Mariners sit in playoff spot with two weeks left in season, Sept. 30 game vs. Texas on FOX

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 13: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners reacts after his RBI double during the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at T-Mobile Park on September 13, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers

The Seattle Mariners currently sit in the final Wild Card spot in the American League and are just 1.5 games back of the Houston Astros in the AL West entering the final two-week stretch of the season. Ten of the team's final 16 games will come against the Astros and Texas, which includes a September 30 game against the Rangers that will air on FOX.

The game against the Rangers on Sept. 30 – the penultimate game of the regular season – has been moved from a scheduled 6:40 p.m. start to a 4:15 p.m. start and will air exclusively on FOX. 

Additionally, the Sept. 26 game against the Astros has been moved from a 6:40 p.m. start to 7:05 p.m. and will air nationally on TBS in addition to the local TV on ROOT Sports.

The Mariners (81-65) were off on Thursday ahead of big weekend series at T-Mobile Park against the runaway NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers (88-57). With a Texas 9-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night, the Mariners sit 1.5 games back of the Astros (83-64) in the division chase and a game back of the Rangers (82-64) in the division and Wild Card races.

The Blue Jays (80-67) are now 1.5 games back of Seattle for the final Wild Card spot after their loss to Texas on Thursday.

The runner-up in the AL East chase will almost certainly take the top Wild Card spot. The Baltimore Orioles hold a one-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the division chase with the Rays eight games clear of Texas is the second Wild Card spot. Whichever team misses out on the division title will be the top Wild Card entrant in the postseason barring an unforeseen collapse over the final two weeks.

One of the AL West trio of Houston, Texas and Seattle will win the AL West and earn a spot. With the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees well back of the Blue Jays, there will be three teams playing for the final two Wild Card spots in the American League. 

Following the series against the Dodgers this weekend, the Mariners have a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics to kick off their final road trip of the year. The A's are battling the Kansas City Royals for the worst record in baseball this season as both teams have already reached 100 losses on the year.

Once the A's series is out of the way, the AL West race takes to the forefront as the Mariners play three games against the Rangers in Texas before returning home for three games against the Astros and four games against the Rangers to end the regular season. 

AL West Standings (as of 9/14/23):

Houston Astros - 83-64 (--)
Texas Rangers - 82-64 (-0.5 GB)
Seattle Mariners - 81-65 (-1.5 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings (as of 9/14/23)

Tampa Bay Rays - 91-57 (+9.0)
Texas Rangers - 82-64 (+1.0)
Seattle Mariners - 81-65 (--)

Toronto Blue Jays - 80-67 (-1.5 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 74-73 (-7.5 GB)
New York Yankees - 74-73 (-7.5 GB)