MLB New York Mets

Top 5 Reasons Why New York Mets Are Off to an Over .500 Start

New York Mets: 5 Reasons Why They are Off to an Over .500 Start

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With an unforgiving 22-game stretch to start the season, not many expected the New York Mets to come out of it over .500. Not only did the Mets do just that, but they followed up that stretch with a series win over the Miami Marlins, putting themselves at a early-season high watermark of three games over .500 (14-11). Although there's still a lot of season left to be played, see what factors have contributed most to the Mets' surprising start.

5. The Resurgence of Travis d'Arnaud

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5. The Resurgence of Travis d'Arnaud

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Travis d'Arnaud started out the season zero for his first 15, going hitless in the season's first five games. However, since that inauspicious beginning, d'Arnaud has gone 14-for-46, good for a .304 average. While d'Arnaud's power has yet to show beyond one home run he's hit, he's hitting the ball hard all over the field and has lived up to his billing as a fine defensive catcher with an aptitude for framing pitches.

4. The Emergence of Lucas Duda

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4. The Emergence of Lucas Duda

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Although the Mets entered the season with a three-man platoon at first base, they quickly decided that they were going to turn the full-time reins over to Lucas Duda which has paid dividends. New York further ensured Duda's place at first base by dealing his main competitor, Ike Davis, to Pittsburgh. Duda has responded with an OPS of .781 that is second on the team, and he leads the club with four home runs.

3. The Stabilization of the Bullpen

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3. The Stabilization of the Bullpen

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After the first week of the season, the Mets' bullpen was a mess and it looked like it would sabotage the season once again. However, since that rough start, New York has gotten some consistent innings out of Carlos Torres, Gonzalez Germen, new closer Kyle Farnsworth and in a surprising turn Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had never pitched out of the bullpen in the majors before. As a result, the Mets are holding more leads and winning more games.

2. Improved Defense

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2. Improved Defense

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One of the downfalls of the Mets' season in 2013 was their mediocre defense. The team finished in the bottom half of the league in errors and fielding percentage, respectively, and frequently looked sloppy out in the field. This season, however, New York has the fourth least amount of errors in the early going, even with the absence of their best defender, Juan Lagares, to a hamstring injury. If the Mets can keep this up, it'll be a good sign.

1. Starting Pitching

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1. Starting Pitching

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Nothing has contributed more to the Mets' surprising start than the starting rotation. A few clunkers aside, the rotation has kept the team in most games, which is no small feat given how much the offense has struggled thus far. Every one of the five Mets starters has taken his turn shutting down the opposition, and true to the preseason prognostications, this has been far and away the strongest part of the team.