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August 21, 2014

Does winning a bunch of one-run games pay off?

The Marlins went into their off-day Thursday leading the majors in walk-off wins (11), one-run wins (32) and wins in their last at-bat (21). 

So does being great at winning tight games pay off? History shows us the majority of the teams that have won at least 32 one-run games in a season since 1993 have gone on to do some good things.

A dozen made the playoffs, two won the World Series (2005 White Sox and 1997 Marlins) and seven reached the League Championship Series. Only one of those 22 teams finished with a losing record: the 2000 Marlins, who wound up third in the NL East at 79-82.

Here's the list of the 23 teams since 1993 that have won at least 32 one-run games during the season. Remember, the Marlins (63-63) have 36 games left on the slate. The record for the most one-run wins in a season belongs to the 1978 Giants (42-26). They finished 89-73 and third in the NL West.

1. 1993 Royals 38-32. Finished 84-78 and 3rd in the AL West
2. 1993 Braves 37-22. Finished 104-58 and lost to the Phillies in NLCS
3. 2005 White Sox 35-19. Finished 99-63 and won the World Series
4. 2009 Mariners 35-20. Finished 85-77 and 3rd in the AL West
5. 1998 Mets 35-26. Finished 88-74 and 2nd in NL East
6. 2013 Diamondbacks 34-21. Finished 81-81 and 2nd in NL West
7. 2002 Dodgers 33-15. Finished 92-70 and 3rd in NL West
8. 2004 A's 33-19. Finished 99-66 and lost to the Twins in ALDS
9. 1997 Braves 33-20. Finished 101-61 and lost to the Marlins in the NLCS
10. 2011 Giants 33-22. Finished 86-76 and 2nd in NL West
11. 1996 Dodgers 33-23. Finished 90-72 and lost to the Braves in NLDS
12. 1996 Expos 33-23. Finished 88-74 and 2nd in NL East
13. 2005 Angels 33-26. Finished 95-67 and lost to White Sox in ALCS
14. 2002 A's 32-14. Finished 103-59 and lost to the Twins in ALDS
15. 2004 Dodgers 32-16. Finished 93-69 and lost to the Cardinals in NLDS
16. 2014 Marlins 32-19. Currently 63-63 and 3 games back in the Wild Card race
17. 2007 Diamondbacks 32-20. Finished 90-72 and lost to the to Rockies in NLCS
18. 2000 Marlins 32-20. Finished 79-82 and 3rd in NL East
19. 2006 A's 32-22. Finished 93-69 and lost to Tigers in ALCS
20. 1997 Marlins 32-22. Finished 92-70 and won the World Series
21. 1996 Padres 32-23. Finished 91-71 and lost to the Cardinals in NLDS
22. 2000 Angels 32-23. Finished 82-80 and 3rd in AL West
23. 1993 Expos 32-24. Finished 94-68 and 2nd in NL East

MARLINS HISTORY (MOST ONE-RUN GAMES IN A SEASON)

1. 1993 Marlins 62, 25-37
2. 1998 Marlins 60, 31-29
3. 2011 Marlins 59, 27-32
4. 2013 Marlins 59, 24-35
5. 1997 Marlins 54, 32-22
6. 2003 Marlins 53, 30-23
7. 2000 Marlins 52, 32-20
8. 2012 Marlins 52, 26-26
9. 2014 Marlins 51, 32-19
10. 2010 Marlins 50, 23-28
11. 2009 Marlins 50, 30-20