Watch out, the New York Mets are hitting their stride.
The Mets potentially have the best rotation in baseball, consisting of Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Bartolo Colon, and Zack Wheeler when he returns. They stumbled out of the gate after dropping two out of three at home to both the Marlins and Phillies. But the National League Champs have since looked exactly like the team that was the most dominant team in baseball in August and September of 2015 on their way to the team’s first NL East crown since 2007.
New York’s rotation will always be phenomenal, but what differentiates this team from good and great is its offense. That offense has been sizzling lately. The Mets found their number three hitter for years to come in Michael Conforto, who is currently hitting .316/.422/.605. Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and the old captain, David Wright, are all mashing at the plate as well. The Mets have rocketed 17 home runs over their last five road games, and the Amazin’s have lost just one — a game in which they still posted five runs.
If that offense stays hot, along with the starting pitching and solid back of the bullpen led by underrated closer, Jeurys Familia, the Mets are one of the most, if not the most dangerous teams in baseball.
The schedule helps, too. The Mets are fortunate enough to play in the NL East, where the only major threat to dethrone the NL champs is the Washington Nationals. That means New York gets to face Philadelphia, Miami, and Atlanta six series each over the course of the season. It’s a luxury that the Nationals also have, but let’s face it, the Mets are the better team.
Yes, Washington has stormed out to a 10-3 start, but six of those wins alone are against the Atlanta Braves. Two more are against Philadelphia, and another against the Marlins. New manager Dusty Baker will have an influence on the veterans, and the Nats should be healthier than last season’s disabled list infestation, but Washington didn’t get better this winter.
Jordan Zimmermann and Denard Span are gone, and the Nationals swung and missed on free agents Jason Heyward, Cespedes, and Ben Zobrist. The lineup is powerful, but streaky and aging. The rotation will have to rely on Stephen Strasburg to stay healthy, a feat he has not reached in years. They’ll also need Tanner Roark, who had a 4.38 ERA last season, to be a valuable starter, Gio Gonzalez to not show his age, and Joe Ross to skip any sophomore mishaps that may occur.
The Mets won’t put up seven runs a game all season. But they’re also not like the team last May that was yearning to score seven a week. They’re the best team in the National League East, and baseball isn’t similar to other sports, because in baseball the best team always wins.
The cream rises to the top.
In the NL East, the cream will rise to the top. And the Mets will take home the National League East crown once again, and maybe, just maybe, a World Series crown.