This team is probably as good as last year's, but with the improved competition within the division IMO it's not a lock to make the playoffs.
I'd say the team is slightly better. The offense and defense has improved, with practically the same quality in the rotation, and a decrease in value from the bullpen, but that is the least important part of the game in terms of offense, defense, starting pitching, relief pitching.
Frankly, even if we did I wonder how far we would get.We can't manufacture runs. Of our four best RH hitters three of them are all or nothing swingers. The only thing we could really depend on in a short series is our defense.
It's the playoffs; anything can happen & nothing can be expected in such a short sample size.
I still see the rotation as a BIG question mark
Can I ask why? 80% of the rotation is of the same above-average #3 quality. Hammel has been the weak spot, but his career suggests his is slightly better than his numbers so far, and is a standard back of the rotation starter.