The final weekend of the 2023 MLB regular season is upon us. For the first time in nearly three decades, neither the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, or St. Louis Cardinals are going to be part of the playoffs. Think about that, those three storied franchises are going to miss the postseason in the expanded playoff era. Pretty stunning.
In the final edition of Stock Up, Stock Down, here are two MLB teams that surprised this season and two that didn’t.
MLB Stock Up: Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays began the season as the hottest team in the league but came back to earth as the season went along, but they are going to be the first Wild Card team and get a series at home next week. By now, nobody should be surprised at how good they were, but be more surprised about how they went about it.
A low payroll, but what’s more impressive is that after losing shortstop Wander Franco to an investigation and top pitch Shane McClanahan to an injury. A lot of teams losing their best infielder and top-of-the-rotation pitcher would take a step back. The only step they took back was just behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East.
Are the Rays going to win their Wild Card series against whoever they play, the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, or Toronto Blue Jays? Time will tell, but after suffering two injuries to two of their top players and continuing to win was a surprise over the second half of the season.