The Mariners have taken care of business throughout the first half of their four-game series against the Oakland Athletics, winning both games. They’ve drawn even with Oakland, and with 11 games left in the season, sit three games back of the second Wild Card spot currently held by the Toronto Blue Jays.
It seemed like a good time as any to take a look at the playoff odds that are out there, and see if they feel correct or not. We’ve done the same thing in the past, and have even done it with the power rankings. The power rankings haven’t been good to the Mariners, so I thought it would be a good idea to see if the playoff odds would treat Mariners and their fans any better.
Things don’t look great for the Mariners, but hope isn’t lost yet
Checking over with the great team from Fangraphs, it’s easy to see the playoff odds on their site. They’re also pretty detailed, giving you a handful of differing numbers from wild card all the way up to World Series.
The best news for Mariners fans is taking a look at the remainder of the schedule. Five of the 11 remaining games are against Oakland. If they can take care of them, and do it soundly (4-1 at least), then they put themselves in a great spot. That essentially knocks Oakland out of contention and slims the list of surrounding teams that need to falter for the Mariners to make it into the playoffs. The odds dropped precipitously after losing three series in a row.
Right now, those odds aren’t great. 1.4%. Compared to Oakland at 1.7%. That’s just to make the wildcard. It’s less than 0.1% for the Mariners to win the division since Oakland plays Houston six more times still. Seems odd to give Oakland a higher number with them playing Houston and the Mariners playing the Angels, but that’s how they have it. Is that a fair number though, with the Mariners sitting at 1.4%?
It’s probably a little low. Tampa is finishing up their series with the Blue Jays right now and has three against the Yankees to finish out the season. Root hard for the Rays to take care of business. Toronto has three against the Yankees right before Tampa does. Boston has three with the Yankees before that.
I lay this all out because there is definitely a path you can see where either Tampa and New York run roughshod through Toronto and Boston, opening up that second spot. I’m not sure there are enough games left for Boston to be caught since they are 4.5 up on Seattle.
The more hopeful scenario would be Boston taking care of business, as well as Tampa. Toronto and New York beat up on each other, and the door opens just enough for Seattle to sneak in. Where do those AL East teams sit currently, percentage-wise?
- Tampa – Clinched, but could fall to wild card
- Boston – 92.1% (91.0% for Wild Card)
- Toronto – 65.9%
- New York – 39.0%
The Yankees are 2.5 games ahead of Oakland and Seattle. Their number should probably be a little lower considering their remaining schedule (Boston, Toronto, Tampa). Some of that should trickle down to both Oakland and Seattle. Boston and Toronto both have a 10-6 lead over the Yankees in their season series, with Tampa having a 9-7 advantage.
Due to that, I think Seattle and Oakland should both sit a bit higher. If you are going to keep the AL East teams high because they’re all playing each other, the same can be said for the West Coast. I think if you play out the end of the season 15-20 times, the Mariners make the playoffs once. That’s why their odds should probably be in that 5-7% range. Even as high as 10%, and I wouldn’t argue too hard against it. No Trout, keeping Ohtani healthy, and the chance to beat Oakland a lot.
When it comes down to it, once again, it seems as if the Mariners are being undersold a bit. That’s been the standard for 2021 *cough 1977 cough*, and shouldn’t be a big surprise. The team has surprised the collective baseball world all season, and I know that even under 2%, I would feel foolish to count them out.