TAMPA, Fla. — Get ready for October baseball because the Tampa Bay Rays are in the 2022 postseason.
Entering Friday night, the Rays had a chance to clinch their spot with a win or Orioles loss. Baltimore beat the Yankees, so Tampa Bay accomplished the feat the hard way beating the best team in the American League, 7-3.
This is the fourth straight playoff appearance for the franchise and the eighth postseason trip in franchise history, all coming in 15 seasons since becoming the Rays in 2008. Over that stretch, the only clubs to reach the postseason as often are the Los Angeles Dodgers (12), New York Yankees (11), St. Louis Cardinals (10) and Atlanta Braves (8).
Last year, the 100-win team was bounced after four games losing to Boston in the first round. This time, the Rays will be an underdog securing one of the three wild card spots.
The playoff format is different this season. In an effort to involve more teams, Major League Baseball extended invites to two more teams in each league, while also eliminating the sudden death Wild Card Game.
Now, the first two teams get a bye (Houston and New York), while the next four squads battle in a three-game series hosted by the higher seed. The Cleveland Guardians won the AL Central, so they will host the No. 6 seed. The No. 4 seed is still up for grabs, with Toronto two games ahead of Tampa Bay with five games to play. The Rays won the season series over the Blue Jays, securing the head-to-head tiebreaker if they end the season tied in the Wild Card standings.
Unless the Rays go on a run against Houston and Boston to end the season, Tampa Bay will most likely stay on the road to begin the playoffs on Friday, October 7.
The Rays will enter the postseason as a Wild Card club for the fourth time in franchise history, joining 2011, 2013 and 2019. They were the American League’s lone Wild Card team in 2011, a season prior to the introduction of the Wild Card Game. The Rays have never lost a game under a Wild Card designation, winning the 2013 Wild Card Game in Cleveland, 2019 Wild Card Game in Oakland and sweeping a best-of-three Wild Card Series at Tropicana Field over the Toronto Blue Jays in 2020. The 2020 Wild Card Series was the result of an expanded postseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Stats LLC, the Rays are the first American League team in the expansion era (since 1961) to clinch a postseason berth during a road trip of nine games (or more) to end the regular season. They are the fourth major league team to do so in the expansion era, joining the 1995 Cincinnati Reds, 1971 San Francisco Giants and 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers.
Earlier this week, the Rays announced postseason information regarding single-game tickets, ticket packages, and suites and party areas. Tickets for potential home Wild Card Series and Division Series games will go on sale on Wednesday, October 5 at 10 a.m. Season Members, Group Leaders and Rays Insiders subscribed to email newsletters will receive information about presale dates and times.
Prior to the start of the Wild Card Series, Rays 2022 postseason merchandise will be available at the Rays Republic Team Store at Tropicana Field, the official destination for all MLB-licensed postseason merchandise.
- Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
- For postseason home games, hours will vary depending on game times. Future updates to store hours for postseason home games will be provided at RaysBaseball.com/TeamStore.
- Can’t make it to the store? Visit TheBayRepublic.com for new products and styles added every week. Delivery options are available within the state of Florida and the United States. Standard shipping rates may apply, see site for details.
- Tropicana Field is a cash-free facility. Only debit/credit card transactions will be available to customers.