3 Takeaways: Tides turning

This week we look at the struggling Rays, the streaking Brewers, and the limited Angels.

Tampa Bay Rays: 43-41

The Rays have lost eight of their last 10, and it’s no surprise given that they’ve been running out a Triple-A quality lineup and have lost approximately eight starters this year. While it’s easy to focus on the no-names in the rotation, Matt Moore is back now, and Erasmo Ramirez has had one of the best stretches of his career recently. It’s the lineup that’s mostly to blame, as one can’t expect the heretofore unheard of Joey Butler to post an .800 OPS, and the lack of bench depth (the Rays are carrying a lot of relievers) has taken its toll on previous non-starters like Logan Forsythe, who has seen production dip in recent weeks.

Milwaukee Brewers: 36-48

The Brewers are miraculously 9-1 in their last ten, and it’s all happening at the right time. That’s not to say they have anything to play for this season, but the key contributors to their recent run are all options for the Brewers to deal, and their heightened play could lead to better returns. Gerardo Parra, Adam Lind, and Aramis Ramirez have all hit well over this stretch of games, and Francisco Rodriguez continues to be nails out of the bullpen. Those are all relatively small pieces though, and it’s worth wondering if there’s not a team out there willing to make the Brewers an offer they can’t refuse on Jonathan Lucroy or Carlos Gomez.

Los Angeles Angels: 44-38

Despite all the turmoil, the Angels have put together a nice run that leaves them three games back of Houston for the division lead. Getting some of their veterans to play (and pitch) like they’re capable of is a big reason for that. The problem is that they look like they might need some help to get over the hump, and they lack the farm system to do it. Matt Joyce hitting like he’s swinging with a toothpick is one problem that should fix itself, but even then there are holes at catcher, DH, and the back of the rotation.

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