Ben Zobrist, Hellickson ready to lead Rays

Updated: March 30, 2011, 3:39 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
Perhaps some of you were a bit concerned about my mental health when I talked about how much I like the Tampa Bay Rays this season on a recent Baseball Today podcast. I even went so far as to name them my pick for the American League wild card, over a certain team that plays its home games in New York. Blasphemy! Hey, the Rays have won the division two of the past three seasons, and despite key defections to the team's core -- Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, the bullpen -- I'm expecting big things. And in general, when a team thrives, it also does so statistically, which helps fantasy owners.

Here are just a few reasons I like the Rays this season, and why fantasy owners can gain an advantage through their success: