Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays: a Look Back at This AL East Rivalry

Are the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox Rivals?

Yes, the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox have a division rivalry. Both the Rays and the Red Sox compete in the American League East. The winner of the American League East gets an automatic berth into the MLB playoffs.

Who are the Tampa Bay Rays’ Biggest Rivals?

The biggest rivals of the Tampa Bay Rays are the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. All three teams compete in the American League East. Since 2018, each team has won the division title at least once.

Who are the Boston Red Sox’s Biggest Rivals?

The biggest rivals of the Boston Red Sox are the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees. Between 1995–2021, these three teams combined to have won 24 out of 26 AL East division titles.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox Series History

The Rays and Red Sox have a heated division rivalry that dates back 20 years. Originally the Devil Rays, in 1998 Tampa Bay became the second expansion team to join the AL East after the Toronto Blue Jays, who did so in 1977. In 1998, Boston went on to win nine out of 12 games against the Devil Rays.

Tension heated up between the two squads two years later when Red Sox starting pitcher Pedro Martínez beaned Tampa Bay outfielder Gerald Williams. Williams charged the mound and punched Martínez , which led to a bench-clearing brawl and a Williams ejection.

Ten years later, TB rebranded as the Rays and immediately became a powerhouse in the division, winning their first AL East title. In 2008, the two teams clashed in the American League Championship Series in seven games, with the Rays coming out on top and making their inaugural World Series appearance.

Tempers flared during the 2008 regular season when Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp and Rays infielder Akinori Iwamura collided on a play at second base. The very next game, Tampa Bay starting pitcher James Shields drilled Crisp at the plate, which led to another bench-clearing brawl between the two teams.

The two squads have clashed two more times in the playoffs, most recently in 2021 when the Red Sox won the AL Division Series, 3–1. As division rivals, the two teams roughly play 20 times a year. In the 2021 regular season, the Rays won 11 out of 19 regular season games, including three out of four series against the Red Sox in the later half of the season.

The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays combined have won eight AL East division titles between 2008–2021.

Notable players who have made significant impacts in the Rays’ and Red Sox’s series history include Pedro Martínez, Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, and James Shields.

When Do the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox Play Next?

Tampa Bay Rays tickets and Boston Red Sox tickets can be found on their respective team pages.

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Where Do the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox Play?

The Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park, located in Boston, Massachusetts. The park opened in 1912 and is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Fenway has hosted the World Series 10 times, with the Red Sox winning seven of them.

The Tampa Bay Rays play at Tropicana Field, located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The park opened in 1990 and is the only domed stadium in Major League Baseball that is not air-conditioned.

Other MLB Rivalries

American LeagueNational LeagueInterleague
Boston Red Sox vs. New York YankeesChicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee BrewersBaltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay RaysChicago Cubs vs. St. Louis CardinalsLos Angeles Angels vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Chicago White Sox vs. Milwaukee TwinsLos Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco GiantsNew York Mets vs. New York Yankees
Houston Astros vs. Texas RangersNew York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets

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