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Surprise Teams of 2012

The 2012 season has not been without its fair share of fireworks, butthere have been several surprises along the way as well. Most of thesurprises are found among the division leaders. Some of the perennialpowerhouses are not towering above the competition like they usually do,and there are some new teams that have emerged. Up to this point thebiggest surprise teams have been the Dodgers, Indians, Nationals, andOrioles, but which of these teams have the best chance to win theirdivision? Let's explore...

Los Angeles Dodgers:

Main reason they could: Weak NL West

Main reason they could NOT: Lack of lineup depth and protection behind Matt Kemp (outside of Ethier)

Cleveland Indians:

Main reason they could: Great top of the rotation and back end of thebullpen

Main reason they could NOT: Lack of lineup pop and depth

Washington Nationals:

Main reason they could: Best pitching staff in MLB

Main reason they could NOT: Lack of veteran presence and experience

Baltimore Orioles:

Main reason they could: Sustained power hitting and bullpen

Main reason they could NOT: Level of high-quality competition within the division

My choice for the team most likely to pull it off: Los Angeles Dodgers

I think that the Washington Nationals definitely have what it takes tomake the Postseason, especially with such a dominant pitching staff, buttheir division still has several teams that can legitimately push for thetitle. Thus, I think that the Dodgers will take advantage of a weakNL West as they ride Kemp (potentially an MVP) and Kershaw (potentiallythe Cy Young) to a title. However, in an MLB season, there will be manytwists and turns, and a lot of teams are one major injury away from arough rest of the year. It will be interesting to watch!

That's my choice, but I want to hear from you! Which of these foursurprise teams do you think has the best chance to win their division?Tweet me @KyleOKC and @MLBFanCave with your responses!

The 2012 season has not been without its fair share of fireworks, butthere have been several surprises along the way as well. Most of thesurprises are found among the division leaders. Some of the perennialpowerhouses are not towering above the competition like they usually do,and there are some new teams that have emerged. Up to this point thebiggest surprise teams have been the Dodgers, Indians, Nationals, andOrioles, but which of these teams have the best chance to win theirdivision? Let's explore...

Los Angeles Dodgers:

Main reason they could: Weak NL West

Main reason they could NOT: Lack of lineup depth and protection behind Matt Kemp (outside of Ethier)

Cleveland Indians:

Main reason they could: Great top of the rotation and back end of thebullpen

Main reason they could NOT: Lack of lineup pop and depth

Washington Nationals:

Main reason they could: Best pitching staff in MLB

Main reason they could NOT: Lack of veteran presence and experience

Baltimore Orioles:

Main reason they could: Sustained power hitting and bullpen

Main reason they could NOT: Level of high-quality competition within the division

My choice for the team most likely to pull it off: Los Angeles Dodgers

I think that the Washington Nationals definitely have what it takes tomake the Postseason, especially with such a dominant pitching staff, buttheir division still has several teams that can legitimately push for thetitle. Thus, I think that the Dodgers will take advantage of a weakNL West as they ride Kemp (potentially an MVP) and Kershaw (potentiallythe Cy Young) to a title. However, in an MLB season, there will be manytwists and turns, and a lot of teams are one major injury away from arough rest of the year. It will be interesting to watch!

That's my choice, but I want to hear from you! Which of these foursurprise teams do you think has the best chance to win their division?Tweet me @KyleOKC and @MLBFanCave with your responses!