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What you need to know about the Mariners’ playoff hopes

The Mariners’ (86-74) hopes of ending their 15-year playoff drought are slim but certainly not dead. After Seattle’s win Friday, the team is ostensibly fighting with three others for two of wild-card spot in the American League with three games to play. Here’s what you need to know (as of Saturday morning):

Who are we rooting against? The Baltimore Orioles (88-72), Toronto Blue Jays (87-73) and the Detroit Tigers (86-73)

Why? The Orioles sit in the first wild-card spot, one game ahead of the Blue Jays in the second wild-card spot, who are a game ahead of the Mariners. The Tigers sit between Seattle and Toronto — a half-game behind the Blue Jays and a half-game ahead of the Mariners.

What do we need to happen:

Mariners can clinch a wild-card berth outright with:

– A 2-0 record, Toronto going 0-2, and Detroit going 1-2 or worse.

In a tie with one other team: There would be a one-game playoff on Oct. 3, the day before the wild-card game itself. Home field advantage determined by the head-to-head record in the regular season.

In a three-way tie: Seattle gets first choice in a three-team format.

There are also four and five-game tie possibilities (but let’s not worry too much about that yet)

Who does each team play?

The Mariners play their last two games against the last-place A’s at Safeco Field.

The Tigers play two games on the road against the Braves, which have the worst record in the National League, and will have to make up a game at AL Central champion Cleveland that was rained out on Thursday if the game will have implications on the playoffs, which is likely.

The Orioles play two road games against the Yankees.

The Blue Jays are in Boston for two final games against the AL East champion Red Sox.

Check back, as we will update the scenarios through the rest of the season.


Shannon Drayer and Brent Stecker contributed to this story.

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