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Place Your Bets on the 2021 Diamondbacks: And they’re off!

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A better than expected start - for at least some Diamondbacks, anyway...

BMW Hong Kong Derby 2021 Photo by Lo Chun Kit /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. Then, in brackets, the amount wagered over and under by the 29 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 Saturday’s meltdown against the Rockies.

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... SenSurround did attempt to bet on all 15 lines, but for one, did not specify their wager, which is why he sits at a total of $1,400.

The lines

  • Diamondbacks Wins - 75.5 (3000-3500) - PACE 84 OVER`
    Always a popular bet, this saw most money wagered on it, and was close to an even split. A little more on the under, but so far the D-backs have outperformed most expectations. Still a very long way to go here. If you’re curious, they need to go 62-73 the rest of the way to end up over the line.
  • Ketel Marte BA - .287 (3600-0) - PACE .462 OVER
  • Ketel Marte HR’s - 21.5 (1800-500) - PACE 12 UNDER
  • Ketel Marte RBI’s - 76.5 (1450-900) - PACE 30 UNDER
    The position player lines have largely been hampered by injury, which is perhaps an objective lesson. You may be better off avoiding counting stats like HR and RBI, which can more easily be derailed by ailments. Everyone pounced on Marte’s BA and have been amply rewarded so far. The longer he stays out, the fewer games will be left to regress the average. However, HR and RBI? Not so much. Those now face an uphill struggle.
  • Eduardo Escobar HR’s - 22.5 (1100-550) - PACE 42 OVER
  • Eduardo Escobar RBI’s - 79.5 (300-1000) - PACE 96 OVER
    Escobar has managed to avoid the injury bug which has infected many of the players listed here, and if his batting average has left a little to be desired (though still 30+ points up on 2020), you can’t complain about his power or overall run production. He has already almost double his home-run tally from last year, in fewer than half as many games, and his RBIs will soon pass the 2020 total as well.
  • Christian Walker HR’s - 23.5 (2650-550) - PACE 6 UNDER
  • Christian Walker RBI’s - 74.5 (2150-200) - PACE 18 UNDER
    This has proved a big win for the house. People expected Walker to surpass his lines, but having missed most of the first twenty-seven games, he hasn’t had much chance. Though one home-run and three RBI in the 10 games he has played, is still well off the expected pace for Walker. Pavin Smith seems an increasingly credible alternative.
  • Nick Ahmed HR’s - 17 (0-2600) - PACE 0 UNDER
  • Nick Ahmed RBI’s - 68.5 (500-2100) - PACE 24 UNDER
    Poor Nick. No-one expected him to hit, and for various reasons, he hasn’t, causing the house to take a beating. He homerless streak is now up to 24 games, dating back to last season, and when you hit barely a buck fifty, you won’t be driving in many runs either. Hey, at least his OPS+ is now in positive territory. 3, to be specific.
  • Kole Calhoun HR’s - 22.5 (300-400) - PACE 12 UNDER
  • Kole Calhoun RBI’s - 62.5 (1600-699) - PACE 30 UNDER
    Like Walker, Calhoun has only been seen in less than half of Arizona’s contests to this point, which ceratinly affects his numbers. The overall pace has been okay, but the hamstring surgery is going to make him miss considerably more time. He could end up hitting the half-way point with these same numbers, which will mean he’d need a blistering second half if these are not to end up well under.
  • Carson Kelly HR’s - 16.5 (500-2551) - PACE 36 OVER

That was our very first wager placed this year, and by a 5:1 money margin, people generally agreed. But Kelly has already his six home-runs, so needs only eleven over the remaining 135 games to lock up the over. At current pace, he’ll be there before the All-Star break, as Carson has been unquestionably the most pleasant surprise of the first month at the plate.

  • Madison Bumgarner Wins - 8 (3550-1500) - PACE 18 OVER
  • Madison Bumgarner Strikeouts - 132.5 (3050-800) PACE 198 OVER

It’s odd that the two Arizona starters with the worst ERAs (Bumgarner and Kelly) have the most W’s. In his wins, MadBum has an ERA of 1.04. In his losses and no-decisions, his ERA is more than ten times higher, at 11.19. So, to misquote the poem. “When he was good, he was very good indeed, but when he was bad he was horrid.” I’m going to guess that’s too obscure a reference for most.

The standings

After the first month, we have a three-way tie at the top. SpencerSpice, Jack Sommers and ryeandi all are at the maximum +S$1,500. However, SpencerSpice takes top spot on the tie-breaker, having placed five wagers which are all correct so far, rather than the minimum three which the other two laid. He bet on Wins, Marte BA, Escobar HR, Ahmed HR, and Kelly HR, getting all five correct so far. At the other end, there are also three tied on -$S1,500. No names, but the SnakePit Casino thanks you for your contributions, and hopes to see you again REAL soon...

Player Balance

  1. SpencerSpice S$1,500
  2. Jack Sommers S$1,500
  3. ryeandi S$1,500
  4. Michael McDermott S$1,100
  5. GuruB S$1,100
  6. VinceJ_138 S$900
  7. Imstillhungry95 S$900
  8. Preston Salisbury S$700
  9. Dschumac S$500
  10. Makakilo S$500
  11. kilnborn S$498
  12. bklapes32 S$300
  13. MrMrrbi S$300
  14. Xerostomia S$0
  15. SenSurround S$0
  16. Steven Burt -S$100
  17. JoeCB1991 -S$300
  18. gzimmerm -S$300
  19. Keegan Thompson -S$300
  20. Justin27 -S$300
  21. makattack71 -S$300
  22. DBacksEurope -S$500
  23. Schilling2001 -S$500
  24. piratedan7 -S$500
  25. EdTheRed99 -S$500
  26. Diamondhacks -S$500
  27. NikT77 -S$1,500
  28. Hannibal4467 -S$1,500
  29. AzDbackfanInDc -S$1,500

All told, there’s a slight edge away from the house, with a total profit for bettors of $2,698 to day. But plenty of time for that to change...