Wild Card Standings 2017: Seattle Mariners Beat Los Angeles Angels Again, Move Closer To Wild Card Leaders

The 2017 Wild Card standings have the Seattle Mariners just one-and-a-half games behind the Tampa Bay Rays now. The Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels (42-42) again on Sunday (July 2), improving to 41-42 on the same day that both American League Wild Card holders lost. The 5-3 victory was an important one, especially because it came against another team trying to claim a spot in the postseason this year.

The New York Yankees (43-37) and Tampa Bay Rays (43-41) currently hold the two playoff spots in the updated Wild Card standings. The Yankees and Rays each lost on Sunday, though, allowing the rest of the pack to gain a bit of ground. For the Yankees, it's now two-straight losses, taking the team further away from the first place Boston Red Sox (47-35) in the American League East. The Yankees are dealing with some bad injuries at the most importune time and could soon get caught by other teams.

Just behind the Yankees and Rays, but still ahead of the Seattle Mariners in the AL Wild Card standings are the Kansas City Royals (41-40), Minnesota Twins (41-40), and Los Angeles Angels (43-43). The Mariners are basically tied with the Baltimore Orioles (40-41) and just ahead of the Texas Rangers (40-42) in their current position. Now an important series for the Mariners begins on Monday (July 3) against those very same Royals.

The Mariners have seven more games on the schedule before the much-anticipated All-Star break. It begins with three games against the Kansas City Royals and concludes with four more games against the Oakland Athletics. Without getting Monday (July 3) off, the team could be running on fumes by the time that break finally arrives. At least all seven games will take place at Safeco Field, allowing the team to enjoy the comforts of home over the next week.The Mariners will need to put up some good numbers against the Royals, as this is one of the main teams that will be competing with them for a postseason spot. If the Mariners can pull off a sweep of the Royals, it may just convince the front office in Kansas City to begin selling off pieces. The only reason the Royals haven't done it yet is that they are surprisingly in the playoff race. Eliminating a playoff threat by forcing them into a "fire sale" could only help the Seattle Mariners as they push hard to move up in the Wild Card standings before the MLB trade deadline.

[Featured Image by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]