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Tampa Bay win nine straight games despite low payroll ranking

Tampa Bay win nine straight games despite low payroll ranking

Posted April. 11, 2023 07:50,   

Updated April. 11, 2023 07:50


Tampa Bay Rays started the season with nine straight wins for the first time in 20 years in Major League Baseball (MLB).

The Tampa Bay Rays beat Oakland 11-0 on Monday at home. Tampa Bay is the first team to win its first nine games since the 2003 Kansas City Royals. The longest winning streak at a season’s start is 13 by the Atlanta Braves in 1982 and the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987.

Tampa Bay’s payroll comes in at 28th out of 30 MLB teams this year, but the Rays are using sabermetrics running the team to achieve ‘low-cost, high-efficiency.’ According to “How did they win the New York Yankees,” a book on the success of Tampa Bay, its defense was the turning point. Tampa Bay was the first team to adopt the infield defense shift that swept the MLB.

Although MLB teams are no longer allowed to use infield shifts starting this year, Tampa Bay's defense is solid. To date, Tampa Bay has only given up an average of two runs per game (18 total). In between, they've scored an average of 8.3 runs per game (75 total). This year, Tampa Bay have the largest goal differential (+57 points) through the first nine games of the season since 1901, when MLB had a two-league system.

Meanwhile, Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres went 2-for-4 with a home run in the top of the fifth inning, his second of the season, in an away game against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

Kyu-In Hwang kini@donga.com