How the Mariners fit into the playoff picture at the MLB halfway point

We are at the halfway mark of the season, which is crazy because it felt like the season just started. Here's how the Mariners fit into the playoff picture
Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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NL Central

1st place team: Milwaukee Brewers (45-33)

The Brewers weren't necessarily expected to be leading the division. Craig Counsel darted for the Chicago Cubs in the offseason and they traded Corbin Burnes to the Baltimore Orioles. But somehow they find a way and lead the NL Central.

2nd place team: St. Louis Cardinals (39-37) 5 GB, WC2 +1 games

The St. Louis Cardinals have been average. Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt have been underperforming all season. A rotation led by Sonny Gray has been a bright spot for the Cardinals. Cardinals should be buyers at the deadline.

3rd place team: Pittsburgh Pirates (37-40) 7.5 GB, 1.5 GB WC3

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been average like the rest of the NL Central. They have two of the best rookie pitchers in Paul Skenes and Jared Jones. They will need some help offensively if they are to make the playoffs.

4th place team: Chicago Cubs (37-41) 8GB, 2 GB of WC3

The Chicago Cubs are battling the Reds for last place in the NL Central and have been underwhelming for most of their fans. Shota Imanaga started the season with historical numbers but has come back to earth lately. Cody Bellinger and Justin Steele both battled injuries so far this year.

5th place team: Cincinnati Reds (36-41) 8.5GB, 2.5 GB WC3

The Reds have one of the most electric players in baseball with Elly De La Cruz but he is about all they have for stars. The Red's rotation has gone from one of the worst in 2023 to top 10 in 2024. They have some good players but I just don't see them sticking around and making the playoffs.