Rays proving experience doesn’t mean everything in postseason

Tampa Bay RaysSome will be quick to point out that perhaps the most dangerous team in the American League this postseason is the Boston Red Sox – and with good reason given their playoff experience throughout the years. They’ve not only been here before, but they’ve also won.

But as the Tampa Bay Rays have proved so far, experience isn’t everything.

The Rays are the seventh youngest team in MLB, with an average age of 27.5. Before this season, they had never won their division, never reached the postseason and had never won a playoff game. Yet after their 6-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night, Tampa sits just one win away from reaching the ALCS.

It’s hard to downplay experience in the postseason and if the Red Sox go on to beat the Angels (arguably the most talented team in the AL this year) in their best of five series, they’ll once again provide an example of how important it is to have a veteran roster.

But the Rays have built a 2-0 lead in the ALDS despite most of their roster never appearing in a postseason game. And it’s because they not only believe that they can compete with anyone, but they’re also playing complete baseball. They can hit (see Evan Longoria’s 2 HRs in Game 1), they can pitch (see Grant Balfour’s excellent relief appearances in the series), they can run (see their three total stolen bases) and they can play defense (see zero errors). The veteran Sox, on the other hand, have shown to be one-dimensional and now are on the brink of elimination.

So it’ll be interesting to see if the Rays’ youth eventually catches up with them this postseason. Because of right now, experience isn’t holding this club back one bit.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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