Seattle Mariners Control Their Own American League Playoff Destiny

By Gregory Philson
Hisashi Iwakuma
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners have one of the best records in the American League, but because they play in the AL West, there is no margin of error to slip up when the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics are the best teams in all of MLB.

The Mariners sent one of their best pitchers on the mound against the Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Friday. Hisashi Iwakuma went seven innings, gave up two runs on six hits, and chalked up a trio of strikeouts in a no decision.

The Mariners are third in the AL West and while they remain with just an outside chance of catching up with the Angels and Athletics, the American League Wild Cards are nowhere near set.

Luckily for the Mariners, Felix Hernandez is having yet another Cy Young worthy type of year and Robinson Cano — while not hitting home runs — is one of the best hitters in the league this season at .341, and he has a solid 3.9 W.A.R. according to Baseball Reference. Cano also has backup with All-Star Kyle Seager turning into one of the best young stars in the AL. Seager actually has a higher W.A.R. than Cano at 4.1, and he is one of the best third baseman in all of baseball. Considering his salary of $540,000, he actually may be the most valuable third baseman, right up there with the Athletics’ Josh Donaldson. Seager is driving in runs at a solid pace (63 RBI), and he is also a very study defensive player. The Mariners have not had two hitters like Cano and Seager to rely on in quite some time.

The Mariners are currently in the second Wild Card spot, but with the Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees not too far off, there little room for a slip up. The biggest problem the Mariners face is having to play the Angels and the A’s. The Mariners must stay steady against those teams and not slip against the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros the remainder of the way.

The Mariners look like a team that could some damage with their top line pitching from the starters all the way to closer Fernando Rodney, but they have to get to the playoffs first.

Gregory T. Philson is an MLB contributing writer at Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on GoogleRead more here.

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