After 159 games the Rays still do not know where they will be playing when the curtain rises on the postseason Friday.

Rays Will Open Postseason In Cleveland Or Toronto

After 159 games the Rays still do not know where they will be playing when the curtain rises on the postseason Friday.
Credit: Tampa Bay Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – After 159 games the Rays still do not know where they will be playing when the curtain rises on the postseason Friday.

While they know they will not host a wild-card series at Tropicana Field, their next destination on an extended road trip remained unknown heading into Monday night’s series opener in Boston.

The possibilities were whittled down Sunday when a Toronto win over Boston coupled with Tampa Bay’s loss at Houston meant the Rays could not catch the Blue Jays for the lead wild-card spot and No. 4 seed for home field advantage. That also meant they will not travel to Seattle to open the playoffs against the Mariners, who are second in the wild card and sandwiched between the Blue Jays and Rays.

Since the Rays are 1.5 games behind the Mariners with three games remaining – Seattle has four games remaining – and own the tiebreaker over Seattle by virtue of a 5-2 mark in the season series, they can still move into the second wild-card spot.

That would result in playing a best-of-three series in Toronto as the No. 5 seed. Should the Rays remain third in the wild card and No. 6 seed, they would head to Cleveland to play the Central Division champion Guardians, against whom they opened their season-ending, nine-game trip last week.

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“A lot of things would’ve had to go in our favor,” said Kevin Cash, referring to the pieces that needed to fall into place in order for his team to secure home field advantage in the wild card. “We like to play in front of our fans. Now, we’re going to have to do a little more to get that opportunity.”

The fact the Rays do not have home-field advantage in the wild-card round means the earliest they could return to the Trop would be Game 3 of the American League Division Series against either the East Division champ Yankees or West Division champ Houston.

The Rays clinched a playoff spot in Houston on Friday night. This is the fourth consecutive year they made the postseason party and eighth time in the team’s 25 seasons.

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