Rob Neyer has a good post over at the Sweet Spot pointing out that through some bad luck, the strengths that made the Rays 96-game winners have not come into play in Game 1 and 2 of the ALDS.
The point, though, is that if the Rangers had been able to rely on just the starters they’ll use in this Division Series, they would have won more than 90 games. Conversely, if the Rays weren’t able to utilize their No. 4 and 5 starters throughout the season, they wouldn’t have won 96 games.
Another of the Rays’ strengths is their ability to handle right-handed pitchers. With the emergence of catcher John Jaso, the additions of outfielder Matthew Joyce and DH Dan Johnson, and the general nature of Carlos Pena, the Rays are simply better equipped against right-handers than left-handers.
So of course they have to face two of the league’s toughest left-handers in their first two games.
Both are good points that I clearly didn’t consider when I wrote that The Rays will beat the Rangers. Still, those very advantages may come into play in games 3 and 4. Both Colby Lewis and Tommy Hunter are righties, so we can make use of Jaso, Joyce, and Johnson. Also, we have a front-line starter in Garza and a hot pitcher in Davis going.
Does that mean we are going to win the series? I hope so. Do I believe that? I am trying hard here.
(What’s that? Cliff Lee is pitching Game 5 if we can actually get there? Well we were 3-0 against him in the regular season so there is no reason to be worried. Right? Right? Anyone?)