May 8, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Fernando Rodney (56) and second baseman Robinson Cano (22) and shortstop Brad Miller (5) celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Royals at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Kansas City 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

A Quick State of the Mariners After 37 Games


The Seattle Mariners are almost a quarter of the way through the 2014 season. At present they stand at 19-18, 3 1/2 games behind the AL West leading Oakland Athletics. But what other sorts of fun can we have with their numbers so far this season?

First, let’s break down the win-loss totals for the entire AL West:

Oakland Athletics: currently 23-15. After 162 games: 98 wins, 64 losses.

Los Angeles Angels: currently 19-17. After 162 games: 85.5 wins, 76.5 losses.

Seattle Mariners: currently 19-18. After 162 games: 83 wins, 79 losses.

Texas Rangers: currently 19-19. After 162 games: 81 wins, 81 losses.

Houston Astros: currently 12-26. After 162 games: 51 wins, 111 losses. (ouch).

 

So if the season played out mathematically according to these first 37-38 games, the Mariners would finish somewhere around .500, a fair position for them to be slated at this far into the season.

But do their numbers suggest they should be better? Or worse?

Interestingly enough, with 152 runs scored and 151 runs allowed, the pythagorean expectation for the Mariners is on par with their current record: 19-18. So basically, the runs scored and the runs allowed say the Mariners are right about where statistics would expect them to be after 37 games.

A few things to consider with that though: the Mariners have played in games versus teams like the Astros where they’ve given up huge chunks of late runs that really didn’t impact the game– though yesterday’s loss to the Royals shows when it can play a major factor.

The M’s could very well be sitting at 20 wins, they could also be at 16 or 17 depending on a few calls or miraculous hitting by Kyle Seager.

But seeing the 8-game losing streak there early in the season makes you wonder if the M’s are poised to play consistently better and find themselves winning more than 83 games this season.

Sure, the team batting line is .231/.295/.367, good enough for 26th in baseball. And the team ERA is 3.58, sitting at 11th best in baseball, 3rd best in the AL behind only Detroit and Oakland.

So if those two numbers meet in the middle the M’s are in fact a roughly .500 team.

With these numbers in mind it begs the question: do the Mariners make moves this season on the trade front? Dan explored a few early potential trade options yesterday, but it’s no stretch of the imagination that the M’s make a few trades to solidify a team that needs to find 7-10 more wins to be in the playoff hunt. Yes, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton should eventually get back to the rotation and further improve pitching depth. But they will be coming off of injuries, and rookie Roenis Elias may not have the endurance to go the full season.

And with the outfield too… they are all young and unproven and inconsistent so far in their careers. What’s wrong with going out and finding an outfield bat and a starter for the rotation, and even one more arm for the ‘Pen?

 

The M’s look to finish in the 81-83 win range this season, according to the numbers. Will they take that next step to push it closer to 90 and make the playoffs? We shall see. This coming homestand will go a long way to determining the outlook of this team.

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  • Bob Gordon

    I think one has juxtapose the record to date against some of the background situation the Mariners have been in.

    — Overwhelmingly disproportionate number of road games. The club has traveled farther than any other club thus far, including the two who jetted to Australia.

    — 3 of 5 projected starters having missed most of the season to date (and in the case of Taijuan, all of it). Yes, Elias and Young have been pleasant surprises in their stead…but we’ve also had some Beavan/Maurer/Ramirez starts (with predictable results) that we wouldn’t have otherwise had to endure.

    — A 3-game slump from Felix. Granted, this “slump” resulted in still-competitive outings which left the team in a position to win (and in one case, they did so). My point is that the M’s haven’t consistently had Felix’ best pitching for several weeks now, we know that at some point he will return to form and dominate, and there’s no particular reason to think that rebound wouldn’t occur soon.

    — The somewhat befuddling “Almonte leadoff experiment” through much of this period. At least it’s over…and hopefully won’t be replaced by what threatens to become an extended “Brad Miller experiment”.

    — Underperforming starts from Seager, Hart, and Miller. Even Cano, in terms of power if not contact. Seager has already broken his season-starting slump. Hart and Miller may or may not do the same soon, but we should certainly expect that they will…and there’s no reason to think that they’re going to perform any worse (mainly because that would pretty much be impossible).

    There’s a lot of Mariners problems which can be reasonably projected to significantly improve (starting pitching in general, Felix in particular, Hart & Miller hitting, Cano power). There is very little which can be expected to significantly decline (with the possible exception of Chris Young’s ERA).

    With all this going against them, the Mariners are STILL a hair above .500. And hard to say that they’ve been “lucky” to achieve that. So yeah, their record probably accurately reflects the team…but I’m optimistic that the team will improve over coming weeks, and the record along with it.