The Tampa Bay Rays just seem to keep on winning.
Tampa Bay now holds a five-game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East division, and that’s despite the insane stretch New York has been on the past two months.
After falling to 41-41 in the first game of a doubleheader on July 4, the Yankees are an eye-popping 35-12 since then, and they just had a 13-game win streak snapped on Saturday.
New York (+275) remains a distant second, but these teams are on a collision course for an important series at the end of the year, as they play a three-game set to close the regular season. Tampa Bay would love to enter that series with a four-game lead or more on New York, but it’s possible the division could be decided in those final days.
The Yankees have a favorable schedule down the stretch of the 2021 season, as once they finish their four-game set with the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, they only have two more series against teams currently in the playoff picture (one against the Boston Red Sox, and one against Tampa Bay).
The Rays are about to finish a stretch where they played the lowly Baltimore Orioles in seven of their last 12 games, but still have seven games against Boston, three against the Houston Astros and three against the Yankees remaining on the schedule.
The Rays are one of three teams in Major League Baseball with 80 or more wins at the moment, and oddsmakers won’t count them out in the division after dominating for the majority of the 2021 season.
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