As shocking as it is that the Angels are in last place and almost ten games out of first, it is more shocking to me that the Seattle Mariners are in second place in the American League West. Granted they are still six games back of Texas and have an under .500 record, but second place is overachieving for them in my opinion. Their schedule has been no joke so far either. They have played the Rangers, Indians, White Sox, Athletics, Blue Jays, and the Tigers. Those are not the bottom feeders of the league if you ask me. More like the opposite.
But unlike teams of the Rangers’, Phillies’, and Tigers’ caliber the Mariners have gotten most of their success without a dominant pitching rotation or a strong lineup. If I walked past the the M’s starting lineup I could only tell you that one is a professional baseball player–Ichiro Suzuki. This group of decent hitters aren’t crossing the plate a ton either. They are in the bottom third of the league in batting average (.280), on-base percentage (.290), and slugging percentage (.369). They only average nearly four runs per game too. So their success must be due to their pitching staff, right?
You be the judge.
They have their ace in Felix Hernandez, but beyond that they do not have many pitchers that can consistently go into the seventh or eighth inning. Jason Vargas has had his share of success too, but with the rest of the rotation not getting deep into the game it puts a lot of pressure on the bullpen’s arms. Over the course of a season, or even just a series, that does not bode well for the relievers’ endurance. And it shows. Overall, the team’s ERA is over four.
So the Mariners score less than four per game and give up more than four? Not sure how long they can keep winning like that. I am not giving them a shot at winning the division but if they want to keep pace with all of the other wild card teams they must get more quality starts from their starters.
It would also help if their hitters put up some numbers on the scoreboard. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if they can keep up this shocking start when they take on the Rays, Yankees, and red hot Red Sox in the next couple of weeks.
Can the Mariners keep it up? Where will they finish? Let me know on Twitter @Believelander.
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