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Place Your Bets on the 2018 Diamondbacks: The Reckoning

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The casino thanks you for your contributions. :)

Margaritaville Casino At Flamingo Las Vegas Celebrates Grand Opening With World Record Margarita Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Flamingo Las Vegas

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 had to make at least three bets. For each one below, you’ll first get the line drawn by Bovada.lv. Then, in brackets, the amount wagered over and under by the 37 participating gamblers, rounded to the nearest dollar. Finally, we have the end-of-year results, and if they changed since the previous time we checked in at the beginning of August.

  • Diamondbacks: Wins 85.5 (6679-2396) - 82, UNDER (was OVER)

And it was going so well, too... After a steady enough August, this one fell apart down the stretch, the team losing 20 of its final 28 contests. The had just one series win in the last 35 games (beating the Dodgers at Chase), although this one was still perfectly achievable as late at September 14, when the D-backs were 78-70. Going 8-6 over their final fourteen games would have kept the line where it had been the entire season. Instead, Arizona could only manage 4-10, and the resulting switch proved painfully costly for many.

  • Paul Goldschmidt: BA .299 (2059-401) - .290, UNDER
  • Paul Goldschmidt: HR’s 31.5 (1307-2768) - 33, OVER
  • Paul Goldschmidt: RBI’s 105.5 (2304-0) - 83, UNDER
  • Paul Goldschmidt: Runs 105.5 (1159-94) - 95, UNDER

On May 22, Goldschmidt went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. That dropped his average below the Uecker Line, to .198. At that point in late May, he was on pace for 17 home-runs, 44 RBI and 91 runs scored. Given this, it’s quite remarkable that home-runs ended up crossing above the line, and batting average might have done so too, except for a late Goldschmidt slump. It was on pace to get the over on September 12, but Goldy went 9-for-50 the rest of the way. Indeed, Paul drove in just one run in the final 21 Diamondbacks games, though that had always been an uphill struggle since his early slump. Home-runs just survived, even though his last for the year came in Arizona’s game #141.

  • A.J. Pollock: HR’s 14.5 (1457-491) - 21, OVER
  • A.J. Pollock: BA .280 (3157-139) - .257, UNDER (was OVER)
  • A.J. Pollock: SB 26.5 (279-2372) - 13, UNDER

It’s odd how Pollock’s profile has changed since he had the elbow break at the beginning of 2016. His batting average before then was .294; afterwards, it has dropped to .261. However, the power has increased: while he has both 37 home-runs in each sample, the post-elbow home-runs came in significantly fewer at-bats after (879 vs. 1,398). This year, he was on a tear early, batting .293 in mid-May with 11 home-runs in only 150 AB, when he went on the DL with a broken left thumb. He kept the average up for a while on his return, but fell of a cliff in August and September, batting .212 over the final two months. That dropped his BA below the line, and the casino appreciates this greatly. :)

  • David Peralta: BA .290 (309-685) - .293, OVER (was UNDER)
  • Jake Lamb: HR’s 27.5 (357-2531) - 6, UNDER
  • Jake Lamb: RBI’s 89.5 (2887-33) - 31, UNDER
  • Steven Souza: HR’s 24.5 (157-4628) - 5, UNDER
  • Steven Souza: RBI’s 70.5 (337-64) - 29, UNDER

We start with another late change of line which helps the house. Peralta’s batting average has been up and down all year: it crossed the line in one direction or other on ten different occasions since Opening Day. The stat finally went above for good on August 2, though the Freight Train only just made it: two fewer hits and this would have remained under the projection. We will draw a veil over the other four projections, involving Lamb and Souza, because they make me sad. Let’s just say, we’ll all be hoping for considerably better from both players in the 2019 season.

  • Zack Greinke: Wins 14.5 (1659-468) - 15, OVER
  • Zack Greinke: Ks 195.5 (405-2208) - 199, OVER
  • Zack Greinke: ERA 3.30 (1853-254) - 3.21, UNDER

I have to say, Bovada did a remarkably good job of nailing their prediction for Zack’s performance in 2018. They were off by only half a win, three and a half strikeouts and .09 on ERA. That’s as good as you could hope for, and meant that all three lines were in doubt until after Greinke’s final outing of the season. He came into that start still needing a win and three strikeouts to cross those lines. If he had allowed four earned runs over five innings there, his ERA would also have gone from under to over. Instead, he tossed six innings of two-run ball, with six strikeouts, got the win, and locked in all three of the lines on the side of a positive performance.

  • Robbie Ray: Wins 13.5 (4762-508) - 6, UNDER
  • Robbie Ray: Ks 219.5 (1561-0) - 165, UNDER
  • Robbie Ray: ERA 3.30 (1227-1529) - 3.93, OVER

Robbie Ray is the king of no-decisions. He finished the year with a 14-game unbeaten streak, going 3-0 with eleven no-decisions in that time. He’ll have a shot next season at the franchise record of nineteen, set by Brian Anderson in 1999-2000. Only two pitchers in baseball history have made at least 24 starts, and got a decision in one-third or fewer of them. Both were this year: Ray and Ryne Stanek, who was an “opener” for the Rays, and went 2-3 in 59 games, including 0-2 over 29 “starts”, none of which lasted longer than two innings. Ray’s were rather more legit than that, but missed time and all those NDs meant that he ended on the negative side of his lines.

The standings

The following lines changed from the half-way point:

  • Diamondbacks: Wins 85.5 (6679-2396) - 82, UNDER (was OVER)
  • A.J. Pollock: BA .280 (3157-139) - .257, UNDER (was OVER)
  • David Peralta: BA .290 (309-685) - .293, OVER (was UNDER)

All three of these changes strongly favored the house, and as a result, there has been a radical shake-up in the standings, since we last checked in at the beginning of August. Long-time leader Makakilo was hit by wagering $500 on team wins, and dropped from first to finish the season barely in the black. The under on that line was a major blow, as the over was the most popular wager across the board this year. As a result, no-one ended the year winning more than $900 out of a possible $1,500; at the other end, four players lost the maximum amount. Congratulations go to Lamar Jimmerson, who moved up from fourth to top, thanks to staying away from team wins, and betting on David Peralta’s average.

Here are the full standings.

  1. Lamar Jimmerson $900.00
  2. AzDbackfanInDc $500.02
  3. shoewizard $500.00
    Diamondhacks $500.00
    Craig’s City Counsell $300.00
    Umbrella24 $300.00
    Oz-Dbacks $300.00
  4. SenSurround $287.66
  5. Makakilo $200.00
  6. Fangdango -$100.00
    TucsonTim -$100.00
  7. Xerostomia -$200.00
  8. Steven Burt -$260.00
  9. MikeDavisAZ -$300.00
    preston.salisbury -$300.00
    Michael McDermott -$300.00
  10. david.munter -$390.00
  11. Hazzard21 -$400.00
  12. BenSharp -$500.00
    hventure -$500.00
    JoeCB1991 -$500.00
    red_leader -$500.00
    suroeste -$500.00
  13. ryeandi -$552.58
  14. eel -$700.00
    CumulusChoir -$700.00
  15. Keegan Thompson -$750.00
  16. soco -$900.00
    MrMrrbi -$900.00
    Imstillhungry95 -$900.00
  17. onedotfive -$1,000.00
  18. smartplays -$1,150.00
  19. GuruB -$1,300.00
  20. Wesley Baier -$1,500.00
    fsudude -$1,500.00
    Sprankton -$1,500.00
    Wtwcats -$1,500.00

All told, the 37 competitors ended up in the red by a total of $15,914.90, or an average of about four hundred bucks a head. That’s almost double last year’s deficit ($8,059.24), though is still not quite as bad as the 2016 season ($23,025.99). But it’s the third year in a row where the house has come out ahead, turning a profit of about $47,000 over that time. Maybe next year, I should do this with real money? :)

We’ll see you in spring training for that. Thanks to the participants for their time and money. Particularly the money...