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Previewing the AL East: Tampa Bay Rays

Count on it: it is never wise to count out the Rays. Despite their consistent lack of spending, they are basically always playing meaningful games in September. They’ve won 95-plus games in three of the last five seasons, have made the playoffs five years running and haven’t had a losing record since 2017.

Last season, the Tampa Bays started with a brilliant 27-6 record but wilted in the heat, slinking to an 8-16 July. That’s the month when the Orioles overtook them at the top of the AL East leaderboard, a place they kept for good.