With the Boston Red Sox coming off a 100+ win season and World Series title, and the New York Yankees also coming off a 100+ win season, 2019 figured to be a tough year to make the playoffs from the AL East.
However, the Tampa Bay Rays took care of their business and capitalized on a disappointing Red Sox team, eventually going 96-66 and making the playoffs as the AL Wild Card. They won there, but fell to the eventual AL Champion Houston Astros in the ALDS, 3-2.
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Now, going into 2020, there should be no underestimating of the Rays as a contender in the AL East as they have retained much of their talent and saw many young players become big contributors by season’s end.
So, how will they be rated in MLB The Show 20?
Blake Snell, SP
2019 launch rating: 89
2020 prediction: 88
Coming off a Cy Young season in which he pitched a 1.89 ERA, 2019 was a disappointment. While struggling through injuries and poor play he stumbled to a 4.29 ERA. However, he retained a great strikeout rate, with 147 SOs in 107 innings pitched.
Now healthy, he should enter 2020 much closer to his Cy Young form. Nevertheless, I do expect his initial rating to drop just a touch as he was not the ace he was rated as last year.
Charlie Morton, SP
2019 launch rating: 82
2020 prediction: 86
Morton’s 2019 initial rating was harsh. He may have been 35 going into the season, but that shouldn’t have been reason enough to start him so low. He followed up a very good year in Houston with a similarly good year in Tampa, winning 16 games with a 3.05 ERA and 240 strikeouts.
He may be 36 heading into this season, but his gradually improving performance should keep him at a high rating, and comfortably in the 80s overall.
Tyler Glasnow, SP
2019 launch rating: 69
2020 prediction: 84
Glasnow is the third and final star of the Rays starting rotation and will be rated among the best Rays players in The Show 20. He may not have played much last year (12 games), but he won six of them, lost one, and had a 1.78 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 60.2 innings pitched.
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He may not be expected to replicate an ERA that high in 2020, but he showed his ceiling – ace level. He should start the year in the 80s overall as he takes his place as one of the better number three starting pitchers in the Majors.
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
2019 launch rating: 83
2020 prediction: 83
Kiermaier is the figurehead of a very talented defensive outfield with Hunter Renfroe, and the Rays are going to be hard to hit against. Kiermaier is among the best defensive players in the Majors, and claimed his third Gold Glove in 2019.
He isn’t particularly explosive with the bat, but his fielding prowess and solid ability at the plate will be enough to keep him in the 80s overall in 2020.
Jose Alvarado, RP
2019 launch rating: 88
2020 prediction: 82
Alvarado had a monster 2018 season and was pegged to be the Rays’ best reliever or closer. Instead he slumped. He missed a lot of time with injury or personal issues and was a different player on the mound.
His control was not nearly as good as he walked 18.5% of batters (fifth percentile in the MLB) and his ERA rose from 2.39 to 4.80. As a result I would expect his initial rating to drop, a lot. Nevertheless, his potential and ability is still high enough to keep him among the better players on the roster.
Tampa Bay Rays MLB The Show 20 ratings predictions
|Player||Position||2019 launch rating||2020 prediction|
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