For the first time since 2001, the Seattle Mariners head into their final series of the season in control of their own playoff destiny. With losses by the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night, the Mariners are now tied with the Red Sox for the second American League Wild Card spot, and the Blue Jays are one game back of both teams.
If the Mariners sweep the Los Angeles Angels this weekend, they will secure a spot in either the American League Wild Card game or a Wild Card play-in game.
The Mariners have won 11 of their last 13 games, but hopefully the magic doesn’t end there. If Seattle wins the rest of the games in their regular season, they will make their first postseason in 20 years. However, there’s a slight catch: their regular season may not end with game 162 on Sunday against the Angels.
Assuming the Mariners win their next three games, depending on how the Yankees and Red Sox do this weekend, there could be some tricky tiebreaker scenarios in place between the three teams for who ends up in the Wild Card spots. I encourage readers to check out our detailed post on potential tiebreaker scenarios, but in essence, fans should know that if there is any type of tie for the second Wild Card spot, there will need to be a play-in game.
The first play-in game would happen on Monday, but if another is required (i.e. if there are three teams tied for the two Wild Card spots), the second play-in game would happen on Tuesday, with Tuesday’s Wild Card game being pushed to Wednesday.
Some serious chaos could ensue after this weekend, but the good news is this: if the Mariners keep winning through the regular season and any potential play-in games, they will get to the playoffs.