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Place Your Bets on the 2017 D-backs: One month down

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Things have gone better than expected for the 2017 D-backs. Has that been reflected in returns at the SnakePit Casino?

Celebrity Chefs Light Up The Strip During Vegas Uncork'd By Bon Appetit's 11th Annual Grand Tasting At Caesars Palace Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit

In case you missed it, before the season we continued a long tradition of opening the doors to the SnakePit Casino. There, we gave people $1,500 SnakePit Dollars, and invited them to wager on a series of over/under lines, for D-backs player and team performance this season. We capped each individual bet at $500, so you have to make at least three bets. Today, we have the first update on the standings so far: as well as the financial ramifications, it actually offers a good “snapshot” of the overall state of the team.

For each bet below, you’ll first get the line drawn by Bovada.lv. Then, in brackets, the amount wagered over and under by gamblers. Finally, we have the end-of-year pace, based on the first month of the season, and whether that number will be over or under the line. NOTE: Participants should check their betting slips for this first update, as the SnakePit Casino cannot absolutely guarantee accuracy otherwise. I’ve sanity checked the figures, to make sure they add up to $1,500, but would not bet the SnakePitette’s life I have not shuffled anyone’s bet from over to under!

Overall, it’s startling how well this season has gone. Virtually every bet has ended up on the positive side for the D-backs: Pollock/Goldschmidt home-runs and Greinke wins are about the only ones I could immediately spot, which have underperformed, and not by much. That’s a radical change from last year, when it seems you would have turned a tidy profit from unabashed pessimism. No guarantees it will remain that way for the next five months, of course. But so far, so good... And, with that preamble out of the way, on to the individual lines...

  • Diamondbacks team - Wins 77½ ($3,293.35-$2,344.33) - PACE 96, OVER

Looking hopeful after a 16-11 start, but there’s a long way to go. Who can forget the cautionary tale of 2008, when we were 20-8 at the end of April, and only just finished above .5? However, even a similar 62-win record the rest of the way would still see Arizona finish above the line. Right now, Fangraphs projects us to finish with 82 wins, and Baseball Prospectus with 83. Cautiously optimistic.

  • Paul Goldschmidt - BA .299 ($2,488.31-$1,016.33) - PACE .315, OVER
  • Paul Goldschmidt - HR 30½ ($166.33-$3,192.65) - PACE 24, UNDER
  • Paul Goldschmidt - RBI 100½ ($2,376.36-$83.33) - PACE 114, OVER
  • Paul Goldschmidt - Runs 99½ ($1,015.75-$83.33) - PACE 126, OVER

What is it about Goldschmidt and 4/20? Last year and this, his line pretty much reached its worst for the year on that day, both times Paul’s OPS hitting .799. Remember when we were worried about him? Over the 10 days since he has been on fire, going 15-for-33 with eight walks, for a line of .455/.581/.727. A bit more power would be nice, but just about everyone thought he’d fall short of 30 HR anyway.,

  • A.J. Pollock - HR 14½ ($4,145.10-$166.33) - PACE 12, UNDER
  • A.J. Pollock - BA .290 ($1,224.66-$335.76) - PACE .324, OVER
  • A.J. Pollock - Stolen Bases 29½ ($900.66-$1,928.05) - PACE 60, OVER

Hello, A.J. I think I speak for everyone in Diamondbacks’ fandom when I say we are very, very glad to have you back. As with Goldschmidt, the power hasn’t been there yet - unlike Goldschmidt, the money is banking on you getting it, with the over line being one of the most lop-sided bets. You’ve also been running like a rabbit. At current pace, this one will be dead and buried as an OVER lock before the All-Star break.

  • David Peralta - BA .290 ($0.00-$4,619.30) - PACE .326, OVER

Lesson learned: Never under-estimate David Peralta. Nobody was apparently willing to bet on him getting back close to the form he showed in 2014-15, when he hit .301 over his first two seasons. But he leads the team, one of five everyday Diamondbacks who are batting better than .310. Will it last? A .380 BABIP is going to be very hard to sustain, and how far it regresses will have a significant impact on future success.

  • Jake Lamb - HR's 24½ ($1,383.66-$573.58) - PACE 30, OVER
  • Jake Lamb - RBI 79½ ($2,665.79-$0.00) - PACE 126, OVER
  • Yasmany Tomas - HR 24½ ($749.99-$572.44) - PACE 30, OVER
  • Yasmany Tomas - RBI 80½ ($266.66-$1,309.95) - PACE 120, OVER

No batting average line for our two sluggers, but they’ve both been doing very similar jobs in terms of what’s expected of them: hitting home-runs and driving men in, with tallies of 5/20 for Lamb and 5/21 for Tomas thus far. There remains room for improvement with both: Lamb still has issues with LHP, and Tomas’s K:BB rate is 24:4. However, in terms of the lines here, keep on doing what you’re doing.

  • Zack Greinke - Wins 13½ ($2,099.06-$1,083.33) - PACE 12, UNDER
  • Zack Greinke - Strikeouts 179½ ($782.00-$3,111.31) - PACE 240, OVER
  • Zach Greinke - ERA 3.40 ($2,532.99-$985.22) - PACE 3.19, UNDER

More proof of the ephemeral nature of wins. Greinke’s peripherals have been stellar. He leads the team in strikeouts (never mind the 240 pace, no D-back has even reached 225 since the Big Unit in 2004), and has the best K:BB ratio among our starters. But he only has two wins to the credit. In his two losses, he received a total of one run support; the average in his other starts is 7.5 runs. If he keeps pitching this way, the wins should follow.

  • Taijuan Walker - Wins 9½ ($1,807.31-$83.00) - PACE 18, OVER

The way Walker has been pitching, 9.5 wins seems almost like a sure lock. The ERA, a few ticks under four, is a little higher than you might like, but the FIP is down at three, thanks to a very solid K:BB ratio of 33:7. That he has racked up three wins in five attempts despite the ERA augurs well, and this is another one which could end up having the book closed around the All-Star break, all being well.

  • Fernando Rodney - Saves 19½ ($2,034.88-$1,066.66) - PACE 36, OVER

As could this... just in a rather different way. The question here would be whether Rodney is still closer by that point. An ERA north of 12 would generally suggest not, even if Rodney is currently on pace for a saves tally not reached since J.J. Putz racked up 45 saves in 2011. If the team keeps playing like they have been, there may well be 36 saves to be had. How many of them will be executed by Rodney, is another issue entirely.

Standings

  1. Makakilo: $1,300.00
  2. Cumulus Choir: $900.00
    Hazzard21: $900.00
    Runwaybuilder: $900.00
  3. Sean Testerman: $750.00
  4. JoelPre: $500.00
    Nate Rowan: $500.00
    Umbrella24: $500.00
    Xerostomia: $500.00
  5. Fangdango: $499.98
    Michael McDermott: $499.98
  6. GuruB: $300.00
    Imstillhungry95: $300.00
  7. Steven Burt: $156.00
  8. MrMrrbi: $100.00
    tommyt_16: $100.00
  9. Lamar Jimmerson: $0.00
  10. SenSurround: -$99.92
  11. DbacKid: -$100.00
  12. david.munter: -$160.00
  13. ryeandi: -$166.66
  14. JoeCB1991: -$300.00
    Keegan Thompson: -$300.00
    Oz-Dbacks: -$300.00
  15. Arizona CardinalBacks: -$333.32
  16. AzDbackfanInDc: -$500.00
    Diamondhacks: -$500.00
    LiamNeeson: -$500.00
    preston.salisbury: -$500.00
    shoewizard: -$500.00
    Sprankton: -$500.00
    TucsonTim: -$500.00
  17. jp100: -$700.00
  18. hventure: -$900.00
  19. Craig from Az: -$1,500.00

Makakilo takes an early lead, with Greinke wins being his only bet (and at $100, a relatively small one) not currently in his favor. It’s close to an even split so far, with 16 bettors in profit, one exactly on the bubble, and 18 showing a loss, all the way down to Craig from Az, whose trifecta (Pollock SB, Peralta BA and Rodney Sv) is looking pretty shaky after April. All told, Snakepitters are currently showing a small ($346.06, on a total of $52,500 invested) profit, which is certainly a change on last season! We’ll see how things have changed after another 27 games, late in May.