The Miami Marlins Are Officially the Team to Beat in the NL East

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The Miami Marlins Are Officially the Team to Beat in the NL East
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Marlins are right up there with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as one of the hottest teams in Major League Baseball.

After Wednesday night's 5-3 win over the Washington Nationals, the Marlins closed out the month of May with a 21-8 record, breaking the team record for most wins in a month.

Giancarlo Stanton has finally come around, tying the team record for home runs in May, with 12, as well as the team record for most RBI in May, with 30.

At 29-22, the Marlins are now just 0.5 games back of the 29-21 Nationals. We could see a shift in power come mid-June, though, as the Marlins look like they are finally performing up to the level that was expected of them.

The Nationals may still have the third-best record in baseball, but it's clear that the Marlins are currently the superior team. After losing back-to-back games to the Fish, it appears as if the Nationals may have some stiff competition for the top spot in the NL East.

At 28-23, the New York Mets have been one of the 2012 season's early surprises. That being said, it's highly unlikely that they can keep it up.

Their rotation is not built for an October playoff run, so it will be difficult for them to match up with the likes of the Nationals or Marlins.

The Atlanta Braves seem like they are no longer a factor in the division, especially after losing seven straight games during this past week or so.

They have loads of potential, but they may have already put themselves in a pretty deep hole after the season's first two months.

The Philadelphia Phillies were the preseason favorites to win the division crown, but injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay have since derailed their season.

Unless something changes fast, the Phillies will likely be on the outside looking in come October.

When it comes down to it, I think the Marlins have a very good shot at winning the NL East. They'll be given stiff competition from the Nationals, but the Marlins have shown this month that they are currently the team to beat.

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