Rays Disrespected by ESPN Opening Day Power Rankings

Larry Rupp
The Tampa Bay Rays are being disrespected by ESPN's Opening Day power rankings.
The Tampa Bay Rays are being disrespected by ESPN's Opening Day power rankings. / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of the more dominating American League ball clubs since 2018. They have racked up at least 90 wins three times during that span and were two games away from winning it all in 2020. That's what makes the Rays' spot in ESPN's MLB power rankings disrespectful.

Tampa Bay Rays Power Rankings

Tampa Bay checks in at No. 9. While a top-10 ranking in certainly nothing to scoff at, the Rays find themselves behind two other AL East squads in the New York Yankees (6) and Toronto Blue Jays (2). That is surprising given both those squads finished well below TB in the standings last season.

The Rays have always leaned on a strong pitching staff to get them through the close games. Tampa Bay posted the fourth-best team ERA last season (3.73) and tied for the third best team WHIP (1.18). Pitching coach Kyle Snyder has found a knack for getting the best out of seemingly unknown players.

At the plate, the Rays are headlined by a pair of young phenoms in Randy Arozarena and Wander Franco. Arozarena was named AL Rookie of the Year in 2021 after posting an on-base percentage of .356. Meanwhile, Franco showcased his contact skills by tallying 81 hits in 308 plate appearances.

The Rays have a few budding stars and put up 5.28 runs per game in 2021 (No. 2 in MLB). The damage they could do with those guys at their best is scary. That makes the idea of a sudden downgrade in offense simply sound unrealistic.

Tampa Bay have a good a shot as anyone to come out on top in the AL East. For now, the Rays have odds set at +1600 to win the World Series, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.