The greatest team in baseball history is playing on Friday

Baseball season is finally here again, and Mets fans have reason to be excited

Baseball fans rejoice, Opening Day is here
Baseball fans rejoice, Opening Day is here / Erik McGregor/GettyImages
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It may have been delayed due to weather, but Opening Day is finally here. Forget managerial changes and front office hires, forget the hot stove, forget the free agents that got away, and forget all the rumor and speculation. It's time to play some baseball.

Opening Day is a special time for baseball fans everywhere, but especially so for New York Mets fans. That's because for at least this one day every year, they can say that they are watching the greatest team to ever play.

Many people would cite the 1927 Yankees or the Big Red Machine as the greatest baseball team ever, but they would be wrong. That honor belongs to the Opening Day Mets, and if you don't believe me, check the record books.

In their 62 seasons of existence to this point, the Mets are 41-21 on Opening Day, which is equal to a 107-win pace over an entire baseball season. A phenomenal record, to be sure, and one that would lead the league most years, but not quite good enough to be labeled as the best team ever. Take away the first eight years in franchise history, though, when the Mets lost every Opening Day game they played (including to start the 1969 World Series-winning season), and you're left with a 41-13 record, which is better than a .750 winning percentage. This extrapolates out to a 123-win pace over a full 162-game season, which would be seven wins better than the winningest season in Major League Baseball history.

What makes the Mets so good on Opening Day?

Honestly, this part is a mystery. Whether the Mets have been good, bad, or somewhere in between over the course of the season, they usually find a way to start each campaign 1-0. Part of this is having legendary pitchers such as Tom Seaver, Doc Gooden, Johan Santana, and Jacob deGrom taking the mound, but they've have also won behind Tylor Megill, Jon Niese, and Mike Torrez.

Cynical Mets fans would say that the team just likes to get our hopes up early on before crushing them later in the year, but I prefer to look at it in a different light. I truly believe that no fanbase in baseball gets more invested in their team than Mets fans. When the Mets are good, they turn the Yankees, the most historic franchise in sports, into back-page news. Who else could do that? This is the team that invented "Ya gotta believe." If we can't find a reason for optimism at the beginning of the season, when can we?

The Mets' longest Opening Day winning streak is nine games, which they accomplished from 1975-83, part of an 18-2 Opening Day stretch that lasted through 1994. The present-day Mets have won six of seven to begin the season and two straight after opening up with a 5-3 win over the Marlins last year, and will look to extend that streak to three when they take on the Brewers later today.

There have been precious few times that the Mets could legitimately claim to have the best team in baseball. On Opening Day, though, there's nobody better. We can't explain it, but we'll take it. Play ball!

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