Mariners can make hay with favorable June schedule
The Mariners have rolled to five wins in a row and pushed their record to three games above .500. Seattle has pulled into a tie with Baltimore for the second wild-card despite a grueling early-season schedule.
According to ESPN.com, the Mariners have had to fight through the fourth-hardest schedule in baseball this season.
1. Astros, .519
2. Indians, .517
3. Twins, .515
4. Mariners, .513
5. Braves, .512
Strangely, the Mariners actually boast a better record against teams above .500 (18-12) than against teams below .500 (13-16). They own the same record against the Athletics (5-5) as they do against the Astros despite a 12-game gap between those two teams.
Turning their fortunes around against teams below .500 will tell the Mariners’ story for June. There are 24 games left in the month and the Mariners do not have a team on their schedule above .500 in that entire stretch with the exception of a three-game set at home against the Yankees next week. Fourteen of the next 24 games will also take place at the friendly confines of Safeco Field.
• The Mariners’ bullpen owns a 1.29 ERA in the last 20 games. They have issued just 13 bases on balls while allowing only 33 hits in 49 innings and have fanned 51 hitters in that span.
• Greg Holland (Royals), Glen Perkins (Twins) and Fernando Rodney (Mariners) are all tied for the American League lead in saves with 16.
• Michael Saunders is hitting .425 with two homers, 12 RBIs, a double and two triples in the 10 starts he’s made in the second slot in the order.
• Kyle Seager was hitting .156 on April 22 with no home runs and two RBIs. He has hit .314 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs in the 37 games since then.
• The Mariners own the fourth-best run differential in the American League: Athletics, plus-120; Blue Jays, plus-51; Angels, plus-29; Mariners, plus-25; Detroit, plus-5; Orioles, even.
• According to ESPN, here are the current chances that the following American League teams have of making the playoffs:
Blue Jays, 86.0
White Sox, 21.3
Red Sox, 17.7