MLB Preview 2011: Analyzing the Rays’ Key Matchups in the AL East

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MLB Preview 2011: Analyzing the Rays’ Key Matchups in the AL East
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

This year's American League East is going to be a very hotly contested division. With all five teams easily capable of putting together .500 or above seasons, the order of finish could be dictated by just a few games.

For the Tampa Bay Rays, the new look of the franchise gives them a new set of advantages and disadvantages over their division rivals. While the other teams within the division spent big bucks this offseason, the Rays were able to cut their payroll from over $70 million to approximately $42 million without sacrificing a tremendous amount of production.

While this is a great feat in terms of business, the results on the field will determine how smart the Rays really are. Here are some of the big matchup advantages and disadvantages the Rays have going into the 2011 season.

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