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Place Your Bets on the 2012 D-backs: Half-Way

Jul. 4, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Jason Kubel (13) hits a three run home run against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Chase Field.  Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE
Jul. 4, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Jason Kubel (13) hits a three run home run against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

We're now just after the one-half stage of the season, so it's time once again to take a look at how the Diamondbacks' progress has stacked up against the Vegas lines offered at the beginning of the season. The last time we looked, at the one-third point, Arizona fandom was some $18,000 dollars in the hole to the bookies, though this was something of an improvement over the $21,000+ we owed after the first month of the season. Since then, Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel have gone on something of a tear, but the book on Daniel Hudson's year has been closed. Has that helped or hindered our efforts to dig ourselves out of debt?

As before, for each wager, I'll give you the original projection, then in brackets, how much SnakePit money went on each side of the line, with the first amount being the total bet on the D-backs being over that line. Then, there's the current pace, based on numbers through the end of game #81 on Wednesday, and whether that will end up being over or under the projected line.

Diamondbacks Wins: 86½ (5550-1100). Pace: 78 - UNDER
That's a three-game improvement over the pace in the first third of the season, with Arizona having gone 14-13 since we last checked. The closest we've got to hitting the line was reaching an 83-game projection, most recently after we won the first game in Milwaukee, improving our record to 39-37. That's been the highest extrapolation since we were 14-13 on May 4, on course for 84 victories. The Diamondbacks need to go 48-33 over the second half to push past the line: losing the first game there wasn't the best way to start, meaning we now have to play .600 ball the rest of the way. Doesn't seem likely.

Justin Upton - BA: .290 (1517-900). Pace: .263 - UNDER
Justin Upton - Total HR's 29½ (2850-200). Pace: 14 - UNDER
Justin Upton - Total RBI's 90½ (800-100). Pace: 68 - UNDER
A bit of a recovery for J-Up, as he hit .289 in Games #55-71, and drove in 14 runs, both numbers only fractionally off the pace expected before the start of the season, though he only hit two home-runs - indeed, he has only two home-runs in his past 34 games, covering 132 at-bats. The problem is, if any of these lines are to be achieved, he has to do better than "fractionally off", after his struggles in the front-third. He'd need to hit about .320 in the second half, with 23 HR and 57 RBI - and no major-league player had a 2012 first-half matching all three criteria.

Chris Young - Total HR's 22½ (1350-900). Pace: 16 - UNDER
Well, at least Chris Young is hitting home-runs of late, even if not much else. Over the past eight games, he's 3-for-24, with all three hits being home-runs, and CY has now gone 17 games and 60 at-bats since his last single, on June 13. Overall, Young has eight long-balls in 47 games, which would be a solid rate, well above the needed pace, if he hadn't missed so much time. If he can sustain that rate the rest of the way, and doesn't miss any more time, he'd finish the year at 22 homers, so this might be close.

Jason Kubel - Total HR's 20½ (2409-500). Pace: 28 - OVER
Last time we wrote, Kubel was in the middle of a power outage, with one long-ball in 32 games. Now, not so much, as Jason crushed ten home-runs - almost half the expected season total - in this slice of the season, covering just one-sixth of the schedule. Unlike CY, he has had plenty of other hits as well, giving him an average of .314 and an OPS of 1.041, making him one of the hottest hitters in baseball lately. He just needs seven homers the rest of the way to make the line, and that seems highly likely.

Aaron Hill - Total HR's 17½ (200-5323). Pace: 22 - OVER
Hill has also surged, albeit more in general production, as he hit .382 over this stretch. That included six home-runs, enough to move his pace back over the line. Good news for the Diamondbacks, but less so for our bettors, as almost all the money was on the pessimistic side. Like Kubel, he needs seven the rest of the way to lock this one down: he'll probably do it, though it feels less of a dead-cert than with our outfielder.

Ian Kennedy -Total Wins 14½ (3800-700). Pace: 12 - UNDER
Daniel Hudson - Total Wins 13½ (4858-100). Pace: 3 - UNDER, BOOK CLOSED
Trevor Cahill - Total Wins 12½ (2000-100). Pace: 12 - UNDER

At the risk of almost repeating myself from the previous write-up, "Ok, who in spring training had Wade Miley as having most wins for the Diamondbacks at the one-third one-half stage of the season?" Kennedy and Cahill could still come through in the second half, if they get decent run support and stay healthy. The latter, of course, proved a deadly trap for the tidal wave of money poured on to Hudson. A target of 14 wins seemed like easy picking, for a healthy and effective starter. However, turns out that he was neither, and everyone except deerhaven who wagered on Dan can tear their betting-slips up right now.

J.J. Putz - Total Saves 35½ (350-3193). Pace: 28 - UNDER
This wager has dropped back below the line, mostly because of a striking lack of save opportunities for the Diamondbacks. We've only had three save chances since June 2, which goes back before the entire period covered by this update - and one of those was a four-out appearance which went to David Hernandez. The irony is, Putz has been solid, only allowing the opposition to score in one of his nine games. It's just been that they have almost all been in non-save situations.

Let's put it all together, update the standings, and see what we find.

Player Standing
Diamondhacks 1,500
deerhaven 700
Reynolds rapper 500
Dan Strittmater 500
BigLeagueAZ 100
SsnSurround 4
Britback -100
Bcawz -100
Liamneeson -700
blue bulldog -700
J Beer -700
Joel Preston -700
CaptainCanuck -700
stevenballer -900
awmellon -900
blank_38 -900
Murricles -900
Mizzoula Osprey -1,000
luckycc -1,100
DeDxDbacKxJroK -1,100
sonic barracusa -1,100
jjwaltrip -1,100
AzDbackfanInDc -1,300
Dallas D'back Fan -1,500
4 Corners Fan -1,500
grimmy01 -1,500
TOTAL -15,196

Congratulation to Diamondhacks, who has managed to find himself on the right side of all four of his wagers at this point - the swapping of Putz's saves from over to under triggered the turnaround, as 'hacks had bet heavily on the downside of that line. deerhaven's pessimism continues to remain largely well-founded, with Reynolds rapper and Dan Strittmatter the others remaining solidly on the positive side. At the other end, Dallas D'back Fan, 4 Corners Fan and grimmy01 have hitched all their propositions to losing horses, and the overall SnakePit debt remains massive, at a little more than fifteen grand. Fortunately, that's in SnakePit dollars...

Still, plenty of time for things to change further in the second-half. Next update will be after game #108, which takes place on Sunday, August 5.