The 2012 season has been full of surprises; the roller coaster ride that’s been the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies, the disappointing performances of the Los Angeles Angels and Miami Marlins, the unexpected success of the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.
While all of these were unexpected occurrences to some degree, arguably the most surprising storylines of the 2012 season have been the emergences of the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics.
Baltimore finished 2011 in last place of the American League East for the fourth time in four years. They entered the season with higher expectations than usual coming off an impressive end to the 2010 campaign, but they still couldn’t surpass the 70-win plateau.
The Athletics failed to improve on their .500 finish in 2010 last year, going 74-88 which was good enough for third place in the American League West. Expectations were not high entering 2012, as the club traded closer Andrew Bailey and top young starter Trevor Cahill in December.
Given the circumstances surrounding the two clubs, which team’s playoff appearance is more surprising; the A’s or O’s?