Seattle Mariners 2021 Wild Card Chase Breakdown, Pt. 1

John Brewer
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 29: Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates with teammates in the dugout after his two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at T-Mobile Park on August 29, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 29: Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates with teammates in the dugout after his two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at T-Mobile Park on August 29, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Mariners: No Gerrit Cole
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – JULY 29: Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees walks off the field after the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 29, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees (78-61, Last 10: 2-8)

The Yankees were the hottest team in baseball only a short time ago, but have since gone the other direction.  They’re currently staring down the barrel of a 4-game sweep by the red-hot Blue Jays, and haven’t won a series since August 24th against Atlanta.  Losing to the Angels (1-2) and the Orioles (1-2) is shocking, considering the talent this roster has particularly in the middle of the lineup.  It was also reported yesterday that Gerrit Cole is currently out with a hamstring injury, which simply makes things that much more difficult for the Yankees coming into the final few weeks of the season.

Below is New York’s upcoming schedule and what the Mariners can realistically expect:

  1. Final game against TOR: Given the amount on the line for both teams, it’s hard to imagine the Yankees being gifted this game.  Their recent form also suggests this is potentially a 4-game sweep for the Blue Jays.  I’m going to lean the way of the Jay and say…down go the Pinstripes.
    Prediction: 0W
  2. 1G vs. MIN: The Twins are not having one of their better seasons, but might catch a lucky break as this was scheduled to be Cole’s next start.  If the Yankees have to trot out a bullpen start, things get really interesting from a Mariners fan’s perspective.  We know all too well how tricky bullpen starts are, both for that day and the ramifications on following games.  Prediction: 0W
  3. 3G @ BAL: This series feels like a get-right series for the Yankees.  Let’s face it: they’re not going to continue to lose like they have been.  John Means does have a start in this series, so that likely prevents a series sweep.  I’ll certainly be rooting for the Orioles, since they just took a series in the Bronx a few weeks back, but it’s hard to predict that happening again.  Prediction: 2 wins
  4. 3G vs. CLE: Plesac starting in Game 2 gives us Mariners fans hope of a potentially pivotal rubber match, as the Yankees currently have Kluber slated to throw in Game 1.
    Prediction: 2 wins
  5. 3G vs. TEX: How poetic would it be for the Rangers to claim so many close games from us earlier in the season, only to have them provide us with a series win against the Yankees when we need it most?  That’s baseball, baby.
    Prediction: 1 win.  Go…Rangers?

The Yankees have a brutal closing schedule, with their final 9 games equally split among Boston, Toronto, and Tampa Bay.  Given the predictions above, the Yankees would be at 83 wins and likely out of the second Wild Card spot.  It’s possible the Yankees don’t clear 90 wins this season, which I think every Yankee fan would consider an epic failure.

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