The Seattle Mariners had a 29-39 record on June 20th which was worrying bettors who purchased over 84.5 win total tickets at the Westgate in Las Vegas. Yet the Mariners started playing better baseball which culminated with a fourteen-game winning streak heading into the All-Star break with a 43-39 record. Suddenly, Seattle was a serious contender to make the postseason in the American League.
The Mariners are led by their rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez who was introduced to the national MLB audience with his breakout performance in the Home Run Derby before running out of steam in the finals against Juan Soto. He is the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to smack 15+ home runs, drive in 50+ runs, and swipe 20+ stolen bases in his first ninety games. The frontrunner to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award has 18 home runs, 57 runs-batted-in, and 21 stolen bases. It turns out he injured his wrist in Seattle’s win against Texas the day before the Home Run Derby which led to him not playing in their three-game series against Houston the weekend after the All-Star Game. The Mariners lost all three games to the first place team in the American League West division. He returned to the lineup on Tuesday of this week and promptly homered in consecutive games against the Rangers. Seattle swept their three-game series with Texas to set up a weekend series rematch with the Astros.
The Mariners lost the first two games against Houston, yet these upstarts demonstrated their moxie by rallying from a 4-3 deficit on Saturday by scoring two runs in the top of the ninth inning to steak a 5-4 victory against them. Seattle goes into the last day of July with a 55-47 record, and they have an impressive 26-8 record since June 20th. They may still be eleven games behind the Astros in the division, yet they currently hold the second wild card spot in the American League, with a three-game cushion against Cleveland for the final wildcard spot.
The Mariners signaled their commitment to putting all their energies into making a playoff run when they traded significant future assets to the Cincinnati Reds for Luis Castillo. The right-handed starting pitcher has a 4-4 record this year with a 2.86 era and a 1.07 whip this season. Shoulder surgery delayed the start of this season for the 29-year-old, yet he is clicking on all cylinders now. In his four starts this month, Castillo had a 1.93 era and a 0.89 whip. He has struck out 90 batters this season while walking only 28 batters, and he has 30 punchouts to just seven walks in his 28 innings this month. In his six seasons with the Reds, he has finished with a sub-4.00 era five times.
He joins Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert to give Seattle as good a trio of starting pitchers as any team in MLB. This surging Seattle team has suddenly become a legitimate threat to win a World Series. Buy your future tickets while there is still value!
Good Luck - TDG.