Tampa Bay Rays’ Success the Biggest Surprise of 2010

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Tampa Bay Rays' Success the Biggest Surprise of 2010 Well, one thing is for sure: At this point, everyone expects the Yankees to be good.

Tuesday’s kgb Poll Question asked fans which AL East opponent’s success the biggest surprise in 2010, and not a single fan voted by way of the pinstripes. Apparently, the defending world champions’ 21-10 record hasn’t shocked anyone.

What has been surprising to some, however, is Boston’s position in fourth place in the AL East standings — and the fact that both the Blue Jays and the Rays are ahead of them. Of the fans polled, 40 percent believe Toronto is the biggest surprise thus far, while 60 percent believe the Rays are the biggest surprise of the year.

While the Rays were fierce in 2008, when they trumped Boston in seven games for the American League crown, they had a down year in 2009, missing the playoffs after such a strong campaign just one year earlier. Now, Joe Maddon‘s crew seems to have rediscovered its form of two seasons ago, sitting atop the division standings.

Entering Tuesday’s action, the Rays’ 22-10 record was not only best in the AL East — it was the best in baseball. Though the team boasts a .252 batting average — eighth in the league — its 2.83 team ERA is best. And with Matt Garza, James Shields and David Price leading the way, that doesn’t figure to change any time soon.

There’s still time for you to cast your vote. To vote for the Blue Jays, text ‘SOX1’ to 542542. Text ‘SOX2’ to 542542 to vote for the Rays. Text ‘SOX3’ to 542542 to pick the Yankees.

Throughout the 2010 Red Sox season, NESN and kgb are teaming up to offer Red Sox fans poll questions during NESN’s pregame shows. Viewers of Olympia Sports presents The Boston Globe Red Sox Gameday Live are encouraged to text in their answer during the “NESN.com Question of the Day Powered by kgb” segment. Fans can text their answers to 542542. Votes are $0.99 each and standard message and data rates may apply.

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