5 MLB Teams That Will Surprise in 2012

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5 MLB Teams That Will Surprise in 2012
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Every year, there's always that one team. That one team that defies all expectations and just starts...winning. No one projects them as Wild Cards, much less division winners, but somehow they get it done.

This phenomenon has been happening a lot more frequently lately. It started in 2008, when the perennial cellar-dwellers in the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays, put it all together and took the division title from the Yankees and Red Sox, eventually even wrapping up the American League championship.  

In 2009, it was the Minnesota Twins who fought into September to steal the division from the Tigers in Game 163. In 2010, the San Diego Padres won 90 games and fought all the way down to the final game of the season. Finally, in 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals pulled off a September miracle (as did the Rays) and won a Fall Classic for the ages.

So, who will be that team in 2012? There are a number of teams that have the talent to pull it off, but who you just might not think about when you picture the playoffs.  It might just be the best year to be one of these teams in 2012, as a new Wild Card has been added to each league, further enhancing the underdogs' chances at making a surprisingly successful postseason run.

The way I see it, five teams have that "special something" that, if they can harness it, will shock the baseball world and bring them to the promised land in 2012.

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