The Yankees and Rays are poised to fight for the AL East

Ah, Tampa Bay. Known for white sand beaches, an annual influx of pirate cosplayers —happening today! — and consistent rumors among the population there is a professional baseball team somewhere within the city. Of course, actual baseball fans know a whole lot about the Tampa Bay Rays: they’re one of the most successful teams in the game over the past decade, and the Yankees’ primary challenger for the AL East division title in 2020.

The Rays finished 2019 as a Wild Card winner, with 96 wins and a BaseRuns record actually better than the Yankees posted, meaning the two teams were much closer on true talent than you might expect. In a lot of ways, last year the teams were opposites – the Yankees boasting a powerful offense and middling pitching, while the Rays dominated from the mound and were far more pedestrian at the plate.

Over the winter, the teams addressed their own internal weaknesses, but they did so in ways that were pretty consistent with their images across baseball. The Yankees gave the richest contract to a pitcher in baseball history, landing Gerrit Cole on a 9 year, $324 million deal. The Rays boosted their offense by adding Jose Martinez, the talented…

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