U is for Unlikely Contenders all around baseball this season. By now, the Tampa Bay Rays aren’t as unlikely as they are improbable. The Kansas City Royals – now they’re unlikely and are an injury or two to Detroit away from being AL Central favorites. The Marlins and Nationals aren’t exactly perennial challengers. The moderate-payroll Reds and Rockies should return to 2010 form. And even San Diego, with an infusion of young talent on the way, could surprise a year early.
We're probably going to see this a lot. No one will stick their neck out and pick the Royals over the Tigers, but you'll see a lot of "not that I'm picking them to win the AL Central, don't get me wrong, its probably not going to happen but... a few injuries in Detroit... a couple pitchers emerge... eh, crazier things have happened". Just so they can be on the record as seeing it coming if the stars all align.