By Jacob Kornhauser on April 19, 2014
Every year there are plenty of teams that emerge at the beginning of the season. Not all of them are for real, but some of them are. This season has been no different as several surprise teams have played admirably in the first few weeks of the season. Here are three such teams that are contenders and three teams that are pretenders.
The Royals have been rebuilding for a while, but last year was the first season they came close to the playoffs. Now this season, they could take a bigger step and actually reach the playoffs. With all of their core hitters developing at around the same pace, they could earn a playoff spot in October.
The Blue Jays are hovering around .500 this season, but aren't going to stay there long. They don't have quite enough pitching to contend long-term, although their lineup has proven to be solid. Playing in the tough American League East, the Blue Jays would have to improve even more to have a shot at the playoffs.
The Brewers are in first place in the National League Central and are rolling so far. They are legit because they have a deep lineup as well as a deep rotation and one of the most effective bullpens in the league so far. Even though they have plenty of division rivals to beat out, all of the pieces are in place in Milwaukee.
As always, the Rockies have plenty of hitting this season. However, they have very little pitching, which is always their Achilles heel. Without any sort of pitching, it will be near impossible for the Rockies to contend in the National League West.
After winning the World Series in 2012, the Giants majorly floundered last season. This season they seem to be their old selves. Their starting rotation and bullpen are very solid and if they can get timely hitting, they will be in the thick of the playoff race come late September.
The Mets are sitting around .500, but don't seem like a team that can sustain any sort of success. Their best pitcher, Matt Harvey, is out for the season and they just traded away power hitter Ike Davis. If they were smart, they'd accelerate the rebuilding process so they can contend in 2015 and beyond.
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