It's a fun time to be a Tampa Bay sports fan. The Bucs and Lightning are defending champions, with the Bolts well on their way to repeating as Stanley Cup Champions.
Not to be outdone, the Rays are coming off an AL Pennant win and 63 games into this season find themselves one game ahead of the Boston Red Sox for the division, and sporting the best record in the American League.
After splitting a two-game series with the Washington Nationals, the team had a day off Thursday before starting a 10-day stretch.
Those games start with a weekend series against the last-place Baltimore Orioles. Then Tampa Bay goes on the road for three games on the south side of Chicago with the White Sox and four in Seattle against the Mariners.
The formula for the Rays' success is what it's always been: A lineup of players willing to be put in pretty much any position and any spot in the batting order. Combine that with the best defense in baseball, a solid starting rotation and an excellent bullpen (the most used in all of baseball) and you've got a team that finds ways to win game in and game out.
Manager Kevin Cash continues to lead this team to victory even as we get into the dog days of summer.
One interesting thing to note is the Rays are barely above .500 at home, but have an outstanding 23-10 record away from Tropicana Field this year. With seven of the next ten games coming on the road, the Rays will try to extend that away record.
The weekend series with the Orioles begins with Ryan Yarbrough on the mound, fresh off a complete game against the New York Yankees.