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Place Your Bets on the 2019 Diamondbacks: The Reckoning

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So, how did it go...?

A money changer holds a wad of USD bills Photo credit should read TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/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. It’s now time to close the books and see who did what.

For each bet 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 number, whether the final tally was over or under the number in question, and if appropriate, how that had changed since the last time we checked in, at the trade deadline.

  • 2019 Wins: 75.5 (2746-5636) - 85, OVER

At the time of the last update, this was looking uncertain. Sure, the team was playing .500 baseball, but they had just got rid of the staff ace in Zack Greinke. A second-half meltdown felt like a very real possibility. But that didn’t happen. Indeed, the Diamondbacks played better than they did before the deadline, going 31-22 in August and September, thanks in no small part to Zac Gallen and Ketel Marte. It still wasn’t enough, but they were still able to cross the line as early as September 14, with a 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds, with thirteen games left to spare. A five-game winning streak ended the year and made this a surprisingly large margin.

  • David Peralta - Total BA: .290 (752-2271) - .275, UNDER
  • David Peralta - Total HR’s: 24.5 (731-1092) - 12 UNDER
  • David Peralta - Total RBI’s: 75.5 (2283-190) - 57, UNDER

/DisappointedVenezuelanNoises. We can’t really blame the batting average on the time David missed, and the home-runs would have been low, even if his appearances were pro-rated to a full 162 games. His RBI could perhaps have made it, as driving 19 runs in over the final 33, Peralta-free games, would not have been implausible. There’s nothing to be done, except hope for significantly better in 2020, in Peralta’s final year of arbitration. It’ll be interesting to see what the shortfall here does to projections and expectations. But David rebounded from a disappointing 2016 with strong seasons the following two years, so it would be premature to write him of for next season.

  • Jake Lamb - Total HR’s: 24.5 (1436-4286) - 6, UNDER
  • Jake Lamb - Total RBI’s: 79.5 (1107-715) - 30, UNDER

Ouch. These were bad enough that there are now questions being legitimately asked as to whether Jake might get Chris Owings’d at the end of the year, rather than being tendered a contract. Being left-handed might help him survive, and as with Peralta, health needs to be considered as a mitigating factor in Lamb’s severely underwhelming performance this season. But it was a startling fall from grace, for a man who was an All-Star just two years ago, hitting thirty home-runs and driving in more than a hundred in 2017. Over the pair of seasons since, Lamb has managed just 134 appearances, with 12 home-runs and an OPS+ of 75, leaving him on precariously thin ice.

  • Robbie Ray - Total Wins: 10.5 (4723-650) - 12, OVER

Ray’s season was bookended by a severe lack of wins, with none in his first five or last five outings. Fortunately, the middle more than made up for that, in particular a July and August where Robbie went 7-1 over ten starts, despite an ERA which was only fair to middling during that time, at 3.71. [It helped that in two of those games, the Diamondbacks scored 19 and 18 runs in support of Ray!] As a result, this one went in the books with more than a month still left to play, Robbie getting victory #11 on August 25. Six days later, he’d get his 12th and final W.

  • Steven Souza - Total HR’s: 20.5 (831-1065) - 0, UNDER
  • Steven Souza - Total RBI’s: 68.5 (331-615) - 0, UNDER

For the final time this year: Sad face emoji.

  • Zach Greinke - ERA: 3.30 (2590-1083) - 2.93, UNDER
  • Zach Greinke - Total Strikeouts: 190.5 (486-1086) - 187, UNDER (WAS OVER)
  • Zach Greinke - Total Wins: 12.5 (4473-0) - 18, OVER

Curse you, Greinke. The decline in your strikeout rate after going to the American League led to you falling short of the K line by 312. I blame the 6.2 inning outing on August 23, where he had just the one strikeout. That shortfall means I have to go back into the spreadsheet and adjust the numbers: thanks, Zack! He had been on pace to go over, the last time we checked in, before he was dealt to the Astros. They all count for the purposes of this line, as do the W’s. And there was no shortage of those, Zack going 8-1 in his ten starts for Houston, blowing past this line even quicker than Ray, on August 18.

  • Zack Godley - Total Wins: 10.5 (831-2992) - 4 UNDER

This includes the win he picked up as a Toronto Blue Jay, out of their bullpen. Maybe that should have been the solution all along, since Godley was 3-0 with a not-terrible 4.42 ERA as a reliever, compared to 1-5 with an 8.08 ERA as a starter this year. He’s now a free agent, having chosen that over accepting a trip to Toronto’s AAA affiliate, after they designated him for assignment. He’s still only going to be in his first year of arbitration, but I suspect teams will wait until after that, and he’ll get, at best, an incentive-laden contract with an invite to spring training. It’s not going to be from the Diamondbacks, I suspect, and I can’t say I’ll miss those falling off the mound outings!

Standings

Thanks to Greinke, I wasn’t just able to copy and paste the trade deadline standings, as I’d hoped. But the change didn’t make any real different to the top of the standings. None of the three people who were sitting at +$1,500 at the deadline had wagered on Greinke strikeouts, so none of their perfect records were affected by the change. We thus have a three-way tie at the top. Here are the punters who won all their bets, along with details of what they wagered:

  • Craig’s City Counsell (Team W, Greinke W, Ray W)
  • The Lord Humungus (Team W, Lamb HR, Ray W)
  • TucsonTim (Souza HR, Greinke W, Godley W)

Congrats to all of them, and they can all enjoy an imaginary margarita, beside the theoretical swimming-pool at the SnakePit Casino. Here are the full rankings:

  1. Craig’s City Counsell: $1,500.00
  2. The Lord Humungus: $1,500.00
  3. TucsonTim: $1,500.00
  4. Jackwriter: $1,000.00
  5. onedotfive: $1,000.00
  6. piratedan7: $900.00
  7. MrMrrbi: $900.00
  8. DBacksEurope: $900.00
  9. SenSurround: $659.60
  10. JoeCB1991: $500.00
  11. NikT77: $500.00
  12. Jack Sommers: $500.00
  13. ponus: $500.00
  14. Makakilo: $500.00
  15. AzDbackfanInDc: $499.90
  16. Fangdango: $346.14
  17. AZPerson: $300.00
  18. suroeste: $300.00
  19. ryeandi: $136.36
  20. Steven Burt: $115.38
  21. Vincej138: $115.38
  22. GuruB: $100.00
  23. Hannibal4467: $100.00
  24. Jander1023: -$100.00
  25. Keegan Thompson: -$300.00
  26. red_leader: -$300.00
  27. LafferCap: -$500.00
  28. Xerostomia: -$500.00
  29. Imstillhungry95: -$500.00
  30. Sprankton: -$500.00
  31. Sean Testerman: -$1,500.00

Poor Sean, who put $1,000 on Jake Lamb, and the other $500 on David Peralta. Not the best of approaches, in hindsight... All told though, the house took a bit of a pounding, losing a total of $9,672.76. The over coming through on Ray and Greinke Wins were the main causes of that, the latter costing the casino almost five grand on its own.

We’ll be back in 2020 with some more bets, so enjoy either spending your virtual wins, or crying over your hypothetical losses!