Chopcast: NL East overview

The NL East is considered a two-team race. But could the Phillies spoil the party? Our team discusses.

ATLANTA -- FOX Sports national baseball writer John Paul Morosi caused a bit of a stir earlier in the week with an opinion released via Twitter: the Philadelphia Phillies will finish ahead of the Atlanta Braves.

Now, this type of thinking is the equivalent of swimming upstream in terms of NL East predictions for 2013, as the division is generally considered to be a two-team race between the Braves and Nationals. Based on the immediate response, plenty of folks informed Morosi of this.

But there were some valid points made about the prospect of Philadelphia making a run -- the rotation features three aces, Chase Utley is healthy for the first time in three spring trainings, the infield features some of the league's more recognizable names -- and brought to light the fact that both Atlanta and Washington will not just be conceded the divisional race. Even Braves catcher Brian McCann offered a fair warning about the Phillies.

So, with that in mind, here's a few highlights from this episode of the Chopcast:

-- The Phillies are an aging team, but one with plenty of (perhaps former) star power. What are the keys to the team making a postseason run?

-- Could the Mets or Marlins make any type of noise this season? (Hint: the quick answer for the Marlins is to begin laughing.)

-- Would the Marlins be better served throwing out a five-man rotation from the top contestants in MLB Network's "The Next Knuckler"?

-- Bottom line: Should the Braves and/or Nationals be concerned with any other teams in the division other than each?

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