10 stats on the Miami Marlins’ season through 40 games and where they’re heading

·5 min read
David Santiago/dsantiago@miamiherald.com

By wins and losses, the start of the 2022 season hasn’t gone the way the Miami Marlins had hoped.

After 40 games, they are 18-22 heading into a three-city road that begins with a two-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday and Wednesday, continues with three games against the Atlanta Braves Friday through Sunday and wraps up next week against the Colorado Rockies.

They are eight-and-a-half games behind the National League East-leading New York Mets.

Here are 10 stats — some team-centric, some individual-based — that have played a role in the Marlins’ season to this point and could explain where the team is heading over the next few months.

Situational records...

6-13 — Record in one-run games: No other team has played as many one-run games as the Marlins this season, with just shy of half of their games decided by the minimum result so far. The Toronto Blue Jays are the next closest, with 18 of their 41 games being decided by a single run.

No other team has lost as many one-run games as the Marlins this season, either. The Cubs, with 10 one-run defeats, are the next closest team.

But with that comes a reminder: Not all one-run losses are created equal.

Of Miami’s 13 losses:

Three were walk-off defeats, featured Miami either tied or ahead in the seventh inning or later, two of which the Marlins had the lead in the ninth inning and the third of which they were tied after the seventh inning. There were three additional losses in which the opponent scored the game-tying or go-ahead run in the ninth inning.

Five were games in which Miami fell behind early and couldn’t score enough to rally.

Five were games in which Miami scored fewer than three runs.

7-2 — Record in blowout games: A “blowout” for the purpose of this statistic is defined by Baseball Reference as a game in which a team wins by at least five runs. Miami has three wins by eight runs, three by six runs and one by five runs this season compared to just two blowout defeats (10-3 by the Philadelphia Phillies on April 16 and 9-3 by the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 10) a quarter of the way through the season. Compare that to even a year ago, when the Marlins had 21 blowout losses.

11-5 — Record against divisional opponents: Miami is 5-1 against the Washington Nationals, 3-1 against the Phillies and 3-3 against the Braves so far this season. They don’t face the division-leading Mets for the first time until a four-game set at Citi Field that begins June 17.

At the plate...

.710 — the Marlins’ overall on-base-plus-slugging percentage mark: This is the 11th-best mark in baseball and represents a 40 point increase over where the team finished a year ago when it had the second-worst OPS in the league.

But while the team’s OPS has improved, it hasn’t fully translated into the win-loss column. Why? Continue on.

Situational hitting struggles: A few stats will be lumped together in this one. The Marlins have done a good job getting players on base but have not necessarily been able to bring them home efficiently.

The numbers behind that: The Marlins have 390 plate appearances with runners in scoring position (12th in MLB) but have just a .226 batting average (22nd in MLB), .671 OPS (22nd in MLB) and .273 batting average on balls in play (20th in MLB) in those situations.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. has been the Marlins’ best hitter with runners in scoring position, hitting .417 (10 for 24) with 19 RBI and just four strikeouts. Joey Wendle is next at .412 (7 for 17), followed by Jesus Aguilar (.321 average) and Jacob Stallings (.310 average). No other regular in the lineup is hitting above .217.

.895 — Jorge Soler’s OPS in May: After struggling mightily over the first month of the season (.171 average, .587 OPS), Soler appears to be turning a corner in May. He has six home runs this month, tied for the seventh most in MLB. His 15 RBI are tied for 15th in the league. He has five multi-hit outings this month and has safely reached base at least once in all but three of his 17 appearances.

25: The number of consecutive games Brian Anderson has safely reached base. Anderson, who is playing a utility role this year by splitting time between third base and the outfield, has a .394 on-base percentage and 18 runs scored in that span.

On the mound...

3.31: The Marlins enter Monday with the fourth-best team ERA in baseball, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (2.80), Houston Astros (2.84) and New York Yankees (2.96). They are the only team with two starting pitchers among the top 10 individually in ERA (Pablo Lopez is third at 1.57, while Sandy Alcantara is ninth at 2.11 after his complete-game effort on Sunday).

14: Total quality starts by Marlins starting pitchers, tied for the 11th most in baseball. Alcantara (six) and Lopez (four) once again lead the way for the Marlins here as they form one of baseball’s top one-two starting pitcher punches in the league to start the season.

April 30: That is the last time the Marlins have converted a save. Miami is the only team that has yet to record a save in May, failing to do so in all three opportunities that have come up so far this month after going 9 for 10 in save situations in April.

Even with that, Miami’s bullpen has a 3.23 ERA that ranks sixth in the league.