Whistling in the dark?
Joe Maddon on his #Rays: I believe we're one of the best teams in the American League.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 23, 2014
Are you allowed to say that when you're 48-53 with a negative run differential? Hey, you're allowed to say anything you like. Thank you, Tom Jefferson.
Are you right to say that, though? Yeah. According to FanGraphs, the Rays will have (approximately, obviously) the sixth-most WAR in the American League the rest of the season. Which is pretty good, if not great. Surprisingly, they're slightly behind the Royals. But also behind the Tigers, Athletics, Angels ... and Red Sox.
Which is a problem. Sure, the Rays might well play better than the front-running Orioles and the second-place Jays and Yankees ... but they gotta fend off the Red Sox, too? Forget a bridge too far. This is two or three bridges too far. It's pretty impressive that the Rays have this much talent, even without Matt Moore and Wil Myers. But they just dug a hole too deep.