Mariners’ Playoff Race: Where Seattle stands after big series win

Sep 13, 2023, 3:44 PM | Updated: 6:50 pm

Seattle Mariners Teoscar Hernández...

Teoscar Hernández of the Seattle Mariners celebrates an RBI single on Sept. 13, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The playoff race really is coming down to the wire, and the Seattle Mariners gave themselves a boost with a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.

Julio’s RBI double, go-ahead run leads Mariners past Angels

The win didn’t just help the Mariners in the playoff race, but it gave them a much-needed series win after a disastrous 3-7 road trip to start the month of September.

The Mariners are now 81-65, which has them alone in the third American League wild card spot.

Also on Wednesday, the Texas Rangers handled the Toronto Blue Jays 10-0 in Game 3 of a four-game set that has major implications for the Mariners. The series finale comes Thursday, when the Mariners have an off day before hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game series.

Seattle Mariners Notebook: How Woo came up big; Kelenic’s other foot

The Mariners have a bit more cushion over the Blue Jays after Wednesday’s action, sitting a full game ahead of Toronto for the AL’s last playoff spot. The two teams were tied in terms of wins and losses entering Wednesday, but the Mariners currently own a tiebreaker over Toronto due to their respective records against their own divisions. That’s the second tiebreaker for playoff standings after head-to-head record. The Mariners and Blue Jays split their season series 3-3.

Texas, meanwhile, sits a half-game ahead of Seattle for the second wild card at 81-64, but if the Rangers lose to Toronto on Thursday, the M’s would move into a tie with them. The Rangers currently hold the tiebreaker over the Mariners due to a better head-to-head record (five wins for Texas to one for Seattle), but the teams have seven games remaining against each other over the final 10 games of the year.

Something to note with the Rangers is they are expected to be without ace Max Scherzer for the rest of the season and into the playoffs due to a strained shoulder muscle. The Rangers acquired the future Hall of Famer at the trade deadline.

That’s just the wild card race, though.

Current MLB Standings: Division | Wild Card

The American League West remains anything but from out of reach for the Mariners, who are now 1 1/2 games back of the Astros, who came just two outs short of a combined no-hitter in a 6-2 win over the Oakland A’s on Wednesday evening. Oakland, which has the second-worst record in baseball at 46-100, gave the M’s and Rangers some surprising help by winning the first two games in Houston to take the series.

Continuing the theme of tiebreakers, the Mariners clinched a season series win over the Astros earlier this year (the M’s are currently 8-2 head-to-head against Houston), which gives the M’s a boost in either the AL West race or the wild card race should the need arise.

Like Seattle, Houston is off Thursday, then opens a series Friday against the Kansas City Royals, who at 45-101 are the only MLB team with a worse record than Oakland.

Here’s a look at the standings after the Mariners’ win over the Angels.

American League Standings

AL West

Houston: 83-64, +1 on Texas, +1.5 on Seattle
Texas: 81-64, -1 to Houston
Seattle: 81-65, -1.5 to Houston, -0.5 behind Texas

Wild Card (top three make playoffs)

Tampa Bay: 90-57, +9.5 on Toronto
Texas: 81-64, +1.5 on Toronto
Seattle: 81-65, +1 on Toronto
Toronto: 80-66, -1 to Seattle

More on the Seattle Mariners

Start times for two Seattle Mariners playoff chase games changed
ESPN’s Jeff Passan weighs in on what Mariners’ George Kirby said
Luis Torrens returns to Mariners, O’Keefe to paternity list
Drayer: With eyes opened, Mariners’ Kelenic makes his return
Drayer: Seattle Mariners’ Kirby shows ‘better understanding’ after comments

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