Usually the season starts with lots of home and away against division opponents. By the end of May the Mariners will have played all the usual suspects: Houston, Anaheim, Texas and Oakland.
But with lots of the American League rebuilding/tanking, they also take on some of the league’s patsies early in the season. April isn’t a great month because the team is on the road and is only at Safeco for the seven game series beginning on Friday
It’s not so much where they play, but who they play that leaves me hopeful. They took two from the Royals on the road, and they’ll play three games each against the struggling A’s, Rangers and White Sox. That makes it easier to swallow four games each against very good Astros and Indians teams.
May is even better, with 19 games at home. They do play three games at home against the fast-starting Angels, and three more on the road against a decent Blue Jays team. Throw in four games against the Twins, including the make up game from the April 8th freeze-out and those are the more challenging games. The balance is made up of six games against the A’s, seven games against the Tigers, and four against the Rangers.
So the Mariners will only have one series each against the Angels and Astros in April and May, and they’ll play lots of games against teams that aren’t so good.
Let’s be clear, the M’s still have to beat the not-very-good teams, and there’s always one that seems to be their nemesis. They also can’t be awful against the projected leaders, as they were in 2017 against the Astros and Angels. No matter how favorable the schedule you still have to win.
But things get uglier in June and July as the M’s load up on games with the Angels and Astros, and take their road trip east into New York and Boston.
The Mariners are off to a solid start. They need to sustain their momentum by taking advantage of the favorable schedule before tough sledding starts in the summer months