With 36 games left in the 2022 season, the Seattle Mariners are in a position to make the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. How many more games do they need to win to lock it up?
It’s the end of August, and low and behold the Seattle Mariners are still in the playoff race. Words not heard around the Pacific Northwest for many moons. Not since the fall of 2001 have M’s fans had a team worth cheering for in the postseason. And even then, even with an American League record 116 wins, the Mariners failed to make the World Series.
And a rookie shall lead them
Fast forward 21 seasons to present-day T-Mobile Park. The Seattle Mariners are lighting up the Emerald City once again. Just like in 2001, the Mariners have a rookie leading the way and driving their success.
It feels like there is a different hero in each game, but Julio Rodriguez is the engine that pushes this team. His .269/.328/.471/.799 slash line with 20 home runs and 23 stolen bases, set a great pace. Other players are chipping in.
Ty France and J.P. Crawford carried the team early, along with some great pitching from Logan Gilbert. Eugenio Suarez provides a decent glove at the hot corner and brought along his hammer from Cincinnati as well.
Jesse Winker, while not exactly hitting as the M’s hoped, is second in the AL with 71 walks. Defending AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray has found a groove of sorts over his last few starts. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his last outing.
Over his last 40 games, Adam Frazier is batting .305. Pitcher George Kirby has performed very well in his rookie campaign, as well as the M”s try to manage his innings. Then there is the trade deadline acquisition of ace starter Luis Castillo, which has paid nice dividends so far.
How many W’s?
All this momentum the Mariners have but will it be enough to end the decades-long drought of playoff baseball in the PNW? Currently, they sit with a 68-57 record and a 2.5-game lead for the third and final American Wild Card spot. Of the 37 games left to play, how many wins will they need to make it in?
Baltimore probably won’t stay in the race until the end. Their remaining schedule is simply too hard with all the in-division games left for them. Besides, with the Blue Jays and the Rays occupying two of the three Wild Card spots, it’s hard to see the AL East putting four teams in.
The next closest teams to Seattle are the Twins and Chicago White Sox. But both may be closer to their own division title than catching the Mariners.
This puts the Seattle Mariners in a very nice position to end the drought finally. Another 22 wins in their last 37 games should be enough. That would give the Mariners a record of 90-72 and secures their spot in the dance.
In their immediate future, the M’s have six games left with Cleveland, three each with Atlanta and the White Sox, and a pair against San Diego. The good news is that 11 of those tough matchups are at T-Mobile. Even better, Seattle’s other 23 games are against the American League’s five worst teams, Oakland, Texas, Kansas City, LAA, and Detroit. They have a combined .406 winning percentage. Getting 22 wins seems very doable.