A dangerous team out west
I know that the Yankees are having a great year, but there are at least two other teams that I’m even more worried about the Blue Jays facing come playoff time, and that’s the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners.
The latter currently holds the second Wild Card spot with a 72-58 record, which leaves them 1.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays as of this writing. The team with the longest active streak of missing the postseason might finally be able to end the drought this fall, and I think they have the roster to do it.
Led by the likes of Julio Rodriguez, Ty France, Mitch Haniger, Robbie Ray, Luis Castillo, and many more, the Mariners are a nice mix of veteran leadership and youthful talent. They’ve had a lot of issues with the health of their roster throughout the season, but they’re pretty close to full strength these days, and we’re getting a first-hand look at why they’re so dangerous.
Unfortunately the Jays and Mariners are also done their season series, so there will be some scoreboard watching going on here as well. And while there could be room for both teams to qualify, where they finish is important. For example, if the playoffs began today then the Mariners would be the fifth seed, and play on the road against the top Wild Card team, which is the Rays. I think I’d rather the Blue Jays square off against the Guardians than the Rays, and that’s especially the case because the higher seed will get to host all three games of the opening round.
In a perfect world (other than storming back to win the division somehow) the Blue Jays will find a way to finish in the top Wild Card spot, which would give them the home field advantage in the first round. For a home crowd north of the border that’s hungry for another playoff game, let’s hope that’s exactly how it plays out. If the Blue Jays are going to get there though, they’re going to need to best the Mariners.