Sandy Alderson believes the Mets have the potential to improve by 10 wins

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After finishing at 79-83 in 2014, the Mets had two clear needs this offseason to emerge as legitimate contenders: A corner outfielder and a shortstop. They got off to an interesting start by signing Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million contract (and surrendering their first-round pick for 2015 in the process) in November, but nothing of note has happened since unless you count John Mayberry, Jr. They have come up empty-handed in their efforts to acquire an upgrade over Wilmer Flores at shortstop and they still have a surplus of starting pitchers. Still, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is confident about their chances in 2015.

During an appearance on MLB Network’s “High Heat” with Christopher Russo today, Alderson said that one of the reasons they have been fairly quiet this winter is because he believes they have players in place who give them the potential to improve by 10 wins from 2014. He also made an interesting comparison between Cal Ripken, Jr. and Flores. Check out the full video below:

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One of the other reasons they were “fairly quiet” this winter could be that they don’t have the money to bring in other players, but fine, we’ll roll with that. So where are those 10 wins going to come from? Well, they appear to be banking on the addition of Cuddyer and the return of Matt Harvey combined with improvement from their young players and rebounds from David Wright and Curtis Granderson. Could everything click to get them to 89 wins and a playoff berth? Maybe, but there’s also the chance for regression from players like Lucas Duda and Jacob deGrom. It works both ways. By failing to address their obvious need at shortstop, the Mets haven’t really distinguished themselves from a large group of teams who figure to be in the mix for a Wild Card spot.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.