3 reasons why the Mets could be a handful for the Dodgers this weekend

The Mets have turned their season around after an 0-5 start. Here's why they can keep the good times rolling in L.A.
Pete Alonso and Starling Marte have keyed the Mets' resurgence
Pete Alonso and Starling Marte have keyed the Mets' resurgence / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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It wouldn't be a New York Mets season if it didn't feel like a non-stop roller coaster ride. The Mets kicked off the Carlos Mendoza era with a whimper in stumbling to an 0-5 start, but since then, they've looked like one of the best teams in baseball. The Amazins have now won four straight series, and this week's home sweep over the Pirates has gotten them above .500 for the first time this year. At 10-8, things are looking considerably better than they were two weeks ago.

The fact that the Mets have put together this recent run of excellent play is all the more impressive when one considers that they've played the most difficult schedule in the league to date. This weekend will be even tougher, though, as the Dodgers, one of the favorites to win the World Series, are waiting to welcome the Mets to Chavez Ravine for a three-game series.

The Dodgers won 100 games last year, but after a disastrous sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks in the NLDS, they went all-in on chasing another World Series by landing the two biggest prizes of the offseason, Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. L.A. also traded for Rays starter Tyler Glasnow and signed former Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez in free agency, further enhancing an already stacked roster.

The Dodgers' season has been the complete inverse of the Mets', as they started hot and have slumped since. L.A. opened the year 6-1 by beating up the Cardinals and Giants, but a 2-5 record in their last seven games has dropped them to 12-9 on the year.

Dave Roberts manages arguably the most formidable roster in the league, but the Mets are playing better baseball right now. Let's look at three reasons to like the Mets as the teams prepare for their first meeting of the season.

The Mets can beat the Dodgers because their bullpen has been so good

Much of the focus on the Mets bullpen coming into the year was on the return of All-Star closer Edwin Diaz. Diaz missed the entire 2023 season after tearing his patellar tendon in the World Baseball Classic last March, and his return was supposed to bring the Mets bullpen back to respectability after the team finished in the bottom 10 in bullpen ERA without him last year.

Diaz has only given up one run on seven innings pitched, and he already has four saves on the year, but the Mets bullpen has been so much more than just one man. Nearly everyone has contributed to what has been the best bullpen in the National League, which has helped the Mets rank tied for second in the majors in comeback wins with seven.

Returnees Adam Ottavino, Brooks Raley, and Drew Smith have been outstanding, with just three earned runs allowed in over 21 innings pitched. Smith even got the save Saturday to give Diaz a day of rest, mowing the Pirates down 1-2-3 to close out a 3-1 win.

While the recognizable faces in the Mets bullpen have all been great, the newcomers have been just as impressive. Jake Diekman had a rough outing against the Reds nearly two weeks ago, but he's been reliable otherwise. The revelation of the bullpen, though, has been Reed Garrett, who has been absolutely dusting opposing hitters with a mid-90s fastball, a wipeout sweeper, and a devastating splitter. Garrett has struck out more than half the batters he's faced, and has yet to allow a run on the season.

In the modern era of baseball where starters rarely last past the fifth inning, having a dependable bullpen on is one of the most valuable luxuries a team can have. Even when the Mets have fallen behind, they've been able to claw back thanks to a set of relievers that can limit the damage and keep them in games. As long as the bullpen pitches this well, the Mets are never out of it.