3 Reasons Why the Mariners Will Win the 2023 World Series

Sustained excellence requires the right mix of talent, culture and mindset. The last one is important. Every team will certainly enter a season with the mindset that they’re going to compete for a championship, but for half of MLB it’s just fantasy. Having a surprise year that could end up with a wild card playoff berth would have a huge impact on the franchise and fan base. But only the elite have the ability to make it. That’s the test facing the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle reached the post-season in 2022 and even won a round after a 21-year drought. Futility is in a category of its own because of its pure impossibility. During that span, the M’s were rarely among the league’s worst teams. In fact, he won 85 games or more eight times (three 90-win seasons). And yet, franchises known as perennial basement-dwellers like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds today reached the second week of October multiple times. It almost felt like fate.

Consider the fact that the Mariners’ ultimately unsuccessful 116-win season in 2001 marked their last trip to the playoffs, and one can reasonably assume that the Grim Reaper has a special affinity for this organization. However, his travel schedule should be very different for the foreseeable future. Now Seattle must figure out how to sap the life out of the other teams.

They have a young star to build and market, a strong pitching staff and underrated manager, all of which add up to a championship-caliber team. Last year was not about ending the drought. It was about growing pains. This season is all about a coronation.

Don’t scoff at that seemingly bold notion. Here are three reasons why you should buy the Mariners as legitimate World Series winners in 2023.

Let’s get the obvious reason out of the way right away. Julio Rodriguez already at age 22 feels like one of the faces of baseball. He is inside advertisements And she looks quite comfortable in the limelight. He hasn’t been noticed, but the essential qualities are signs of a player who is ready to fully embrace his status as a franchise cornerstone. If that’s not enough, just take a look at his output.

Rodriguez enjoyed one of the better rookie seasons in recent memory. He batted .284 with 28 home runs, 75 RBI, and a .509 slugging percentage. His 6.2 WAR and 147 OPS+—which were in the top 10 in MLB—are a sabermetrician’s dream and bode well for his future success. He also stole 25 bases and looks set to chip away at that with the new rules expected to help baserunners. Rodriguez is a five-tool player who could lead the M’s to the top.

The organization apparently believes the All-Star center fielder is the guy, after which they locked him down with a 14-year contract worth $400 million. Pitchers will be more prepared for Rodriguez, but he has supreme and supreme talent to account for any kind of decline that may await him. Very rarely has a star been able to carry a team to the Fall Classic alone, but Rodriguez will be the centerpiece of a strong Seattle supporting cast.

2. Mariners Collective Offensive Genius

Now, you may say that I am not cheating by just adding up the reasons. 1 and 2, but I think Julio Rodriguez deserves special consideration because he showed the full package in his rookie campaign. 2023 could be the true coronation of a household name like 2021 was for Fernando Tatis Jr. That being said, he has intimidating bats around him that could make for one of the best lineups in the American League.

First baseman Ty France continues to fly under the radar, despite earning his first career All-Star selection last season. He has been one of the most consistent hitters in the league over the past two seasons, performing well in almost every area. His contact power is a nice compliment to the homer-or-bust style of veteran slugger Eugenio Suarez. Still, he hit third baseman in 2022. 236, nearly 40 points higher than his previous years with the Cincinnati Reds. More than 30 homers remain, and if he can stay around .240, Suárez could get closer to his 2018-19 form.

The Mariners’ shining offseason accomplishment was acquiring outfielder Teoscar Hernandez from the Toronto Blue Jays. He posted a .267 batting average and had 25 dingers and 35 doubles last season. He hasn’t been at his 2021 peak, but he provides even more power to a deep offensive tackle. Former top prospect Jarred Kelenik has been nearly unstoppable over the past two seasons, but had a great spring training and seems to have gained a lot of confidence behind the plate.

It’s an offense suited to the modern game. Fortunately, players like Rodriguez and France will make sure they can also adapt to the new style of play due to MLB rule changes.

1. Mariners Deep Starting Pitching

An impressive lineup isn’t enough to get you into the World Series conversation. As the saying goes, pitching is king in October. And the Mariners have more than one hand that can ascend to the AL Cy Young throne. Robbie Ray is already there. Luis Castillo could be next. Their starting rotation includes promising young talents in the middle and backend in Logan Gilbert and George Kirby, both of whom broke out last season and could be headed for strong follow-ups.

Ray led the team with 212 strikeouts, perhaps the only obvious weakness of the staff. However, Gilbert appears to be a likely candidate to reach 200 as well as improve his repertoire. They are deep and have a healthy mix of proven All-Stars and budding stars. Simply put, Seattle should have the best starting pitching in the AL and will be able to go four-deep after the season.

The Mariners would get a head start on their championship quest by engaging in a fierce AL West battle of statistics with the immediately defending World Series champion Houston Astros. However, this motivation will not diminish in the playoffs.

Last year’s Mariners history would be nothing compared to 2023.

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