St. Louis Cardinals: The Competition Revisited

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New York Mets

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Laugh all you want (#LOLMets), but the once hapless New York Mets will remain a threat to the St. Louis Cardinals and every other National League team until New York loses some of that great young pitching they have, whether to free agency or injuries. Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz form one of the top rotations in the big leagues, collectively posting the third lowest WHIP (1.15) and fifth most strikeouts (891) in baseball last year.

What’s even more amazing about the Mets is they have another potential stud in Zach Wheeler who’s set to be the fifth starter in this rotation when he returns from Tommy John surgery in June or July. So pitching is not their problem.

The big question is that offensive. Will catcher Travis d’Arnaud build on his very good 2015 and last an entire season without injury? (Likely) Will left fielder Michael Conforto blossom into the hitter everyone in New York is hoping he’ll be? (Close to it, probably) And how about new shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who turned around in his career in Tampa Bay last year? (Ask me tomorrow) Is their new second baseman, Neil Walker, worth getting excited about? (No. No he’s not.)

Next: Possible Replacements for Yadier Molina

Meanwhile, the Mets’ savior from last season, Yoenis Cespedes, is still floating around in the free agency market. Could a reunion happen in the next few weeks? Here’s the thing about the Mets, though. With starting pitching like that, it may not matter.