Tampa Bay Rays: Upping the ante at the plate
Tampa Bay is only a year removed from a good sized overhaul of their roster, but they’re already back to compete in 2016. All they have to do is find enough runs and they’ll be set for a deep postseason run.
The strength of this club is going to be their pitching staff. This is a World Series quality staff featuring Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly and Matt Moore. Any semblance of run support is going to produce a ton of wins in Tampa Bay. So where do they get it?
The Rays will need a slight uptick in production across the lineup that scored the fifth fewest runs in baseball last season. They don’t even need to get into the top 15 in runs scored. If they can hover a shade above the 20 mark they’ll be fine. They can get there if Kevin Kiermaier improves his on-base skills, Desmond Jennings to stays healthy, and Evan Longoria has one last great season.
Put an offense that scores 660 runs (16 more than they did last year) alongside this daunting starting rotation, and the Rays are looking at a trip back to the Fall Classic. And once they’re there…nobody is going to want to face these guys in a seven-game series.