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.
The team did a decent job getting through August with a winning schedule - just, at 14-13 - considering it was a tough month, but they enter the final month with the necessary winning record far from assured. After yesterday's defeat, they need to go 13-13 over their remaining 26 games to finish over .500. They have nine games against other teams above .500: home and away series against the Dodgers, and the final set hosting the Nationals. Once we finish off this series versus the Blue Jays, it's all within the division, apart from Washington. 14 of the final 26 will be on the road. All told, I'd call it possible, but the D-backs will need to grit out a few more wins yet.
Last time, I wrote of Prado, "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." Well, the latter part of that has clearly been achieved, after Prado hit .374 since our previous report. That has boosted the season average all the way up from .265 to .289. If we assume he ends up with the same number of at-bats as last year, he needs to go 35-for-98 down the stretch to end up at .300 and get over the line. That's a .357 clip, which won't be easy, but on recent performance, not impossible. It's a remarkable recovery even to have a shot, considering he was at .217 when April ended, and this line seemed dead and buried.
The shoe finally dropped, and the trade of Kubel I've been expecting for at least three months finally took place. What's remarkable is that we actually got something of potential value in return, considering Kubel has seemed like a sunk cost for almost the entire season. He started okay, but since coming back after his first DL stint in mid-April, things went from bad to worse, to "Oh my god, why is he still on the roster?". to "Thank heaven's that's finally over." His August, where Kubel hit .152 with no walks or extra-base hits, for a .303 OPS, probably has to be among the worst calendar months ever, by any D-backs hitter who appeared in a majority of the team's games (18).
- HR's 20½ (1,750-346). 11, under
Hill's August wasn't far behind Prado's, as he hit .372 with a 1.054 OPS, including a 13-game hitting streak, which tied Gerardo Parra's in April for the team longest this season. The run including four homers, three of them coming in consecutive games, Hill joining Paul Goldschmidt (May 6-8) in performing that feat, but with one month left, Aaron would need to hit 11 home-runs down the stretch to reach the line. We pause, contemplate the 63 games he missed in April, May and June due to the broken hand, and can only wonder what might have been - both for the team, and the Diamondbacks.
If you're looking for good news, however, it comes in the shape of Goldzilla, who took just one game past the two-third mark of the season to cross the line, hitting #26 on August 3. He is having a bit of a homerless spell at this point, with his last one coming on August 20. However, that's probably because pitchers are working a lot more carefully to him. Here are his walk totals by month for May-August: 11, 13, 19 and 28. He needs 13 more to set a new franchise record in that department, breaking Gonzo's mark of 100 during 2001. That's heading towards almost as foregone a conclusion as the home-run line.
- Wins 14½ (2,852-1,050). 3, under - Wins 12½ (8,915-0). 6, under - Wins 14 (1,667-6,148). 11, under
So Kennedy has now won as many games with the Padres, in six starts, as he did in 21 with the Diamondbacks, though his ERA+ there (87) is still nothing much to write home about. Even combining the two strands, he'd still only be at six, so that line would remain dead in the water. Even a bonus win in relief, courtesy of the 18-inning marathon, won't be enough to help Cahill, and Miley pretty much needs to win every start from here out, even to reach the projected line. All told, this says a lot about the 2013 Diamondbacks, that just about everyone not named Corbin who started for them this year, has been disappointing.
If Putz had got all the saves, then this line would be a great deal more interesting, with Arizona pitchers having picked up a total of 32 to date. Perhaps surprisingly, Heath Bell has most, with 15, Brad Ziegler and Putz have seven and six respectively, with the other four split between David Hernandez and Matt Reynolds. I have a feeling that most closer lines will tend to end up under, because of the enormous volatility in performance shown by relief pitchers. Starters and position players seem to be a lot more stable, but only eight players have had 25 saves both last year and this, meaning 3/4 of teams have had to switch things up.
- HR's 27½ (2,512-2,351). 29, over
Justin Upton - BA .285(2,030-1,201). .264, under
Over the first four months, Upton had two good months and two really crappy ones. August was... both. From the 1st through the 16th, he hit .389 with seven homeruns and a 1.328 OPS. However, after the 16th, he batted .133 with a single homer and a .469 OPS. The return of his ability to hit the long-ball pushed the projected number here back over the line, but he still needs four more down the stretch [the Braves have 25 games left] to make it to the finish. He could do that in a single series; or he could not hit another one the rest of the way. Justin Upton truly has been like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates this season.
The move of Upton's home-runs back above the predicted line shuffles the standings somewhat, as shown below. In the final month, there are still three lines that seem to be open to debate: overall team wins, Upton HR and, more marginally, Prado's BA. It's likely the result for those that will decide who rides home in style from the SnakePit casino, and who is taking the bus.
|Dallas D'Back Fan||-$1,500.00|