Hard as it is to believe, we’re officially reached the final weekend of the 2023 MLB regular season. The playoff picture is taking shape, with most spots sewn up around the league — except for the AL West, that is, where things remain absolutely wide open. The Rangers came into their four-game set with the Mariners on Thursday night looking to put the final nail in Seattle’s coffin, only to drop the first two games at T-Mobile Park and make things very interesting. The landscape changes by the day, so here are your up-to-the-minute AL West standings on Saturday, September 30.
MLB playoff picture: AL West standings
- Texas Rangers: 89-71
- Houston Astros 88-72 — 1.0 GB
- Seattle Mariners: 87-73 — 2.0 GB
- Los Angeles Angels: 72-88 — 17.0 GB
- Oakland Athletics: 49-111 — 40.0 GB
Seattle certainly refuses to go quietly. After J.P. Crawford’s heroics brought them a walk-off win on Thursday, the Mariners’ bats made sure Friday’s affair was far less stressful, tagging Nathan Eovaldi for three runs in the fourth and five runs in the fifth en route to an 8-0 win. Texas’ magic number in the division remains two: Any combination of two wins or two Astros losses would seal the deal, as the Rangers have already clinched the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Mariners by virtue of winning the season series.
The M’s can pull even with Texas in the AL West by winning the next two games, although because the Rangers have already clinched the season series, even that wouldn’t be enough — Seattle would also need the Astros to split their final two games against the D-backs, forcing a three-way tie atop the division that the Mariners would win thanks to a superior intradivision record. That means Houston is a bit vulnerable if they don’t win out this weekend: Win both games, and they just need the Rangers to drop one; split the remaining two in Arizona, and they need Texas to win at least one of the next two in order to capture the division — they own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rangers but, again, would lose a three-way tie to Seattle.