Hernandez: signed as FA (2013)

    F Rodney: signed as FA (2012)

    J Peralta: signed as FA (2010 & 2012)

    K Farnsworth: signed as FA (2011 & 2013)

    A Torres: traded Kazmir (2009)

    J McGee: drafted in 4th round (2004)

    C Ramos & B Gomes: traded Bartlett (2010)

    Niemann: drafted 1st round #4 (2004) On DL all year

    J Ordorizzi & M Montgomery: traded Shields

    J Lueke: traded John Jaso

     

    Only Price and Niemann can be considered as additions due to being a top draft choice.

     

    Sox4ever

     
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