The Seattle Mariners Have A Better Chance Than You Think
Everyone is focussing on the aging offense, the mid to poor defense and the weakening of the bullpen. These same people correctly point out the luck factor in Seattle’s season and that they really weren’t as good as their record.
Very few would argue any of these points and I certainly won’t count myself against them. But (there’s always a but isn’t there?) the starting pitching has improved, with a good top 3. However that’s not why I’m writing this article. The one main factor that I’m focussing on is the schedule.
And for a graphical representation:
With the MLB using their unbalanced schedule the Mariners face the teams within their division more than teams outside of it. As an added bonus of sorts, the division is made up of only four teams, giving teams 19 games vs division rivals instead of the usual 18. While the one extra game doesn’t seem like too much on the surface, it can add up towards the end of a season.
Referring the table above one can see the domination of the A’s & Rangers. Both teams are still in a rebuilding mode, making them easier opponents than most.
If the Mariners can pull off a similar winning percentage against these two poor clubs they will, by virtue, have a shot at a wild card spot. A .500 winning percentage outside gets them close and with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Jays beating up on themselves with their unbalanced schedule the Mariners could surprise in 2008.