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 SnakePit 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 projection for the end of the season based on current numbers and whether that will be over or under the expected line. There are a couple of categories where there's no meaningful projection available, as noted.
Wins: 72.5 (3385/3400) - 78, OVER
This line is looking a lot better than it was when we went into Colorado, at which point the projection was more than ten wins fewer. This saw the closest to an even split among the bettors, probably reflecting that the line seems close to what many of us expect - if not so much hope - the team to achieve this season. I think there's no doubt this team is better than last, with the rotation likely the most pleasant surprise. We're already five games ahead of where we were at the same point last year.
Archie Bradley starts: 9.5 (2194/1300) - 24, OVER
This one seemed to become a near-sure thing after we succeeded in dumping Cahill on the Braves (who have now moved him to the bullpen). That opened up a tailor-made rotation slot for Archie, and in terms of performance so far, he seems to have justified it. However, as we saw, you're never more than one freak incident away from major disaster. We also have to figure out who is going to be dropped from the rotation when Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo return, so there are still some shoals to negotiate before cashing this one in.
Yoan Lopez starts: 4.5 (500/4827) - 0, UNDER
A lot o heavy wagering on the under line here, with many apparently thinking we won't see Lopez at all this year. After a shaky Cactus League season, he has been performing well in Mobile: over 28.1 innings, he has held batters to a 2.22 ERA, thoigh a K:BB ratio of 20:10 could skew toward the strikeout more. It is worth remembering he's only 22, and will be that for the rest of the year, making him the youngest member of the AA rotation. There does still seem to be a lot of traffic ahead of him on the depth charts, however.
All-Stars other than Paul Goldschmidt: 0.5 (1200/2400 - TBA
Hard to tell which way this one is likely to go at the present time. The "other than" section appears to be proceeding smoothly, though Adrian Gonzalez may pose a threat in terms of Goldie being voted into the starter's role again. But who else might be in with a shot? If Bradley keeps up his form, that could certainly be a possibility. Mark Trumbo is another who might have a ahot, most likely off the bench. Maybe even Brad Ziegler and his 0.82 ERA + 0.545 WHIP? Those would be the three I'd say have the best shot at this point.
Combined HR for Goldschmidt, Yasmany Tomas and Mark Trumbo: 70.5 (2080/1950) - 72, OVER
Another line where opinion was strongly divided, and so far, this one is looking very close: the total so far is 12, with eight from Paul and four by Mark; Yasmany has yet to open his account [so, turns out he's a low-strikeout, contact hitter - didn't see that coming!]. Of course, it's unlikely these paces will keep up on an individual level; Goldie is probably not going to hit 48 home-runs this season. However, Tomas will get round to leaving the yard eventually; I think this one will be interesting to follow for the rest of the year.
Tomas' finish in Rookie of the Year voting: 4.5 (3000/731) - TBA
Most people didn't give Tomas a chance of doing well in this award, and after he was sent down to Reno to start the season, the chances looked slim. But the injury to Jake Lamb opened a door, and with Tomas now hitting for an 114 OPS+, who knows what might happen? A bigger challenge to a top-four finish may be what looks like a very good crop of NL rookies, with Joc Pederson, Kris Bryant and Anthony DeSclafani standing out so far, and team-mate Archie Bradley also in the mix.
Number of different starting catchers used: 4.5 (1150/2986) - currently 3
Most people didn't think we would use five catchers, but with three already in the bag (Tuffy Gosewisch, Gerald Laird and Jordan Pacheco) after a month, while Oscar Hernandez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, if not also Peter O'Brien, lurk in the wings. Perm any two of those three, and this line will be closed on the over. That would be unusual, since the Diamondbacks have started more than four catchers in a season just the once, in 2004, when we used six. [Trivia question: can you name them? Answer at the end.]
David Peralta's OPS+: 104.5 (1000/701) - 138, OVER
After coming out of, literally, nowhere to post a 112 OPS+ in his rookie season, as a 26-year-old, thee was some discussion over whether Peralta could match those numbers in 2015. Early on, the pessimism seemed founded, since as recently as April 27, David was barely above the Uecker Line, with a triple-slash of .205/.250/.410. However, he has turned it on since, batting .429 (9-for-21) with most of the hits being for extra-bases. While the .500 BABIP over that time is not sustainable, the overall season figure of .304 should be.
Date of Patrick Corbin's season debut: June 1 (4335/100) - TBA
Well, this could be close. Corbin will pitch in an extended spring training game on Monday (May 11th) and then begin his rehab assignments, starting off at Visalia. Presuming he works every fifth day, it's possible he could then have three rehab starts on May 16th, 21th and 26th, then if all goes well, make his major-league debut on May 31st. That would sneak in under the wire, and hurt a lot of people, because the wagering here was the most one-sided of any line, with 98% of the money going for after June 1.
Date of Aaron Hill trade: July 1 (1560-100) - TBA
The chances of anyone taking Hill's contract off our hands look a lot better now than they did before the Colorado trip, when his line for the season was .196/.237/.286. Three games later, it has improved to .262/.294/.400, which is actually now an OPS ten points higher than National League average for the position. Since the end of the Pittsburgh series, Hill is 10-for-20 with a 1.350 OPS. Weirdly, he hasn't walked or struck out in that time. But if he keeps hitting like this, maybe a trade can happen after all.
Unfortunately, the nature of some of these prevents any kind of projection, and as a result, pretty much makes standings meaningless, since half the betting lines would be non-applicable. By next time, we should be able to decide Corbin's return, and could have a better handle on things like catchers, All-Stars, etc. Game #54 is currently scheduled for June 5 at Chase against the Mets, so we'll check back in then, and see how the lines are progressing.
The six starting catchers used in 2004 were:Juan Brito (53 games), Robbie Hammock (42), Brent Mayne (27), Robbie Hammock (27), Koyie Hill (10) and Bobbie Estalella (3).