They are also still alive for a playoff spot. Of course, it would take quite a run for them to claim that spot. They are 5.5 games behind the Houston Astros for the second wild card spot in the American League and there are four other teams between the Astros and M’s. Still, the season isn’t over yet.
Wednesday, 9/23, @KC (Roenis Elias vs. Yordano Ventura)
Thursday, 9/24, @KC (James Paxton vs. Johnny Cueto)
Friday, 9/25, @L.A. Angels (King Felix vs. Garrett Richards)
Saturday, 9/26, @L.A. Angels (Vidal Nuno vs. Andrew Heaney)
Sunday, 9/27, @L.A. Angels (Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Matt Shoemaker)
Monday, 9/28, vs. Houston (Roenis Elias vs. Lance McCullers)
Tuesday, 9/29, vs. Houston (James Paxton vs. Mike Fiers)
Wednesday, 9/30, vs. Houston (King Felix vs. Scott Kazmir)
Friday, 10/2, vs. Oakland (Taijuan Walker vs. Cody Martin)
Saturday, 10/3, vs. Oakland (Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Sean Nolin)
Sunday, 10/4, vs. Oakland (Roenis Elias vs. Felix Doubront)
The Mariners have 11 games left. The team they are trying to catch, the Houston Astros, has 10 games left. The Mariners play three games against the Astros at home early next week. To be realistic, the Mariners need to sweep those three games. A sweep would mean the Mariners need to make up 2.5 games in their other eight games, while the Astros would have seven more games.
So, if the Mariners sweep the Astros at Safeco and go 6-2 in their games against their non-Astros opponents, they would finish with a record of 83-79. For their part in this hypothetical scenario the Astros would be swept by the Mariners and would then have to go 3-4 in their other seven games. This would result in a tie between the Mariners and Astros and they would have a one-game playoff to determine who gets the second wild card.
Of course, the other teams still ahead of the Mariners would have to fall into place for this to work. If the Mariners go 9-2 to finish out the year, the Twins could do no better than 5-7. The Angels would have to be 5-6 or worse. The Indians could go 8-5 and still not finish ahead of the M’s. And the Orioles would have to win 9 of their final 12 to get to the M’s hypothetical 83 wins.
Winning their next two games against the Kansas City Royals would give the Mariners hope as they head into three games against the Angels followed by three against the Astros, both teams ahead of them in the race for the playoffs. Right now, Felix Hernandez would start the first game against the Angels and the final game against the Astros, with Hisashi Iwakuma also getting a start against the Angels. Those games would be key to their hopes.
First things first: beat Kansas City the next two days. Roenis Elias, you’re up.