The Seattle Mariners are in a tough spot. They’re not a bad team, sitting a game over .500. By both Pythagorean wins and BaseRuns, they profile a few games better than that. Over the course of the rest of the season, they’re expected to continue to be a bit above average and our projections have them finishing at 83-79 for the year. That’s not a bad season — and if the team made a few big moves and caught a few breaks, they might even sneak their way into the playoffs where anything can happen. Unfortunately for the Mariners, that scenario isn’t very likely.
The division-leading Texas Rangers hardly seem invincible, but they’ve accrued a decent lead on the Mariners, while other divisional-rival Houston possesses the advantage both of more wins than the Mariners and more talent. This makes the M’s current chances of winning the division rather low. (For an interactive version of the chart, click here.)
They’re not out of it, as you can see, but they do face difficult odds. And keep in mind: these odds are reflective of the talent each club currently possesses on hand. Both the Rangers and Astros are expected to be buyers, and further moves by those teams figure to push their odds higher and the Mariners’ lower unless they counter with a move of their own.
As for the wild card, the task is equally as daunting. The chart below shows the wild-card probabilities only and do not include a team’s chances at the division. (Interactive version here.)
If you’re willing to hand the American League Central to Cleveland, that leaves four additional available playoff spots. Seattle is seventh on that list, with less than a 10% shot. That the top three teams all play in the AL East — and also expected to be buyers before the deadlines — makes Seattle’s predicament all the more obvious. The team isn’t likely to win, so the team should sell. How they should sell, though, is a bit more difficult to decipher.
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