How could we ask for a better end to Major League Baseball’s 147th year. 152 games in the record books, 10 games left in the season, and the AL West is in a virtual three-way tie with only a half game separating the division leading Houston Astros from the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners. If I don’t have a heart attack over the course of the next week and a half we may witness one of the best playoff narratives in recent baseball history. Who holds the keys to the AL West title? The Seattle Mariners of course. The Mariners play all 10 season ending games against the top two division rival Astros and Rangers. I couldn’t have written a better end to the season if I tried. The path is simple, the Mariners win 3 series, they’re the 2023 AL West champions. 7 out of 10 games. But the Mariners advantage goes deeper than ‘win and in’. Regardless of how these last 10 games go, the Mariners hold the tiebreaker over the Astros, which allows for a division win even in the case of a tied record at the end of the season. The Mariners are also coming into the home stretch with the momentum and confidence of a three game sweep of the Oakland As. Whereas the Astros have lost all of their last three series, two of which were to the worst teams in Baseball: The same Oakland As the Mariners just swept, and the Kansas City Royals. The kicker to it all is that the Astros start a three game series against the Royals again today, something most would consider a blessing for the Astros but I see as just another team the Astros dropped two games to last week. So where are the Rangers in this mess? They were swept by the under .500 Cleveland Guardians last week, have gone 12 and 18 in their last 30 games, and play 7 out of their last 10 games against the Mariners. So, my prediction? The Mariners are going to win 4 of 7 against the Rangers and 2 of 3 against the Astros on the way out. The Rangers will drop one in their final series with the Angels. The Astros will drop one to the Royals and one to the Diamondbacks in their final series. The Mariners win their first division title in 22 years in a tiebreaker with the Astros, leading to an eventual playoff grudge match. Grab some peanuts, turn on the TV and buckle up for one hell of a ride because we likely won’t an answer until the last day of the baseball season, October 1st.