One-run games are killing the Mariners… or are they?

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Seattle’s Tuesday night 10th inning, 1 run loss to Oakland was heartbreaking. It seems like these close losses keep happening, whether it’s the fault of the bullpen or the anemic offense.

Typically, you can expect a team to split 1-run decisions. I wondered if Seattle has been the subject of more 1-run games (and losses) than other teams?

Turns out, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Boston, and the New York Mets have been subject to more 1-run games than Seattle. The Royals and the Mets mirror Mariner’s 10-loss total in those games.

However, when it comes to win % in 1-run games, Seattle is virtually unmatched.

Seattle ranks ahead of only the Yankees in win % of 1-run games (Yankees only have 4 such games vs. the Mariners’ 14 contests). Winning 29% of 1-run games is unlucky.

However, even if Seattle’s luck was better in these contests, the record wouldn’t improve much. Getting to 50% in 1-run games would only add 3 wins to their measly record of 14-25. Clearly, bad luck isn’t the only thing to blame for this season’s lack of success.

Other interesting insights:

  • Expect Oakland’s extreme luck of winning 78% of 1-run games to change soon
  • Cincinnati has been a big beneficiary as well, notching 10 1-run victories. With a more reasonable win % in 1-run games, and they’re a middle-of-the-pack ballclub instead of leading the NL Central
  • Looking at score differential overall in wins and losses is also telling. While Pittsburgh has been lucky in 1-run games, when the lose, they get blown out, losing on average by 6+ runs.
  • Similarly, the Yankees haven’t been lucky, but when they lose, it’s by a razor-thin margin, just under 3 runs/game. Yankees rank 3rd in run margin in wins.

Note: Data through Tuesday’s games (5/18)

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