The Seattle Mariners have a fantastic future ahead.
The team’s rebuild is coming together quicker than expected, and it looks like Seattle could be a perennial title contender in the near future.
Very few people expected the Mariners to contend for a playoff bid in 2021, but with a little more than a month remaining in the regular season, they’re still firmly in the mix.
Let’s take a look at the team’s playoff chances.
The Wild Card Picture
The Mariners are just three games out of a Wild Card bid at the moment.
They’re going to have to leapfrog multiple teams to move into a playoff spot, but that’s not an impossible task.
Here’s what the standings look like entering play on Wednesday:
- Wild Card Spot No. 1: New York Yankees
- Wild Card Spot No. 2: Boston Red Sox
- In The Hunt: Oakland Athletics (2 GB of Boston)
- In The Hunt: Mariners (3 GB of Boston)
Seattle still has games remaining against the Athletics and Red Sox, so the team is going to have a chance to make up substantial ground in those games.
The Mariners Have Help On The Way
Most teams add reinforcements at the trade deadline, but the Mariners are going to add a handful of key players in the coming days and weeks.
Kyle Lewis has missed the past several months with a knee injury.
He is expected to return extremely soon, and when he does, Seattle is going to get a huge boost.
Lewis is the reigning American League Rookie of the Year, and the Mariners are missing his production.
Seattle’s lackluster lineup will greatly benefit from having him back.
Last season, he batted .262 with an OPS of .801 and 11 home runs over 58 games.
He racked up a WAR of 1.8, which would have put him on pace for a fantastic 5.0 WAR over a full 162-game season.
Needless to say, he’s going to be a welcome addition.
Give me September playoff chase with Kyle Lewis coming back as a hero.
— William Lofton (@wloft96) August 24, 2021
Both players have been out for multiple months, and Seattle’s pitching staff will look a lot better upon their respective returns.
Dunn was working 3.75 ERA over 11 starts before hitting the IL with a shoulder issue.
He was very reliable, allowing three runs or fewer in 10 of his 11 outings.
Sheffield, on the other hand, struggled this season before hitting the IL.
He had a 6.48 ERA over 15 starts.
The Mariners are certainly hoping that he will channel his 2020 self (when he posted a 3.58 ERA) upon his return this season.
Baseball Reference only gives the Mariners a 5.2 percent chance of reaching the postseason, but the team’s chances might actually be better than that.
With a weak remaining schedule, head-to-head opportunities with Wild Card foes still ahead, and reinforcements on the way, Seattle is not dead yet.
The final month of the regular season should be an awesome one for Mariners fans.
Folks in Washington are hoping to see their team crack the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
if this mariners team snaps the 19 year playoff drought i will actually cry like a baby and i do not care who knows it
— bobby boy (@Bosby_) August 25, 2021
It has been far too long.