The Seattle Mariners fan group is desperate for a winner. On the strength of a 17-11 record, including winning 8 of the last 11 games, fans are beginning to feel the excitement of the baseball season.
To all these Mariners fans, I say good for you. You should be excited. However, you should also be self-aware. Self-love is a good thing, but so too is self-awareness. and the overwhelming evidence points to one fact: the schedule has been kind to Seattle.
How can I say this? After all the early days off, and weather issues in Minnesota, and only playing 11 of 28 games at home, how have the Mariners benefited at all? By playing lousy teams at the right time.
Entering the games on May 2nd, the combined record of the Mariners 8 opponents is a whopping 103-132. Yes, the Mariners opponents are 29 games under .500. This is a winning percentage of .438. Yikes.
In fact, of the Mariners 8 opponents, only 3 made the playoffs in 2017. Three of the other 5 have Top 9 picks in the 2018 Draft. In addition, Seattle has only played 11 games against those 2 teams.
Now here comes the test for people who only read the headline versus those who read the whole article: This is actually a good thing. No, it really is. In the 13 games against Houston, Cleveland, and Minnesota, Seattle has a respectable 7-6 record.
This, of course, includes a 5-2 record against Cleveland, a team that won 102 games in 2017. Using basic math, this leaves us with a Mariners team with a 10-5 record against the non-playoff teams they have faced. A .667 winning percentage is representative of winning 2 games in a best of 3. In other words, winning the series.
So yes, the Mariners have caught a break in the schedule, only a fool would deny it. However, unlike many teams of the past, Seattle has capitalized on it in 2018.
The schedule lays out well for the Mariners in May as well. They will play Oakland 5 more times, get 6 games against the Rangers and 3 against Detroit. They get to face a struggling Twins team 4 times as well.
Seattle will get a good test this weekend when the Angels come to town and they will have to travel to Toronto for a 3 game set. Aside from this 6 game stretch, the Mariners remaining opponents in May have a combined .422 winning percentage.
Seattle will need to bank as many wins as they can in this stretch. For in June, they will face the Angels, Yankees, and Red Sox for 13 games in 14 days.
In summary, yes Seattle caught a break in the schedule. Yet, they sure did take advantage of it. We still can’t know for sure how good the Mariners are. But what we can say is they are beating up on bad teams, and that is a great sign.