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Mariners AL Pennant Odds Go From 52-1 to 18-1 After 6-1 Start

Felix Hernandez
Felix Hernandez is one of the few remaining familiar faces on the Mariners this season. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • The Mariners have rocketed up the odds to win the AL Pennant after opening the season 6-1
  • Seattle also enjoyed a strong start in 2018 before tumbling out of contention late in the campaign
  • Offseason personnel changes indicate that the Mariners’ focus is on the future, and not short-term success

The Seattle Mariners have emerged as the early surprise of the young 2019 MLB season. Bolstered by solid performances from their starting rotation and offense that has jumped to the early lead in an array of MLB team standings, the Mariners have made rapid gains on the MLB futures during a 6-1 start.

The club has seen its average odds to win the American League Pennant go from +5200 on March 25th to +2800 on April 1st across a number of top online sportsbooks.

2019 American League Pennant Odds

Team Odds to Win 2019 AL Pennant at Bovada
Houston Astros +280
New York Yankees +280
Boston Red Sox +365
Cleveland Indians +700
Tampa Bay Rays +1100
Oakland A’s +1200
Minnesota Twins +1800
Seattle Mariners +1800

*Odds taken 04/02/19

Hot Bats, Steady Pitching  Fueling Mariners’ Fast Start

The Mariners have been red-hot at the plate during their hottest start to a season since opening the 2009 campaign on a 7-2 run. Seattle leads the Majors in runs, hits, doubles, and home runs in the early going.

Seattle leads the Majors in runs, hits, doubles, and home runs in the early going.

And while part of their early-season dominance on the stats can be attributed to an early start to their schedule, the Mariners numbers remain impressive, with the club’s batters racking up over 7.7 runs scored per game.

Seattle’s starters have been steady, earning the decision in five of the club’s first six victories, capped by a promising 5.1-inning, one-run performance by veteran Felix Hernandez in Monday’s 6-3 win over the visiting Los Angeles Angels.

Mariners Enjoying Success Despite Offseason Fire Sale

The Mariners’ solid start out of the gate marks a dramatic turnaround after the club endured a brutal second half to last season, going 31-38 over their final 69 contests, erasing a promising start, and spurring an offseason fire sale that left the club in rebuild mode heading into 2019.

Veterans that left town over the winter include Robinson Cano, James Paxton, Nelson Cruz, Edwin Diaz, Jean Segura, and Mike Zunino. In addition to stocking the prospect shelf, reinforcements arrived in the form of sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jay Bruce, and Japanese pitching sensation Yusei Kikuchi.

Kikuchi has fulfilled the promise in his first two MLB starts, despite failing to earn a decision, surrendering just three earned runs over 10.2 innings of work, while Encarnacion and Bruce have combined to go long on four occasions.

Are the Mariners a Legitimate Playoff Threat?

But are the Mariners a legitimate threat to challenge for their first AL pennant in their 43-year history? That will be a tough order to fill.

The Houston Astros have endured a slow start but remain the team to beat in the AL West. Winners of over 100 games in each of the past two seasons, the Astros return to action largely healthy, and perched as massive -600 favorites to win the division, and join the New York Yankees as +280 co-favorites on the odds to win the AL Pennant.

With more realistic sights set on a wild card, the Mariners still face a daunting task just to reach the MLB Postseason. The Boston Red Sox have endured a slow start, complicated by losses in three of four meetings with the Mariners to open their schedule. However, with their World Series-winning lineup largely intact, Boston is a leading candidate to claim at least a wild card, if not outpace the Yankees in the AL East.

The Mariners still face a daunting task just to reach the MLB Postseason.

It will likely be a crowded field chasing the second AL Wild Card. The Oakland A’s will be looking to build on a surprising 97-win campaign in 2018. Sensing the time is now to challenge the Cleveland Indians in the weak AL Central, the Minnesota Twins made a number of short-term signings over the winter, including Nelson Cruz, while the Tampa Bay Rays have shown signs of keeping up with the powerhouses in the AL East during a 4-1 start.

Continued steady performances from veterans like Encarnacion, Bruce, Hernandez, and Domingo Santana, will be key to the Mariners’ fortunes this season. However, the addition of promising youngsters like Shed Long, Justus Sheffield, and JP Crawford indicate the club’s focus is on the future, leaving them unlikely to make the last-season moves required to mount a legitimate run for the AL Pennant despite how they are faring in the standings.

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