To this point, the Red Sox have been one of the most pleasant surprises in the 2013 MLB season.
From 69 wins and a last place finish a year ago, the Fenway squad has amassed 77 victories with still over a month to go and holds a 1.5 game lead in the AL East.
Where there is upside of unexpected success, there also lay the withering idea of debilitating disappointment.
Chris Gasper and Marc Bertrand took a look at the gloomier side of things in Major League Baseball this season, each offering three teams who have most climbed short of expectations.
Gasper pegged the Angels, Blue Jays and Nationals. Bertrand agreed on the first two, but gave up the Giants as his third team.
Gasper explained his rational for the recently created squad in Washington D.C.
"Last year they won 98 games, actually had the best record in Major League Baseball, they brought that core back, they addressed some of their areas of need which included closer," Gasper said. "They bring Rafael Soriano, they traded for Denard Span, and still they're not getting it done, 20th in Major League Baseball in runs with a lineup that has Bryce Harper in it."
"On paper these guys should be good, and they're a .500 baseball team and they're clearly not going to make the playoffs, huge disappointment in the nation's capital."
As for Bertrand, he decided to delve into what exactly has plagued Toronto in 2013.
"The Blue Jays, I expected them to contend in the American League East, yeah I guess not. This team, high-priced, they increased their payroll more than 50 percent of what it was in 2012, that was the biggest increase of any team in baseball last offseason. And it's clearly not paying off."
"They are 20-37 since their 11-game win streak in June, everyone thought at the end of June that the Blue Jays were going to turn this around, they had won 11 straight. 20-37, just a cool 17 games under .500 since that point," Bertrand said. "The starters they've acquired, whether it be R.A. Dickey or Mark Buerhle or Josh Johnson, they all have ERAs over 4.00, Johnson's over 6.00, those guys are all former all-stars, they were really supposed to bolster that starting rotation and it hasn't been the case and the Blue Jays have been very bad because of it."
Do you agree with these picks and explanations? Offer your thoughts in the comments section.