The Tampa Bay Rays are the last undefeated team in the majors. And that does not mean anything.
It is easy to look at the start of the 2023 season as status quo for the Rays. They lead the majors in run differential. Those tweaks they were looking to make to the lineup appear to be working as they have outscored every other team. The pitching is still excellent as they have allowed the third fewest runs in the game. One can easily imagine that the 2023 season could be special in Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay Rays need to face actual challenge first
The problem? The Rays have not exactly faced anyone of consequence thus far. While one can only face the teams on the schedule, the Tigers, Nationals, and A’s are not exactly powerhouses. All three teams were expected to finish dead last in their divisions. In fact, those three teams have combined for six wins on the season, one fewer than the Rays have on their own.
No winning streak lasts forever. Even bad teams win 60 to 70 games in a season. Eventually, one of those bottom dwellers will rise up and beat the Rays. But it will be a few more days until the Rays are actually tested; they face another mediocre team in the Red Sox in their next series before heading to Toronto on April 14.
That series should tell the baseball world more about the Rays than their first two weeks. They have done exactly what they are supposed to do in beating up the bad teams on their schedule. While the Blue Jays have also struggled to this point, there is no question that they will be the most talented team the Rays face in the early going. They will also be their biggest test so far – a strong showing would go a long way to showing that the Rays are more than paper tigers.
The Tampa Bay Rays are the last undefeated team in the majors. Considering their schedule thus far, that does not mean anything.