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Place Your Bets On The 2012 Diamondbacks: The Final Reckoning

At the start of the season, we asked readers to wager $1,500 hypothetical SnakePit Dollars on some of the Vegas lines being offered on the Diamondbacks during 2012. We've been monitoring the results, and with the season now over, it's time to cash in the chips, or tear up those slips...

By Podknox, User:AlanM1 (Cropped from [1]) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

As previiously, for each bet we list the original Vegas line, the amount wagered on the team/player being above or below that number, and now, whether they did or not, now the season is over and the book closed.

Diamondbacks Wins: 86½ (5550-1100). Final: 81 - UNDER
I don't think we need rub our own noses in this one for too long, since we'll be raking over the embers of this season quite a bit over the coming months. This officially died on September 24, with the Monday wraparound loss to the Rockies marking our 76th loss. It would have been nice to come a bit closer, but losing three out of the last four at home, to teams who combined for 199 losses this year, left us well short.

Justin Upton - BA: .290 (1517-900). Final: .280 - UNDER
Justin Upton - Total HR's 29½ (2850-200). Final: 17
Justin Upton - Total RBI's 90½ (800-100). Final: 67
Batting average, at least, turned out to be rather closer than we originally thought, after Upton was hitting below .250 at the one-third point. He batted .318 with five home-runs and 13 RBI in the final stretch of the season, numbers which, if extended over the entire season, would have crushed BA and just squeaked in for home-runs, but remained well short for runs driven it. Pity that Runs weren't on the board, as J-Up's 107 was a career high there, surpassing last year's number by two. Be interesting to see what the lines will be like for Upton in 2013: I think we might see action on a bounceback season.

Chris Young - Total HR's 22½ (1350-900). Final: 14 - UNDER
Ugh. Hard to say if this or Daniel Hudson's was the most disappointing "under" of the year. The injury problems could hardly have been foreseen: over the previous five years, Young had averaged 151 games per season for the Diamondbacks: in 2012, he appeared only 101 times, with just 84 starts. His at-bats were about 43% down on 2011, and if you pro-rate his homers for this, he would have hit 24, crossing the line. However, if there's one lesson to be learned from the betting here, it's that good health is never a certainty.

Jason Kubel - Total HR's 20½ (2409-500). Final: 30 - OVER
The debate on Kubel's value will likely continue - but strictly from a betting point of view, he was well worth whatever money you wagered on him, being the first bet to close in a positive way. As with Upton, it'll be interesting to see how this line moves. While it's clear Kubel enjoyed hitting at Chase, the dozen home-runs he hit on the road was also only one off his career high.

Aaron Hill - Total HR's 17½ (200-5323). Final: 26 - OVER
Likely the team MVP over this final stretch, Hill produced a line of.330/.390/.607 - that included six home-runs, but almost half his 37 hits in the last 27 games (a heck of a rate in itself) went for extra bases. It's really only the long balls that concern us, and Hill had already blown past the line when we did the last update: shame only one of our 26 bettors predicted this (well done, jjwaltrip!). Remember that epic year he had in 2009, when he was an All-Star and 11th in MVP voting? His OPS+ that year was 114. This year: 131.

Ian Kennedy -Total Wins 14½ (3800-700). Final: 15 - OVER
Daniel Hudson - Total Wins 13½ (4858-100). Final : 3 - UNDER
Trevor Cahill - Total Wins 12½ (2000-100). Final : 13
It was close: Cahill went into his final start possibly over or under. But both he and Kennedy just managed to eke out the necessary wins; credit to Vegas for basically nailing both men's win totals. Kennedy won three of his six starts in the last batch, with a 2.95 ERA; Cahill was even better, going 4-1 with a 2.62 ERA. That was a very solid comeback for both men, but especially Trevor, given that he only had picked up two wins over his first ten starts. Kennedy had one more, so also picked up the pace down the stretch.

J.J. Putz - Total Saves 35½ (350-3193). Final: 32 - UNDER
Putz blew back-to-back saves on September 2 and 3, and that was likely the death-knell. He went 100% on save opportunities the rest of the way, but there were only four of those. Putz was still damn good down the stretch, despite those consecutive meltdowns. Overall, in his 34 appearances from June 20th on, J.J. posted a 0.84 ERA, holding opponents to a .459 OPS. Sure. his saves were down - but he had a lot fewer saver opportunities this year; those dropped from 49 to 37.

Let's put it all together, update the standings, and see what we find for the last time this year.

Name Score
Diamondhacks 1,300
AzDbackfanInDc 1,100
deerhaven 500
Reynolds rapper 500
Dan Strittmater 500
BigLeagueAZ 100
Joel Preston 100
SenSurround 4
CaptainCanuck 0
Bcawz -100
stevenballer -100
blank_38 -500
Murricles -500
luckycc -500
DeDxDbacKxJroK -500
Liamneeson -700
blue bulldog -700
J Beer -700
Mizzoula Osprey -700
awmellon -900
Britback -1,100
sonic barracuda -1,100
jjwaltrip -1,100
grimmy01 -1,100
Dallas D'back Fan -1,300
4 Corners Fan -1,500
TOTAL -8,996

Congratulations to Diamondhacks and AzDbackfanInDc, who showed that a method to success is to pick a number you're very certain of - respectively, Putz not making 36 saves, and Kennedy reaching 15 wins - and bet the house on it. Third place goes to deerhaven, who showed relentless pessimism has something to be said for it too: it makes logical sense, as I imagine team-specific bets like this are likely to be wagered by fans of the team. They're perhaps inclined to optimism, pushing the line higher than it should be - the near $9,000 we ended down shows that. At the other end, poor 4 Corners Fan wagered above on wins, Upton homers, Hudson wins and Putz saves. Ouch.

I hope you all enjoyed this little exercise. If I can find lines like this next spring, I'll repeat the exercise - though this time, perhaps with a rather lower cap on maximum wagers...