The Seattle Mariners have been one of MLB‘s best teams since July 1 and one of the main reasons has been the play of Dustin Ackley. The Mariners have had great pitching over the last few years, but finally the offense is starting to catch up and Ackley has played a major role.
The Mariners blanked the Texas Rangers, 5-0, at Safeco Field Tuesday. Coming into the game, Ackley has been cruising on offense with a .317 batting average, a .356 OBP to go along with 52 hits, 14 doubles, a triple, five homers, five stolen bases and 27 RBIs in 45 games. Ackley has come up big in the second half of the season, and what makes his contributions so helpful is how every part of the team benefits in some way.
Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager are the team’s most important offensive players, and both have the WAR to back that up. Seager has been incredible this year with a 5.2 overall WAR and a solid 1.6 defensive WAR at third base. Cano’s overall WAR is at 5.4. There is no true way to evaluate Ackley’s contributions to that of Seager and Cano, but anytime another player adds offense that was probably not expected, it certainly does not hurt.
Ackley will likely fall off because of regression to the mean, but if he can stay confident at the plate and help the Mariners earn an AL Wild Card spot, the pitching will not be the only thing opposing teams have to worry about.