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Place your bets on the 2015 Arizona Diamondbacks: closing the book

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With the announcement of the Rookie of the Year voting, we finally have all the information necessary foir the sports book at Casino del Snakepit to pay out. Or not. "Not" works too...

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In case you missed it, before the season began, we presented you with a list of 10 predictions e.g. team wins for the 2015 season, and gave you $1,500 SnakePit dollars to be on the outcomes by choosing whether the actual line in question would be over or under the projected number. You could wager no more than $500 on any one bet, so had to do at least three. 26 brave souls entered the casino this year; how many will leave without the shirts on their backs, and how many will exit being driven by a chauffeur in their new limo?

Below is a section for each bet. The format is the same for each. We have the original projection, the total amount wagered on being over and under the line, the final mark at the end of the season and whether that was over or under the expected line.

Wins: 72.5 (3385/3400) - 79, OVER

It was a very steady performance by the D-backs; here are their monthly games above/below .500: -1, -2, 0, +2, -4, +1 (the last including their 2-2 record in Oct). That's a much more consistent set of results than last year, where we played .500 ball from May 1-July 31, but blew chunks before and after those dates, going 25-59. Last year, we didn't win more than three in a row at any point - we have five longer streaks this season, and our best winning and losing runs were the same length, at six games apiece. The even balance of bets on this suggested the line was very close to pre-season expectations, so the final tally was considerably higher.

Archie Bradley starts: 9.5 (2194/1300) - 8, UNDER

I wrote in the first review, "You're never more than one freak incident away from major disaster...there are still some shoals to negotiate before cashing this one in." Call me Nostradamus, for after opening the season in the rotation, with a 1.45 ERA in three starts, this looked the surest of sure things. However, fate had a different idea, as his fourth start was brutally curtailed by a line-drive. Though Bradley came off surprisingly well physically, when he returned three weeks later, he put up a 10.91 ERA, and with more BBs than Ks (11:9). Four starts later, he was gone from the rotation, and didn't return. Close does not cut it in Vegas, however, and that quick hook will cost people.

Yoan Lopez starts: 4.5 (500/4827) - 0, UNDER

Conversely, this one was easy money, and a lot of people cashed in hard on it. It seemed not impossible when he started off 2015 in the Double-A Mobile rotation - heck, that was a level higher than Zack Godley began the year, and Godley ended up making enough starts at the big-league level to have crossed this particular line. Lopez? Not so much, as a combination of blisters and ineffectiveness - the two may (or may not) be related - combined to wreck any chance he had of getting above AA. He ended up in the AFL, where he had a 3.98 ERA, despite a .403 BABIP, but also an mediocre K:BB ratio of 20:10 in 20.1 innings.  We'll hope for better in 2016.

All-Stars other than Paul Goldschmidt: 0.5 (1200/2400 - 1, OVER

[Copy pasting this one from July!] DINGDINGDING! Courtesy of A.J. Pollock - not someone on most people's radars as a potential All-Star when the season began - we will indeed have someone else apart from Goldie repping the team in the upcoming festivities. That goes against the pre-season betting, when the money went on Goldschmidt flying solo by a margin of 2:1. Again, this is likely an indicator that the team has out-performed expectations, though more on an individual level here. You could even argue that Brad Ziegler was unjustly overlooked for a spot, but regardless, we close this book on this one as over the line.

Combined HR for Goldschmidt, Yasmany Tomas and Mark Trumbo: 70.5 (2080/1950) - 64, UNDER

Goldie did his share, hitting 33 home-runs, though as his pace slowed somewhat in the second half, the projection for this one fell further behind expectactions. And even Trumbo eventually came around a bit, after a wretched start to his time with the Seattle Mariners (two HR over his first 37 games) rebounded somewhat to finish the season with 22 home-runs. I think the main reason was Tomas failing to reach double-figures. If you'd told me before the season Tomas would have just fifteen fewer at-bats than Nick Ahmed, yet would hit the same number of home-runs, I would have looked at you very strangely!

Tomas' finish in Rookie of the Year voting: 4.5 (3000/731) - DNP, OVER

Well, that was disappointing, wasn't it? Especially since Yasmany was batting over .300 as late as the very end of July. If he had kept that up the rest of the season, even allowing for his defensive indifference, it might have allowed him to get a few votes lower down the ballot, because no rookie with 300+ PA hit .300 this season. However, it's safe to say that Tomas did Tanque in the second half, hitting a triple-slash of .208/.228/.325 after the break. In a rookie of the year field which was already epically strong (and especially one where four men combined for 86 of the 90 possible votes) he needed to do an awful lot better.

Number of different starting catchers used: 4.5 (1150/2986) - 6, OVER

We began the year with Tuffy Gosewisch and Gerald Laird, but both hit the disabled list. Jordan Pacheco came up to replace Laird, then took over from Gosewisch temporarily, but the arrival of Welington Castillo from Seattle and the return of Oscar Hernandez from the DL pushed Pacheco back out of a regular job. Finally, Jarrod Saltalamacchia arrived off waivers to compete the six-pack of catchers, which I think was the most in the major-leagues this year. So it's probably no surprise that this cause a good chunk of people off guard, with only 28% of people taking the over on this one.

David Peralta's OPS+: 104.5 (1000/701) - 139, OVER

Not so much over, as cleared with the ease of Superman stepping up onto the kerb, I think it's safe to say that Peralta's 2016 campaign lived up to all expectations. If his rookie campaign was impressive, David build significantly upon that for his sophomore season, increasing his batting average by 26 points, his on-base percentage by 51 points and his slugging percentage by 72. His second half was particularly monstrous batting .360 with a .977 OPS. Admittedly, a .436 BABIP probably influenced that just a tad, but Vegas doesn't give a damn about how lucky Peralta might have been.

Date of Patrick Corbin's season debut: June 1 (4335/100) - July 4 OVER

July 1 would have been closer to it, but the results when Corbin finally returned were worth waiting for, and right now, he is probably the 2016 Opening Day starter. It'll be nice to have the training wheels taken off, and Corbin no longer subjected to the pitch-count limit which was ruthlessly enforced this year - he reached 90 pitches just once, throwing in the 76-90 range in the vast majority of the remainder (12 of 16 total). There was some signs he was flagging at the end - 15 hits and nine earned runs over his last two starts and 9.2 innings - but a lot of positives to build on for next season, and no apparent health issues.

Date of Aaron Hill trade: July 1 (1560-100) - OVER

Admittedly, the line never specified which year they meant by this... The already slim hopes of a quick trade were probably dashed by Hill batting .180/.226/.220 in April,. and outside of a good couple of weeks in mid-May (including six hits in one day, thanks to a double-header), it was an uphill struggle thereafter. It's possible the team would have bitten the bullet and eaten Hill's contract, but for the even bigger flop at the plate of Chris Owings. As is, Hill saw out the 2015 season, though his name has already surfaced in trade rumors involving the Cincinnati Reds and Brandon Phillips. Stay tuned, folks, and see whether this line re-appears in 2016!

Final standings

SnakePitter Standings
Diamondhacks $1,500.00
Fangdango $1,100.00
GuruB $1,000.00
Angry_Saguaro $1,000.00
Xerostomia $900.00
NathanJ $900.00
piratedan7 $700.00
tstack1014 $500.00
njjohn $500.00
swimn4ever $500.00
Makakilo $500.00
Nate Rowan $500.00
shoewizard $500.00
phx suns $500.00
grimmy01 $500.00
Sprankton $500.00
ryeandi $400.00
Mr Butterworth $300.00
Hazzard21 $300.00
SenSurround $214.92
preston.salisbury $100.00
Reynolds rapper -$400.00
JoeCB1991 -$500.00
pete25 -$500.00
aricat -$1,500.00
AzDbackfanInDc -$1,500.00
Total $8,514.92

The Casino del SnakePit took a bit of a beating this year, ending up paying out over $8,500 to the punters. Yoan Lopez and Patrick Corbin provided the biggest amount of pain for the house, though things would have been worse had Archie Bradley stuck around longer. Congratulations to Diamondhacks, whose trifecta of over on the All-Stars and Hill, plus under on the Home-run Triptych, all came home successfully, and made him the only entrant without a losing bet this year. Fangdango, GuruB and Angry Saguaro also did well, taking home a grand or more. At the other end of the spectrum are arican and AzDbackfanInDc who lost their shirts. Fortunately, only their figurative ones!

We'll be back with more of the same, not long before Opening Day in 2016.