The Seattle Mariners have been in the playoff picture for most of the season, and with five weeks remaining, they have become favorites to play in the Wild Card game.
The Mariners are currently tied in the Wild Card standings with the Detroit Tigers, both being six games back of the Oakland Athletics for the top seed. However, the Mariners and Tigers have been going in opposite directions as of late. The Tigers are 4-6 in the franchise’s last ten games, and the Mariners have gone 7-3. The two teams played in a series this past weekend, and the Mariners showed they were a better team, taking two out of three.
The Mariners offense has been their biggest flaw all season, but the lineup has been putting things together, led in large part by Robinson Cano. The run production of late is certainly helping the teams brilliant pitching staff stay as calm as ever. The teams 2.94 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and .224 BAA all lead MLB, and the pitching staff is looking even better. Last night, Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight excellent innings, striking out eleven.
The other competitors in the Wild Card are simply not playing as the Mariners. The New York Yankees have a lot of concerns and their late game debacles against the Houston Astros showed that. The Cleveland Indians have been playing better baseball as of late, but have not shown they are real contenders with Seattle being four and half back, and Seattle not looking to cool down anytime soon.
The Tigers are simply not the same team many thought they would be when they acquired David Price at the trade deadline, and they look like a team that has more questions than answers at this point in time. However, if one team were to give Seattle a run for their money, one would have to believe it would be Detroit. They have experience on their side, and they are not out of the running for their own division at this time, but they have to get out of this slump and the veterans know how to do that.