The Seattle Mariners are in the thick of the American League playoff race. At 77-66, they’re three games out of the second AL Wild Card seeding.
It has been a bizarre 2021 campaign for Seattle but one that has seen the team make substantial progress in the standings, nonetheless. When it comes to breaking their 20-year playoff drought, though, manager Scott Servais needs the Achilles heel of his ballclub to lead the way down the home stretch of the regular season.
Here’s why offensive consistency will make or break the Mariners’ playoff hopes.
While struggling, Seattle Mariners’ offense has upside
At face value, the Mariners should pose a respectable threat at the plate. The combination of veteran hitters like Mitch Haniger, Kyle Seager and J.P. Crawford and the bevy of former top prospects present should be able to do the trick. On the whole, it has not.
The Mariners’ offense entered Monday 22nd in MLB in runs (608), 27th in OPS (.684) and 30th in hits (1,053) and batting average (.223). Their collective woes stem from youngsters like Dylan Moore, Jake Fraley, Taylor Trammell, Jarred Kelenic and others struggling mightily to get on base.
With all that said, there are some individuals in this offense showing promise and either have upside or a track record of slugging in years past. Ty France continues to rake and get on base. Midseason acquisition Abraham Toro has been the team’s best hitter since entering the mix in late-July, as he’s hitting .300 with 23 RBIs to his name. Catchers Luis Torrens and Tom Murphy have legitimate power from the right side.
Moore slugged at an encouraging level in 2020. Individuals like Haniger and Seager are considerable home run threats and capable of being more than mere power threats, which they have primarily been this season. The pair of veterans driving pitches for more singles and doubles helps the Mariners total a couple more runs per game.
For a team that’s playing in tight affairs on a near-nightly basis, more RBI opportunities could be the difference. Part of that thinking stems from the way their starting rotation has carried the load this season.