Seattle Mariners’ Potential Wild Card Scenarios

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Aug 19, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) signs autographs for fans during pre game warm ups before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

“If the Mariners were to make the playoffs, which potential Wild Card opponent would give them the best chance of advancing to the ALDS?”

For most of the season, this question had an obvious answer. Given the choice between the runaway freight train from Oakland and an Angels team who, despite comfortably holding the top Wild Card spot, still looked as likely to fold as chase down the A’s, Los Angeles looked infinitely more vulnerable simply because finding holes in the A’s roster seemed an impossible task.

This was reinforced by Oakland’s additions of Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester, which solidified the “ace” role that is so often looked at as decisive in win-or-go-home situations.

But an offensive drought from the tenants coupled with a 8-1 surge from L.A. has flipped the script: the Angels now own the top position in the AL West, while Oakland sits 5.5 games up on second-place Detroit in the Wild Card.

Whether the new division leaders can sustain this run of form, especially now that Garrett Richards is done for the year, remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain: the West is most certainly a two or even three team race, if the M’s can rattle off a long winning streak.

But if we make the assumption that Seattle ends up with the second Wild Card slot (though it is of course anything but certain) and that each team is able to throw its ace in the one-game playoff, which division foe would be the best road draw for the M’s?