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Padres, A's, Nationals: Which Sleeper Team Could Be For Real?

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Padres, A's, Nationals: Which Sleeper Team Could Be For Real?

The 2010 Major League Baseball season is still young, but a glance at the standings reveals a few unexpected teams at or near the top as the weekend came to a close.

The San Diego Padres, Oakland A's, and Washington Nationals were all projected by pundits to be bottom feeders, but all find themselves turning heads with their strong starts.

All three teams have been amongst the worst in baseball over the past couple seasons.

Is this a temporary alignment of the sun, moon, and stars—or could any of them be for real and find themselves in the thick of things when September rolls around?

It has happened before.

After finishing with the worst record in baseball the year before, the Tampa Bay Rays captured the AL East and advanced to the World Series in 2008.

One year earlier, two former last place clubs found themselves competing against each other in the 2007 NLCS. The Colorado Rockies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks before the magical run ended in the Fall Classic at the hands of the Boston Red Sox.

The Atlanta Braves (1991), Minnesota Twins (1991), and Philadelphia Phillies (1993) all experienced the elation of going from worst to the World Series. The Twins took it one further when they were crowned champions of baseball.

And, interestingly, the Padres have already been down this path. After being a cellar dweller in 1997, Trevor Hoffman, Kevin Brown, and Greg Vaughn led them to the Fall Classic.

Could history repeat itself?

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