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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Dylan Moore and J.P. Crawford of the Seattle Mariners celebrate.
BUFFALO, NEW YORK – JUNE 30: Dylan Moore #25 of the Seattle Mariners and J.P. Crawford #3 celebrate after Moore hit a three-run home run. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images) /

Seattle Mariners (76-64, Last 10: 7-3)

As it stands, we’re 2.5G behind the Yankees and 1G back from the Blue Jays.  The travel/rest day today is well-deserved after winning 4 of 7 against Arizona and Houston.  Yes, we should’ve won the series against Houston.  We didn’t – be a goldfish.  We have some massive games on the horizon, so let’s get down to it.

Here’s who we play, and how we need to do:

  1. 3G vs. ARI: We get the team we just swept a few days ago as a perfect setup series for what lies ahead.  As long as our guys can stay focused and not get caught looking ahead, we’ll take care of business.  If this turns into a trap series, and we get caught not paying attention to the series at hand, we’ll find ourselves in must-win situations a few days later.
    Prediction: 2 wins
  2. 3G vs. BOS: This is going to be a playoff series.  Get tickets, because this is a series we have to win.  I previously predicted that the Mariners would win this series 2-1, thanks to quality starts from Anderson and Gonzalez.  I stand by that.  I also think that we’re two missed pitches from a 3-series win streak heading into this game.
    Prediction: 2 wins
  3. 3G @ KC: We handed away a 4-game series at home against the Royals in late August, and you can bet the players will remember that for these games.  It helps to have Flexen scheduled for Game 1, but my eyes are on Kikuchi’s form for Game 2.  If Kikuchi continues his struggles, is it worth swapping him out for Sheffield?  The Mariners can’t fork over two series losses to the Royals and claim to be a playoff-caliber team, so I have to call this for the Mariners.
    Prediction: 2 wins
  4. 4G @ OAK: I predicted previously that we’d split the series against Oakland, but this feels like a series we can steal.  We play Oakland tough, and we’ll be on a serious heater if the previous predictions hold true.  As a Mariner fan, I’m rooting for a sweep.  Cautious optimism, friends.
    Prediction: 2 wins (don’t be surprised if we win this series)

I maintain that Seattle is one of the most underrated and underappreciated teams in baseball.  I’m fine with that.  If we can wrap this stretch of games as predicted above, we’ll be at between 84-85 wins and either in a 3-way tie with NYY and OAK or slightly ahead (this boils down to the series win in Oakland).  Our schedule down the stretch is as follows:  3G @ LAA, 3G vs. OAK, 3G vs. LAA.  Those are all seriously winnable games, as 2 series wins and no sweeps would put us at 89-90 wins and on the verge – then all we need is a little chaos.

I’m not going to say the usual “I could be wrong, we could fold and be irrelevant by mid-month” because I don’t believe it.  As a Mariners fan, I believe in this team and its ability to win series after series.  We held Houston to 3 runs in a 3-game series, with two shutouts.  We’ve won 2 of our last 3 series, and look poised to go on a run.  To hit 90 wins, we need to win that 4G series against Oakland to put us at the same win total as Boston and Toronto – it’s attainable.

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