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3 key moves to the Mets' hot start

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The New York Mets have the best record in baseball at 12-3. What has gotten them off to this hot start?

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have a 12-3 record to start the 2015 season and now have the best record in baseball. No, that isn't a typo. Flushing's favorite team has won ten in a row, nine of them at home.

Their start is tied for the best in franchise history, matching what the 1986 Mets achieved. If that year sounds familiar to some, it should. That was the last time the New York Mets won the World Series.

A team that only won 79 games a year ago has transformed into a confident, talented group that has taken the league by storm, finding themselves atop the majors with the best record. And it's not like winning 10 in a row is some small sample size anomaly, either:

Despite the injuries piling up -- All-Star third-baseman David Wright hitting the DL, lefty Jerry Blevins out for at least 6 weeks, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud out for three -- the Mets continue to win. How have they put themselves in this position?

1. The return of Matt Harvey

It cannot be overstated what the return of Matt Harvey has done for the Mets rotation. His presence at the top of the rotation gives the Mets a massive amount of depth, so much that top pitching prospect Rafael Montero hasn't been able to crack the rotation.

Harvey has picked up right where he left off in 2013, starting the year 3-0 and creating a buzz in Flushing whenever the 'Dark Knight' takes the mound.

2. Michael Cuddyer's bat has added needed depth, for now

In years past, the biggest problem with Mets teams has been offensive production. Wright has tried to do it all on his own, hurting himself in the process. Lucas Duda is emerging as a star and they are getting hitting from other spots.

The biggest addition was Michael Cuddyer, who has slotted into the four spot, allowing Wright to move to the two hole and just focus on getting on base and hitting line drives instead of home runs.

3. Wilmer Flores, shortstop

It wasn't the dream scenario. Almost (every?) Mets pundit and most die-hard fans would have told you that the Mets would acquire a shortstop in some form. Whether that was signing Jed Lowrie or trading for Troy Tulowitzki, it was assumed that they would do something.

Well, spring camp broke and Wilmer Flores was pegged as the guy. Known for his hitting, his defense was the concern. While he did have a shaky defensive start, it hasn't been bad enough to slow this Mets team. Instead, Flores' bat shows why he is in the big leagues, providing timely hitting at the bottom of the Mets lineup with a .819 OPS -- 6th best among shortstops.

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Matt Harvey has returned to the rotation, giving the Mets more depth in the rotation. Cuddyer was brought in and lets Wright and Duda do their thing in the lineup, and the Wilmer Flores shortstop experiment hasn't backfired, yet. Add those three things to a hot start from a now-injured Travis d'Arnaud and you have the making of a 10 game win streak.

What should give Mets fans hope is that they are continuing this streak now with Wright and d'Arnaud on the disabled-list, with Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy not hitting as well as they should be and with a bullpen that is being reshuffled after an injury to Jerry Blevins. If and when all these pieces click, the Mets and their fans could be in for a fun season -- and for the first time since 2006, playoff baseball.