After the Phillies signed Cliff Lee in December, they were the hot pick to win the World Series.
In March, the trendy selection became the Braves after it was apparent that Chase Utley would be lost indefinitely. Now, there is a shift toward the Marlins as a possible division winner. The Fish are in second place after starting 21-14, the team’s best start in its brief history, which includes two World Series titles.

“Florida is going to have a say in the NL East,” ESPN analyst Orel Hershiser said.

Fredi Gonzalez agrees. The current Atlanta skipper led the Marlins to more wins than any manager in franchise history before being fired in 2010.

“The Marlins are a heck of a team with a lot of talent,” Gonzalez said. “You would be foolish to underestimate them.”

Last fall, the Marlins traded their best slugger, Dan Uggla, to Atlanta. Last summer, the team waived Cody Ross, who made headlines with San Francisco.

“That’s an incredible amount to subtract, but they’re still going strong,” Shane Victorino said. “They’re still a tough team. We’re reminded of that constantly during the season.”