By Eric Umphrey
The Times 

Evaluating the Mariners' start to the season


After sixteen games, the Mariners have a 10-6 record and are a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for the lead in the American League West. It’s an excellent start to the season, considering the first seven games were on the road. In the first home series, Seattle defeated the Houston Astros two games out of three, with the lone loss coming against Justin Verlander, who pitched eight shutout innings.

In the new collective bargaining agreement, playoff teams increased from ten to twelve. Had this system been in place last year, the Mariners would have qualified for the playoffs. Pro...

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