Where do the Mariners stack up against rivals in the A.L. West after the first month?

The MLB season is in full swing. Now that we are a month into the season, How does the American League West division look, and where do the Mariners rank?
Arizona Diamondbacks v Seattle Mariners
Arizona Diamondbacks v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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5th place in the A.L. West: Houston Astros (9-19), 6.0 games back

This may be the biggest surprise of 2024 so far. The Astros have the 4th worst record in all of baseball and are currently only better than the Chicago White Sox, Miami Marlins, and the Colorado Rockies. This is not some bad streak that they had early on, they have just been playing bad baseball. They were swept in their first series of the year in 4 games by the New York Yankees.

Houston won their next series against the Blue Jays, which was highlighted by Ronel Blanco's no-hitter. They would go on to split a 4-game series against the Rangers but were then swept by the Kansas City Royals. They also have been swept by the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs. Could this team, who has been to 7 straight ALCS, be this bad?

No, I still think that the Astros will figure it out moving forward. They have dealt with some crazy injuries already this season. They have had an entire pitching rotation on the Injured List this year. Justin Verlander just came back and has made a few starts, and Framber Valdez is back too. Cristian Javier is on the injured list with neck discomfort, while Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia, and Lance McCullers Jr. are all on the IL with elbow injuries.

They have also dealt with bullpen injuries and overall ineffectiveness so far. They lost Kendall Graveman for the season, while their prized free agent Josh Hader is rocking a 7.59 ERA through 10.2 innings. Their other top reliever Ryan Pressley has been almost as bad so far, rocking a 6.75 ERA through his 10.2 innings of work. Hunter Brown has a 9.68 ERA through his 5 starts so far. I absolutely expect all 3 of these guy's ERA's to come back down to their normal.

Their run differential is currently sitting at -22, and that is with blowing the doors off of the Rockies in their last two games, where they gained back 14 runs towards their run differential. They have a losing record both at home and on the road, and their record against .500 or better teams currently sits at 4-16. For a team as talented as the Astros are, you still can't count them out. It is nice to see them at the bottom of the standings this far into the season, though.