-Even with an under .500 Sept they were one of the best teams in the baseball from mid to late May on.
- THere are 3 WCs and a more balanced schedule. Im not overly concerned about the rest of the division. Winning the division is ideal but its far from necessary.
- Rookies could struggle or step back but young guys are also the ones most likely to make big jumps and overachieve compared to expectations. Its a two way street.
Your first point is a little off. Their first winning month was June, 14-12. They weren't a hot team until July. That lasted thru Aug, before they cooled off. That's not to be argumentative, just clarifying. But it's still a plus, since they'll be starting with that team that got lit for 2 months.
Point two is a good one, the extra WC slot helps. And even though the schedule is more balanced, they're still chasing better teams, who just happen to be in their division. So I don't agree that that the more balanced schedule helps.
Agreed, rookies can go either way. But, anecdotally speaking (because I haven't actually researched it) they tend to struggle more than excel. But that's the fun of young players, the unknown allows for optimism.