The Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers have plenty of work to do this week if they are to clinch a postseason berth. The three AL West teams are separated by just a few games in the standings, as Texas holds a 2.5-game lead on Houston and a three-game lead on Seattle.
Houston has seemingly taken a step back in 2023, thanks in large part to a 3-7 stretch of late. The Astros were swept at home against the Kansas City Royals over the weekend, which certainly did not help matters.
The Astros and Mariners face off in a series of their own to start this week. That should help either team take an advantage heading into the weekend. Texas, meanwhile, will play the Los Angeles Angels.
Texas Rangers magic number
The Rangers magic number is just five, meaning any combination of Texas wins and losses by the Astros and/or Mariners will help matters. Houston and Seattle facing off will likely mean that any Rangers AL West-clinching victory would have to happen this weekend, when Bruce Bochy's club plays the M's as well. If Texas's pitching staff can hold up down the stretch, they certainly hold the advantage.
Houston Astros magic number
The Astros magic number to clinch the third AL Wild Card is eight. They can decrease that number to two if they win all three games in Seattle against the Mariners, which is surely a tough feat. Seattle has been surging since the All-Star Break, thanks in large part to Julio Rodriguez. Houston, meanwhile, was largely expected to eventually run away with the AL West, leaving Texas and Seattle to battle for Wild Card scraps. Instead, they're on the verge of falling out of the race altogether.
Seattle Mariners magic number
Seattle technically does not have a magic number unless they defeat the Houston Astros on Monday night, thus marching ahead of them in the standings by a half game. Sending Houston packing in a three-game set is impossible, though the M's can take a decisive 2.5-game edge if they were to sweep the series. The Mariners are in a precarious spot. While technically out of the race, they face the two teams ahead of them in the AL West standings in a long homestand to end the year.