Mariners dominate AL West, surge in latest MLB power rankings

This is the Mariners team we've been waiting to see, sitting atop the AL West and climbing into the top ten in this week's power rankings
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners / Stephen Brashear/GettyImages

What has happened to this Mariners offense? This looks like a completely different unit than the one we saw to start the year. Guys are starting to hit the ball a lot harder, while the strikeouts have been cut back significantly. What seemed like a bottom 10 offense in baseball, now looks like, at worst, a serviceable group and potentially a lineup that could work its way into the top 10-12 for stretches.

Through April, the Mariners' offense scored the fourth fewest number of runs, behind teams like the Marlins, Pirates, and Rockies. They just looked lost at the plate, leading the league in strikeouts by nearly 2% versus the second-worst team in that category. However, a switch has flipped in this offense and since May 26th, they are fifth in runs scored (4.625 per game), and second in stolen bases (12) while maintaining a solid walk rate (9.9% which is sixth in the league) and have cut their strikeout rate all the way down to 24% (which is 17th in baseball during that stretch).

It's not fair to say the offense has carried this team, because the pitching has continued its dominance (especially Bryan Woo). This offense has just shown so much improvement, that it has to be highlighted. Guys like Ty France (198 wRC+) and Luke Raley (187 wRC+) have provided a ton of support for this lineup while the expected key contributors like Julio Rodriguez (168 wRC+) and JP Crawford (130 wRC+) are starting to find their groove.

Bleacher Report Power Rankings has Mariners surging up to No. 8

The Mariners kicked off a 10-game stretch against three different AL West opponents with a big opportunity to create some separation, and they did exactly that. After taking three of four against the Houston Astros, they swept the Angels in a three-game set. The offense and pitching were working together like a well-oiled machine. Bleacher Report took notice of this and moved them up in their latest power rankings after bouncing in and out of the top 10 in previous iterations.

Joel Reuter, of Bleacher Report, has the Mariners climbing the power rankings and stating, "The Seattle Mariners enter the week as one of the hottest teams in baseball". He hits the nail on the head here as the Mariners are tied for the third best record in baseball over the last 10 games and have dominated division opponents (12-4 within the AL West). The way that this offense is starting to come together as the pitching continues to be the driving force of this team, this Mariners squad could push up even further in the power rankings in the coming weeks while separating themselves even further from AL West rivals.