As usual, the pre-season line is given, followed by the split of wagers on over and under in brackets, then the current pace, and whether that is on course to be over or under.
It's going to be close. The team needs to go 27-27 the rest of the way to make this one come true, which would also be a morale victory, in that it would be an improvement (albeit of the smallest possible order) over 2012. The problem is, they've only gone 25-29, having failed to take any advantage of the soft underbelly which was the July schedule, largely populated with opponents below .500. The first half of August looks brutal: through the 22nd, when we finish a series against the Reds, 16 of 19 games are against teams 10 or more above .500: outside of three against the Mets, the next worst teams are the Orioles and Reds, at 60-49. Not gonna be easy.
Prado had another good session, hitting .323 since our last update, with 11 multi-hit games, including four where he had three hits. That has got his season average up to the highest it has been since mid-April. This is part of an extended series of decent performances, which have Prado batting .286 over his last 64 games, which is pretty close to where we would be expecting. He still continues to put the ball in play: only three qualifying batters in the NL have a lower strikeout rate this season than Prado's 8.9%, and his strikeout to walk-ratio of 1.26 is also fourth best in the league. I doubt there's any hope for this one, but if he can get his average up to .280 this year, I'll be satisfied.
Last time, I wrote: "If he doesn't rediscover his power stroke, then he'd be my candidate for "Most Likely to Regress" in July. I still think it's quite possible he'll no longer be a D-back by the trade deadline." Well, I was half-right. What we saw from Kubel was less a regression than an implosion, as he has hit .120 since the end of June, going 6-for-50 with one home-run, two RBI and 17 strikeouts. I know his playing time has been significantly reduced this year - he had 98 PAs last July, compared to 54 in 2013 - but the lack of power is disappointing. Though not unexpected, with over 80% of the money here, being bet on the under.
- HR's 20½ (1,750-346). 7½, under
When the story of the 2013 season is eventually written, one of the ingredients will probably be Hill's absence from the line-up for over two months. He hasn't played badly, with the fourth section of games seeing him hit .270. However, that hides a lack of plate discipline, with only four walks over that time, resulting in an on-base percentage of .305. There were also only a pair of homers, resulting in an OPS of .732. While by no means terrible, especially given the position (the NL average second-baseman has a .704 OPS this year), it is a far cry from the .869 he has produced for Arizona in 229 games since coming to the desert.
- HR's 25½ (2,954-600). 36, over
And literally, between finishing the last paragraph and starting this one, Goldzilla clubbed #25 on the year - though as it's in the 109th game, it's excluded from the line above. But this one is now as close to a banker as you can get. Goldschmidt needs only one long-ball over the remaining 53 (and a bit!) games. His pace has slowed a little of late, but he's still in line, including today's shot, to match Troy Glaus's 37 home-runs from 2005. It does seem that Mark Reynolds' 44 from 2009 is out of reach, though on the other hand, I suspect Goldschmidt will hit for a higher average than the .260 Special K gave us. OPS could end up a close race.
- Wins 14½ (2,852-1,050). 3, under - Wins 12½ (8,915-0). 4½, under - Wins 14 (1,667-6,148). 12, under
Kennedy sails off toward the San Diego sunset, and that closes the line on him. Any wins he gets for the Padres the rest of the way will not be counted, though it's not going to make a lot of difference unless he wins 12 games in two months for them. In which case, I'm going to be rather upset. Cahill's season, already stumbling along, is now rehabbing in Reno, which for a pitcher is a bit like being told those nasty, open wounds will clear right up, with an extra shift in the salt-mine. Miley, however, has sorted himself out, with four wins in his last five starts, and a 1.59 July ERA. Though it's a stretch - maybe 11 starts left - Miley could make it, if he keeps pitching like he has of late.
We should maybe have done comparative lines, e.g. Putz saves vs. Kubel homers vs. Hill homers. Right now, they're all on pace for the same number, seriously underwhelming in every case. Putz isn't even getting to see any save situations at this point. He worked the seventh inning of today's game, and that and the eighth have been where he has lived since blowing the save against the Mets, with a couple of ninths when we were blowing the opposition out. But his ERA is down below three for the year. I'm curious to see what we end up doing with him, not just this season, also next. I know he was trade bait, but who might close for us in 2014? Ziegler? Bell? Stites?
- HR's 27½ (2,512-2,351). 24 under
Justin Upton - BA .285(2,030-1,201). .257 under
Woo-hoo! Finally, something that has changed! Upton's home-run pace is now below what was expected, though this line doesn't include his two home-runs yesterday: those were in the Braves 109th game, so are part of the current stretch. Even if we had, the projection would still have been under, at 27. But the question is, does that foretell one of Upton's hot streaks? Because, looking at his monthly splits this season, I am just so confused...
April, he was unstoppable: we you have predicted then, after hitting five HR in his first five games, that May-July would combine for less? In May and June, he was unbearable. Last month, his average came back but he still had no power at all. And Upton's August starts with him matching, in one day, his total home-run output over the previous 59 games and 234 at-bats. So, while the BA looks likely to be out of reach, the home-run line really depends on which version of Upton shows up in August and September.
|Dallas D'Back Fan||-$1,500.00|
After a static last update, there is at least some change here with, as noted, Upton's home-run tally now on pace to be under rather than over. Wailord and NLWestBaseball move to the top of the list as a result, currently winning all their wagers and Dallas D'Back Fan sits in lowly splendor at the opposite end of the sports betting spectrum. Next update, the penultimate one, will be round about September 2.