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Place Your Bets on the 2018 Diamondbacks - and they’re off!

Time for the first check-in on the pre-season wagers.

Reported Shooting At Mandalay Bay In Las Vegas Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

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: 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 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 pace, based on games to this point, and whether that number will be over or under the line. All stats are based on the position through 27 games, which was yesterday afternoon’s loss to the Nationals.

NOTE. Betters should check the official spreadsheet for any errors on their wagers that occurred during transcription from their slips. While I checked totals. there’s a non-zero chance I flipped a bet from over to under or vice-versa somewhere...

I probably don’t need to tell you that the D-backs are surpassing expectations, but the above probably brings home by just how much in the early going. A win today would tie them for the best opening month in franchise history. They are already so far ahead of the pace, that they need only play .500 ball for the rest of the season, and this bet would still be safely cashed in on the over. Be nice if this one could be taken to the bank somewhere around the end of August. :)

  • Paul Goldschmidt: BA .299 (2059-401) - Pace .274, UNDER
  • Paul Goldschmidt: HR’s 31.5 (1307-2768) - Pace 24, UNDER
  • Paul Goldschmidt: RBI’s 105.5 (2304-0) - Pace 66, UNDER
  • Paul Goldschmidt: Runs 105.5 (1159-94) - Pace 126, OVER

Remember when we were worried about Goldy? That slow start seems so long ago, but its impact can still be seen in him trailing the line for all but one of his categories. The one in which he leads is runs scored, likely helped by the fact that, even when he wasn’t hitting, he was still getting on base and being driven in. As for the rest of them, I would generally expect the regression up to continue, as those first couple of weeks gradually decline in importance. I certainly do not expect him to have fewer RBI than Nick Ahmed and Daniel Descalso by the next time we check in!

  • A.J. Pollock: HR’s 14.5 (1457-491) - Pace 36, OVER
  • A.J. Pollock: BA .280 (3157-139) - Pace .276, UNDER
  • A.J. Pollock: SB 26.5 (279-2372) - Pace 36, OVER

What a difference a healthy Pollock makes to this team. In his contract year, A.J. has clearly been swinging for the fences, and so far it has worked, with him leading the team in HR. For a yardstick, he has as many home-runs already, after 109 PA, as Pollock had on August 25 last season, when he had come to the plate 348 times. He has got out of the gates quickly on the base-paths as well, and although the batting average is a hair below the line, that’s the kind of difference which can easily be overturned by one game. Indeed, a single additional hit would move him up to .286, crossing the line.

  • David Peralta: BA .290 (309-685) - Pace .309, OVER
  • Jake Lamb: HR’s 27.5 (357-2531) - Pace 0, UNDER
  • Jake Lamb: RBI’s 89.5 (2887-33) - Pace 30, UNDER
  • Steven Souza: HR’s 24.5 (157-4628) - Pace 0, UNDER
  • Steven Souza: RBI’s 70.5 (337-64) - Pace 0, UNDER

I’m going to lump the rest of the hitters together for now, since Lamb and Souza have combined for only 20 PA due to injury. That’s a lesson worth remembering: these lines will always have an injury component built into them, so for counting stats like HR and RBI, something which seems like an easy over can become a lot tougher if the player misses significant time. Lamb and Souza played 149 and 148 games respectively last year, so there was no reason to expect anything different. Yet, here we are, with both now needing to play catch-up. On the other hand, the Freight Train has already reached cruising velocity!

  • Zack Greinke: Wins 14.5 (1659-468) - Pace 12, UNDER
  • Zack Greinke: Ks 195.5 (405-2208) - Pace 192, UNDER
  • Zack Greinke: ERA 3.30 (1853-254) - Pace, 4.80, OVER

A slow start to the season for Zack, in part because he got one fewer start than expected, due to being held back at the very beginning. But W and K’s are still very achievable, not least because he starts tonight, so could move to being on pace for over both by the end of the night. The ERA will need to drop considerably, however. His K:BB has been excellent, it has mostly been an issue with the long-ball which has been the cause of Greinke’s inflated ERA. Hopefully, the humidor can help him keep the ball in the park for the next couple of games.

  • Robbie Ray: Wins 13.5 (4762-508) - Pace 12, UNDER
  • Robbie Ray: Ks 219.5 (1561-0) - Pace 270, OVER
  • Robbie Ray: ERA 3.30 (1227-1529) - Pace 4.88, OVER

Like the Lamb and Souza wagers, it now looks likely that missing time may end up playing a significant role. How much, will depend on... well, how much time is missed. Impressively, at his early rate, Ray could lose a whole month and still be over the strikeouts line. But it’s going to make things tighter than they would have been. Obviously, ERA won’t be directly affected, but it will mean fewer starts for Ray to get the figure down when he comes back.

The standings

There’s a triple tie at the top, with BenSharp, Sprankton and Diamondhacks all currently on top for all their wagers. They took three different routes to get there though. BenSharp bet the over on team wins, and under on Goldy + Lamb homers; Sprankton also went with team W and Goldy HR, but took the under on Greinke K’s. ‘Hacks bet on the last-named too, in addition to Souza HR and Ray wins. At the other end: fsudude and hventure... Not so much. Here are the full standings (subject to alteration if I screwed up someone’s line, of course!).

  1. BenSharp: $1,500.00
  2. red_leader: $1,000.00
  3. MikeDavisAZ: $900.00
  4. onedotfive: $500.00
  5. Lamar Jimmerson: $400.00
  6. Michael McDermott: $300.00
  7. SenSurround: $243.48
  8. Steven Burt: $60.00
  9. Keegan Thompson: $0.00
  10. Fangdango: -$100.00
  11. Xerostomia: -$200.00
  12. preston.salisbury: -$300.00
  13. david.munter: -$390.00
  14. AzDbackfanInDc: -$499.96
  15. Wesley Baier: -$500.00
  16. ryeandi: -$552.58
  17. Craig’s City Counsell: -$900.00
  18. smartplays: -$1,100.00
  19. fsudude: -$1,500.00

So far, a mild profit has been turned in total, of about S$1,060. The biggest profit has come from the under on Souza’s homers and the over on team wins; the biggest loss results from the over on Ray’s wins. But there’s a lot of time for things to change in the next five months...