If you were worried after the Mariners were shut out on Tuesday, you should be relieved after Wednesday’s rout of the Padres.
And going forward, the Mariners will (likely) be fine. Their last 20 games are against sub-.500 teams, and they finish the season with 10 home games. The Orioles are four games back of the final wild card spot and five games back of the Mariners, who hold a one-game lead over Tampa Bay as of Thursday. Seattle has the tiebreaker over Baltimore so it’s essentially a six-game lead.
It might be time to start looking at the magic number for these M’s.
Here’s where national media have them ranked.
Sports Illustrated: No. 7
The Athletic: No. 9
The last time the Mariners made the playoffs, Julio Rodríguez was nine months old. But that should change in a few weeks with Rodríguez playing center field in the wild-card round. Rookie starter George Kirby has been dealing, Mitch Haniger is back and productive, and the team is actually a lot deeper than you might expect if you haven’t been paying attention to the West Coast. They’ve been in the thick of it all year, and with the second-half additions, our own Corey Brock just wrote: This is, as I type this, the best version of the Mariners in 2022.
Maybe not as good as the Mariners in 2001, but this version could be more successful in the end.
CBS Sports: No. 7
If you haven’t seen them yet, go find the highlights of the Julio Rodríguez and Eugenio Suárez home runs Sunday to walk it off and win two of three from the Braves. So much fun. There are some damn good vibes here!
Bleacher Report: No. 8
The Mariners won seven straight before dropping two of three to the White Sox, but they recovered with an impressive series win against Atlanta, capping it with a walk-off victory Sunday. Rookie George Kirby threw six three-hit innings against the Braves on Saturday and has a 2.98 ERA with a 115-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 111.2 innings.
MLB.com: No. 7
USA Today: No. 9
Seattle’s starters had a 1.95 ERA in the first nine games of September.
99.7% – FanGraphs with a 4.1% chance to win the World Series
>99% – FiveThirtyEight with a 3% chance to win the World Series