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What to make of the New York Mets?

The New York Mets began the season on fire, including an 11-game winning streak. It appeared the Amazins’ would contend for a playoff berth, perhaps even the National League East title with the Miami Marlins cratering and the Washington Nationals struggling to find their bearings.

Fast forward to the morning of June 10, and the Mets find themselves in the thick of both aforementioned races at 31-28. New York and Washington are tied atop the division, with the Atlanta Braves as the closest trailer at 2.5 games behind. However, there are some issues looming for the Mets. Despite having a very strong starting staff on paper, the run differential is even. Additionally, third baseman David Wright was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and might not be able to return to baseball activities this year, if ever. For those unaware, it is a narrowing of the spinal column.

Without Wright, there is a massive hole in New York’s lineup. The Mets were relying on having a decent dose of power in the middle of the order with Wright, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda and free-agent signing Michael Cuddyer. To this point, the quartet has combined for 24 home runs, with Duda’s nine leading the way. New York has gotten an unexpected power source in Wilmer Flores, who has also cracked nine home runs with 25 RBI.

The offense has been decent, with men like Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada hitting for solid averages at .283 and .284, respectively. Wright was hitting .333 in eight games to start the season before going on the disabled list, while Duda is hitting a respectable .272. Center fielder Juan Lagares does not have much punch at the plate but is a defensive wizard and is hitting .268 with a sub-par .299 on-base percentage.

On the mound, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard are absolutely lights out, along with last season’s NL Rookie of the Year, Jacob deGrom. The second-year man deGrom has a 7-4 mark with a 2.42 ERA while Harvey is 6-3 with a  3.05 ERA. Syndergaard has made only six starts after being called up from the minors but looks like a keeper with 34 strikeouts and only six walks in 34.2 innings.

The issues has been the back end of the rotation. Bartolo Colon has a team-high eight wins, but he also sports a 4.52 ERA and has allowed 80 hits in 75.2 innings. Jonathan Niese has also been poor, amassing a 4.43 ERA and a -0.6 Wins Above Replacement. Finally, Dillon Gee hasn’t pitched up to expectations with a 4.50 ERA in six starts, with only two qualifying as quality.

It’s tough to say which way the Mets are going to go. They are tied for first place in the NL East, yet only three games above .500. The power is lacking in the lineup, but unexpected performances are popping up throughout. The rotation has precocious youngsters but under-performing veterans.

Will New York see the season swing one way or the other? Or will 2015 be a maddening campaign that sees the Mets flounder through the campaign?

It’s impossible to tell, although the pitching is solid. Smart money always takes the pitching.

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