Where Mariners stand in playoff race after series loss to Astros

Sep 27, 2023, 9:59 PM | Updated: 10:32 pm

Seattle Mariners...

Houston's Jeremy Pena turns a double play over Ty France of the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 27, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners were unable to take a much-needed series against the Houston Astros, losing 8-3 on Wednesday to fall further behind in the playoff race with just four games to go.

Benches clear, Astros laugh last with 8-3 win over Mariners

A win would have gotten the M’s back to holding an American League wild card spot. Instead, Seattle enters its final series of the year 85-73 and 1.5 games back of the Astros for the third and final wild card.

The Mariners have four games remaining at home against the Texas Rangers while the Astros have Thursday off before wrapping up their season with three games in Arizona against the Diamondbacks.

Let’s take a quick look at the standings and also map out the Mariners’ path to a playoff berth, which naturally got more difficult with Wednesday’s loss.

Playoff standings

• AL Wild Card Standings (top three make playoffs)

Tampa Bay: 97-62, +11.5 on Seattle
Toronto: 87-71, +2 on Seattle
Houston: 87-72, +1.5 on Seattle
Seattle: 85-73, -1.5 to Houston

• AL West Standings

Texas: 89-69, +2.5 on Houston
Houston: 87-72, -2 to Texas
Seattle: 85-73, -3.5 to Texas

The Seattle Mariners’ path to the playoffs

After yet another September series loss, the Mariners’ postseason path is that much more difficult entering the final weekend of the year.

What could help the Mariners is that they have a tiebreaker over the Astros, though they’ll need to win and get some help from the Diamondbacks in order to leap past the Astros.

With the Mariners trailing Houston entering the final series of the year, here’s how the M’s can clinch a playoff spot:

• If the Mariners win just one of four against Texas, they would not be able to catch the Astros.

• If the Mariners split with Texas, the Astros would need to lose all three games in Arizona.

• If the Mariners win three games against the Rangers, the Astros would need to lose two to the Diamondbacks.

• If the Mariners sweep all four games against the Rangers, the Astros would need to lose one game to the Diamondbacks.

It should also be noted that the Mariners own the tiebreaker over the Blue Jays, who are two games above the Mariners in the wild card standings after a 6-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

Seattle catching Toronto is a tad more difficult at this point in time than catching Houston. The Blue Jays wrap up their series with New York on Thursday before hosting Tampa Bay for three games to finish the regular season. That means to surpass Toronto in the standings, the Mariners must win two more games over their final four games than the Blue Jays do.

The AL’s second wild card will go to either Tampa Bay or Baltimore (whichever team finishes second in the AL East) to begin the playoffs, while the third wild card will head to Minnesota to take on the AL Central champion Twins.

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