Can the Seattle Mariners pass the Astros in the AL West to make the playoffs?
Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Don’t say it. The Seattle Mariners will finish in second place and make the playoffs.
The Mariners have not made the playoffs since 2001 when they won an MLB record 116 games. They have had a long and difficult wait to being competitive and I would know best as a Mariner fan.
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In 2020, the Mariners are not supposed to be good. It was another rebuild year in preparation for a big 2021 and 2022 with young talent in the farm system.
But, magically, the Mariners are in the playoff conversation thanks to the playoff expansion and the Houston Astros’ struggles.
Despite trading some key players at the trade deadline, the Mariners have clawed their way into third place in the AL West.
The Mariners do not have a realistic chance of making the playoffs finishing in third place in the AL West just because of the firepower in other divisions who will most likely take the Wild Card spot. But, all the Mariners have in their way is the Astros who are not far off.
In the final stretch of the season, the Mariners are set to play two games against the 23-24 Giants, a series against the red hot second place Padres, a series against the Astros, and finally a four-game series with the Athletics.
The Astros on the other hand will finish up the series against the Rangers, a series with the 17-31 Diamondbacks, series against the Mariners, and finally a four gamer with the Rangers again.
The Astros do have an easier schedule than the Mariners to finish off the season, but if the Mariners can win the series against the Astros it will make a huge difference.
But, the Mariners are playing better baseball as of late and have won nine out of the last fifteen games. The Astros on the other hand have only won five out of the last fifteen.
The 2017 World Series champions are on a cold streak and the Mariners have been slowly creeping up. I think the Mariners will be in second place in no time, putting pressure on the underperforming Astros.
But, wait. The Seattle Mariners aren’t supposed to be here just yet!
Led by rookie of the year candidate Kyle Lewis, hitting .295, slugging .494, ten home runs and 27 RBIs, the Mariners have a star in the making. He is not the only contributor for the underrated Mariners.
Seager is hitting .248, slugging .441, and has driven in 33 runs with seven homeruns. Gonzales is throwing a 3.49 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, and an 8.4 K/9.
Around these guys, GM Jerry Dipoto has brought in a lot of scrappy role players who can run, hit, and play defense…. sounds like a baseball player to me.
Don’t get me wrong, the Astros are still good and have big-name players like Alex Bregman. Jose Altuve made his return from the IL Tuesday but I am not convinced he will make a major impact upon his return.
The pressure is on the Astros. The Mariners have all the breathing room to relax and play good baseball. They were not supposed to be here.
Despite being young and inexperienced, sometimes that can give you an advantage in the regular season.
But the inexperience might hurt during the playoffs.
As a Mariners fan, I would be okay if we were knocked out of the playoffs immediately, but getting a taste of the playoffs for our young squad is a good learning lesson.
Besides, why would you want to cheer on the controversial Houston Astros to make the playoffs when they could be knocked off by some outcasts.