The Seattle Mariners were poised to be challengers for the American League West crown in 2023, but the Texas Rangers seem to have usurped them. The Rangers had a busy offseason, adding a new manager in Bruce Bochy and almost completely remaking their starting pitcher rotation. Now, they find themselves with the best record in the division, and the Mariners are in fourth place.
After finally ending their two-decade playoff drought, Mariners fans thought their team was on a massive upswing. Making the playoffs and winning a series was meant to be step one, not the only step. Their strategy allowed for them to be outspent during the offseason, and it doesn't seem to be paying off.
Twitter user Mariners Muse pointed out the team's decline as the Rangers rolled to another victory.
For Seattle Mariners fans, getting your hopes up during the offseason only to have them dashed is essentially a tradition. They were pumped to see how Julio Rodriguez would improve after his Rookie of the Year campaign, only to see him slump. They were excited to see Robbie Ray and Luis Castillo lead their rotation, only to lose Ray for the season due to injury.
Now, they can already see the division title slipping away as the Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and even Los Angeles Angels are ahead of them. While it is still relatively early in the season, there is a large enough sample size to pass some judgments. At this point, it seems like a certainty that a team from Texas will win the division, much to the chagrin of Seattle Mariners fans.
Maybe most impressively, the Rangers have had this great season without their biggest acquisition for most of it. Jacob deGrom is the team's ace but has been unavailable due to injury. Nathan Eovaldi, formerly of the Boston Red Sox, has done a great job filling that void. When deGrom returns, the Texas Rangers will see another significant boost.
The Seattle Mariners may have seen their championship window close before it even opened much thanks to the Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners still have to account for the Houston Astros
Despite a slow start from the Astros and some bold words from Nathaniel Lowe, the AL West still runs through Houston. Until proven otherwise, they are the team to beat.
While the Mariners are annoyed they are being lapped by the Rangers, both teams are keeping an eye on the Astros.