The Seattle Mariners should now enter the All-Star break holding a spot in the 2018 MLB Playoffs. Though it is still a week until the break takes place, the Mariners have moved into an even stronger position when it comes to the postseason. A 6-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday (July 8) improved the team to 57-34, a remarkable start for a team that has been dealing with injuries all year. It also ended the homestand on a good note before the Mariners head out on the road for six games before the All-Star break.

The updated MLB standings

Despite playing really well, the Mariners still trail the Houston Astors (61-31) by 3 1/2 games in the American League West. The great news, though, is that the Mariners have a strong hold on the second Wild Card slot. The New York Yankees (58-29) are three games ahead of the Mariners for the first Wild Card spot, possibly predicting that the teams could meet up again in the postseason. The Yankees are trying to catch the Boston Red Sox in the American League East, so the first Wild Card team might shift a bit.

Trailing the Mariners are the Oakland Athletics (50-40), a team that has been one of the hottest in baseball. Winners in eight of their last 10 games, the Athletics are now just 6 1/2 games behind the Mariners in the race to the postseason.

The Athletics were thought by some analysts to be a team on the cusp of a fire sale, but instead might be a thorn in the side of Mariners fans down the stretch. It shows how tough it is to play in the AL West, as both teams have fallen behind the defending World Series champions (Astros).

Mariners could break playoff drought

Wins like when the Mariners beat the Angels on June 13 show how good the team has been at overcoming deficits on the scoreboard. The team has also had extensive success in one-run games, pushing the Mariners up the standings. With the fourth best record in the American League (by a wide margin) the Mariners are in a position to break the longest playoff drought in the four major sports.

The 2001 MLB Playoffs was the last time when the Seattle Mariners made it to the postseason, only to lose to the New York Yankees in the ALCS.

This has all the makings of a special season for the Seattle Mariners, with great footnotes like the James Paxton no-hitter earlier in the year. Making it all the way to the World Series would certainly be a great way to end it for a baseball town that has been starved for postseason play over the last 17 years. With just one victory on the upcoming road trip (or one loss by the Athletics), the Mariners will maintain a playoff spot at the break. There are still a lot of games left to be played in the 2018 MLB season, but it's always best to remain in the driver's seat. That's right where the 2018 Mariners continue to reside.