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Can the Marlins prevail in the challenging NL East?

     The San Diego Padres' victory over the Nationals earlier this afternoon aside, it is starting to become clear that -- as we approach the one-quarter mark of the season -- the National League East is superior to the other NL divisions. Four of the five N.L. East members have winning records, and the one team that does not -- the Phillies -- has won the past five division titles and cannot be discounted.

     Going on winning percentage alone, the East (.559) tops all divisions -- N.L. as well as A.L. The N.L. East has gone 32-22 against N.L. West teams and 36-25 against the N.L. Central. Within the division, the Mets have the best record at 14-7. The worst? The Marlins at 3-8.

     Asked Ozzie Guillen what he thought would decide the division, and he pointed to pitching.

     "Whoever stays healthy the most and whoever pitches better," Guillen said. "If you look at each team's lineups, we're pretty strong. We're not showing it yet. I think at the end of the day is who pitches better because the hitting is almost equal (from one team to the next)."

      Do you agree? How do you think the Marlins rank in what could be the toughest division in the majors?

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