The Rays face the Yankees in a weekend series before heading to Toronto for 5 games in 4 days in what will likely decide the AL East.

As the dog days of August given way to the September run for the playoffs the very fact that the Tampa Bays with so many key players injured are playing so well and still very much in the race for both a third straight AL East title or the top spot in the AL Wild Card battle is amazing. They are playing “Raysball,” solid pitching, good defense and getting just enough offense to win a number of very close games but the schedule gods have not been kind to Tampa Bay as over the next three weeks they face the toughest slate of games in all of baseball.

By this time next week, we should a very clear picture of where the Rays will be concerning the AL post season that is just three short weeks away. Tonight, in the Bronx they start a three-game series with the Yankees, the team that is at present five game ahead of Tampa Bay and still a top the AL East standings.

Then Monday they head north of the boarder for a massive showdown with the Blue Jays who are just a game and a half behind the Rays both in the chase for the Yankees as well as the top Wild Card spot in the AL postseason standings with Seattle also in the playoff hunt.

The team that has been plagued injuries are hoping for the return as soon as this week of their ace pitcher Tyler Glasnow, who has been money for the Rays when healthy. According to Baseball Reference Since the start of the 2019 season, Glasnow has pitched in 37 games for Tampa Bay and has compiled a 2.80 ERA / 2.87 FIP with a 35.9 K% and 7.8 BB% with opponents hitting just .185 against him over 206 innings pitched.

So, getting his arm back in the rotation would be a welcome boost. Meanwhile, their young superstar shortstop Wander Franco, progressing and if and that is a big if all goes well with his rehab at Triple -A Durham he might be able to play in some games in the Toronto series.

In a recent interview with The Tampa Bay Times, he had this to say.

Franco said the timetable for his return was “all in Gods hands,” and he didn’t know how many games he would need with Durham. “What I do know,” he said, “is that I’m going to get back and help this team as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile Kevin Cash and the Rays will continue to battle with the guys they have on the roster and so far, that produced some very good results.