MLB Rumors: Red Sox Ohtani favorites, Cubs rotation shake-up, Mariners surge

  • Mariners have surged to top of AL West at a historic pace
  • Cubs are finally making a change to their rotation
  • Red Sox among the favorites to sign Shohei Ohtani

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani, Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani, Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages
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MLB Rumors: Mariners surge to top of AL West coming at historic pace

In the latest game on Friday's MLB schedule, the Seattle Mariners pulled out of an early deficit against the lowly Kansas City Royals to earn a 7-5 victory, giving them nine wins in their last 10 games. But that's even more crucial for their AL West standing in relation to the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros.

The Mariners were 7.5 games back of the Rangers in the AL West on Aug. 15. They've played nine games since then. But after Friday's win over Kansas City, the M's are now tied for the division lead with Texas and sit a game ahead of the Astros.

How rare is that? Per Stats Perform's OptaStats, it's the largest divisional deficit erased in 10 games or fewer since the Dodgers in 1982 when they overcame a 7.5-game deficit as well, but did so in eight games.

It's not hard to figure out why this has transpired in Seattle, though. Obviously, the Rangers hitting a skid has helped, but after the Mariners were deemed a disappointment in the first half of the season as they sat around .500, they've gotten white hot. Julio Rodriguez has been at the heart of that with a surge into MVP-level form, but the entire roster has backed it up.

Over the last seven days, the Mariners as a team are slashing .340/.422/.536 with 48 runs scored over six games. The pitching has done their part too, posting a team ERA of 3.67 and a team WHIP of just 1.31 over that same span.

Everyone expected the Mariners to factor heavily into the playoff race coming into the year. So it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that they're doing exactly that. How they've surged into the AL West race, though, is certainly worthy of applause.