On April 3, every team in Major League Baseball has the same chance of taking home a division title and ultimately a World Series championship.
While one can assume that a team like the Washington Nationals won't have a snowball's chance of winning its division, there is always a team like the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays that seemingly comes out of nowhere and takes the world by surprise.
The Rays are not nearly as under the radar as they have been in years previous, but after missing the playoffs last year, maybe people have been writing the Rays off as possible one-year wonders, with Stuart Sternberg promising to slash the payroll from an all-time high of around $74 million to the much more Ray-esque figure of less than $60 million.
With the impending free agency of both Carl Crawford and Carlos Peña, it has become an almost do-or-die year for these Rays.
Even though the Red Sox added John Lackey and Adrian Beltre, while the Yankees traded for Curtis Granderson and Javier Vazquez, it would be unwise to count out the ball team from St. Pete.
Here are five compelling reasons why you shouldn't count the Rays out of the AL East race this year.