Which AL East Foe Has Been the Biggest Surprise?

The Tampa Bay Rays enter Tuesday’s contests with the best record in the MLB. The defending champion New York Yankees are right on their heels, just a 1/2 game back in second place.

The Red Sox, at 17-16 and 5 1/2 games back, are treading water in fourth place. Their struggles may be the most surprising story of the 2010 MLB season thus far, but which one of their opponents have been the biggest surprise: the Blue Jays, Rays, or Yankees?

Coming into the season — much like every other season — the Sox knew the AL East would be a dogfight from start to finish. The Rays were AL Champs in 2008, and the Yankees finally returned to glory in November of last year when they hoisted the World Series trophy for the first time since 2000.

Tampa had a surprisingly down 2009 season and failed to make the postseason, but this year, Joe Maddon‘s crew has sprinted out of the gate thanks to a balanced lineup, a deep pitching staff and the addition of closer Rafael Soriano.

The Yankees beefed up their defense and lineup with the addition center fielder Curtis Granderson, while also adding a potentially lethal arm in Javier Vazquez. It should be to no one’s surprise that the Yanks are neck-and-neck for the best record in baseball.

But separating the Sox from these two AL East powers are the Toronto Blue Jays, who hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the fourth-place Boston club. The Jays, who dealt ace Roy Halladay in the offseason, have shocked the division with their road dominance (12-5) and have the second-most runs scored in the AL.

Ken from Warwick, RI wants to know: Which AL East foe has been the biggest surprise so far? 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.

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