The New York Mets will look to go the extra mile this season and win it all, after falling in the World Series last season to the Kansas City Royals.
They are poised to do so, having arguably the best starting pitchers in the MLB. If all of them remain healthy, the team will have a rotation of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler. Bartolo Colon will likely take the fifth spot in the rotation until Wheeler is set to come back.
Once Wheeler is ready, the Mets will have four flamethrowing right-handers with good movement on their breaking pitches, and an equally talented lefty in Matz.
The team also potentially has its best bullpen in years, anchored by closer Jeurys Familia, who saved 43 games last season. Right-hander Addison Reed and left-hander specialist Antonio Bastardo will be the team’s primary bridges from its starter to Familia in a close game.
The Mets were able to maintain most of their lineup that led to their offensive renaissance in the second half of last season.
After batting very poorly for the first half of last season, the Mets traded for five-tool outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who instantly provided the team an offensive boost. They also got catcher Travis d’Arnaud and their captain, third baseman David Wright, back from their injuries. Cespedes re-signed with the club, while Wright and d’Arnaud will be healthy entering 2016.
The team still has slugging first baseman Lucas Duda to provide power. Left-handed hitter Michael Conforto will be entering his sophomore season looking to build on his rookie performance when he hit nine home runs and drove in 26 runs in 56 games played. Right-fielder Curtis Granderson and shortstop Wilmer Flores will also be back in their positions after their strong 2015 seasons.
The one notable difference is at second base. Neil Walker will replace fan-favorite Daniel Murphy, who signed with the Mets’ rivals, the Washington Nationals. Walker is a similar hitter to Murphy in terms of average and power, but should provide a defensive upgrade at second.
The Mets will be a tough team to beat this season. If their offense provides enough juice, their starting pitching should be able to go late into games before handing it over to a reliable bullpen. 2016 may be the year the World Series comes back to New York.