Right now, theare one game back of the in the AL West. They've been within a half-game, and they haven't been three or more games back since May 19th, which is more than a month ago. As weird as it is to think about, the M's have been within striking distance of first place for several weeks.
But earlier this morning, I thought I'd look ahead to the All-Star break, beginning July 11th. If the M's are tight in the race at the break, then that's when I seriously start considering shorter-term roster upgrades and thinking about a possible playoff run. And as I looked towards the break, I noticed the Mariners' and Rangers' respective schedules between now and then, and I noticed that the Rangers are looking at a favorable one.
|@Nationals (3)||Astros (2)|
|"@"Marlins (3)||Mets (3)|
|Braves (3)||@Astros (3)|
|Padres (3)||Marlins (3)|
|@A's (3)||Orioles (3)|
|@Angels (4)||A's (4)|
The Mariners have 19 games between now and the break, with 13 truthfully or technically on the road. The Rangers have 18 games between now and the break, with 15 at home. The Mariners will also have to deal with the Braves, who are the best team among those shown.
With this in mind, it certainly looks like the Rangers are in a good position to add to their lead over the Mariners between now and the break. Playing at home is one of those advantages you don't often think about, but that ends up making a big difference in the outcome. So I thought I'd poll the audience to see where you think the M's will be in the division the morning of July 11th. This is obviously just guesswork, but how much ground do you think they're going to lose? Do you think they're going to lose any ground at all?
Note that the poll assumes neither the Angels nor the A's will assume the division lead.