SEATTLE (AP) — When new general manager Jerry Dipoto went about rebuilding the Seattle Mariners in the offseason, he bet heavily on the rebound.

Dipoto believed the Mariners could be revamped without spending heavily in free agency through shrewd acquisitions of players who struggled in 2015 or had perhaps fallen out of favor with their former club.

Through the first six weeks of the season, that bet is paying off.

After completing a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay, the Mariners are 21-13, their best start since 2003. They find themselves in the rare position of being in first place in the AL West into the middle of May and are starting to energize a fan base that's grown apathetic during the longest playoff drought of any team in baseball.