By Pete Schwichtenberg @schwick26_pete on August 18, 2014
While every team enters Opening Day with high hopes, there are teams that most people write off. However, there are always teams that exceed every expectation. Here is a look at five teams that have surprised.
In the tough American League East, many looked past the Baltimore Orioles, but this season they have played better than ever. They currently hold a seven game lead in the division and are the hottest team in baseball in the second half.
Although they have the best slugger in the game, many expected the Miami Marlins to do nothing in the NL. With Jose Fernandez going down, expectations were lowered even more. But with just over a six weeks left in the season, the Marlins are still alive in the Wild Card race. While they are a long shot to make the playoffs, even competing this season is a positive for Miami.
Being in the middle of a difficult AL West, the Mariners got zero offseason attention, but the best rotation in baseball has kept them in the race. Although they are third in the division, the team look poised to wrap up a Wild Card spot over the final weeks.
Last year, the Milwaukee Brewers were not among the three teams that qualified for the playoffs in the NL Central. This year, they have controlled the division from the start. After running through the NL West over the past two weeks, the Brewers showed they plan to remain in the mix until season's end.
For years, the Kansas City Royals have been a team with a lot of promise, but not many results on the field. Over the second half of the season, they have finally seen positive results. They have passed the Detroit Tigers in the division and look to remain in control over the coming weeks.
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