Mariners 2024 playoff chances improve as Orioles dealt massive injury blow

Optimism is high surrounding a reimagined roster and there are reasons for more as Orioles ace Kyle Bradish starts the season on the injured list.
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles had it all. A new owner to replace Peter Angelos. A top-tier ace in the recently acquired Corbin Burnes, a major league roster, and a farm system filled with talented, youthful players like Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman, and more. They were so well set up to succeed in 2024 that most media pundits were tabbing manager Brandon Hyde's squad to take the American League East crown. However, they received some terrible news this morning, as budding star Kyle Bradish suffered a UCL sprain this offseason.

The landscape of the American League includes two deep divisions (East and West) that appear lined up to battle it out for five playoff spots. There is a scenario where the Orioles are the Mariner's main competition. What looked like a solid rotation with Burnes and Bradish up top and former AL all-star John Means sliding into the three spot is now in shambles. Two of the three are out to start the year and, in Bradish's case, should be sidelined for at least the first two months of the season. That's if platelet-rich plasma injections and rest restore the strain. 

The two teams will likely battle it out this season to snag a playoff spot. According to PECOTA, the Orioles were slotted as the third-best team in their division before Bradish caught the injury bug. Consequently, the system also has the Mariners finishing with an 88-74 record this season, which puts them in the Wild Card conversation with Baltimore. 2023 taught us that early season losses can be the difference between playing October baseball or sitting on a beach somewhere. 

The Orioles woke up today with a Kyle Bradish-sized hole in their rotation. Meanwhile, the Mariners are entering the 2024 season with five healthy starters and the looks of a three-headed monster in the bullpen. Fangraphs had the following American league playoff odds before Bradish hit the shelf.


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Suppose anything, manager Scott Servais' team should've gained a few percentage points from the oddsmakers. Now, it's time to hit the field and make it happen.