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 $300, so you had to make at least five bets. For each bet below, you’ll first get the line. Then, in brackets, the amount wagered over and under by the 24 participating gamblers, rounded to the nearest dollar. Finally, we have the end-of-year figure. As you’ll see, what started and ended well for the punters, turned into a bit of a SnakePit Casino Massacre in the middle...
Diamondbacks Wins 65.5 (5362-300) - OVER, 74
April was pretty much the only time this line was in doubt: the team started off 6-11, before winning four of the final five games. That got them over the line, and they sustained that pace the rest of the year. The D-backs were one of twelve teams to go over, though were far from the biggest surprise. That belongs to the Orioles who were 201⁄2 games over their line, followed by the Guardians (+161⁄2) and Astros (+141⁄2). Eighteen teams were under, with the biggest disappointment belong to the Nationals, who finished 181⁄2 games under expectations, with the Tiger (-121⁄2) also severely below their line.
Ketel Marte HR 21.5 (3313-450) - UNDER, 12
Ketel Marte RBI 76.5 (3362-150) - UNDER, 52
Marte becomes SnakePit Casino Employee of the Month for his performance this year, which resulted in a net profit for the house of more than six thousand SnakePit Dollars, on only S$6,735 of wagers. We can’t honestly blame injuries as Ketel didn’t go on the injured list until September 30, with an unspecified issue, which probably means it was COVID. But he did have to grind his way through a number of problems, in particular a balky hamstring. His defense in particular was problematic, but a 106 OPS, his lowest for a full campaign since 2018, was probably not what you want from a player who signed a five-year, $76 million contract extension in March.
Christian Walker HR 17.5 (600-2263) -OVER, 36
Christian Walker RBI 64.5 (600-1412) - OVER, 94
Marte received valuable support from Walker, whose over-performance benefited the house to the tune of S$2,475. After a slow start, with only seven RBI in April, Walker turned up the heat in May, hitting nine homers and driving in 18 runs. The home-run line was locked in on the over as early as Walker’s two-homer game on June 18th, becoming the first bet to be closed out. RBIs took a little longer, but there was still plenty of time to spare on August 14th, when Christian went 4-for-5 with four driven in, falling a triple short of the cycle but sealing the RBI line on the over as well. Expect a very sharp adjustment upwards in both these lines next season.
Carson Kelly HR 15.5 (2013-600) - UNDER, 7
All you need to know here is, Kelly hit his first home-run of the year on June 26th - more than a week after Walker crossed his HR line. Part of that is, it hardly needs stating, due to injury. Carson missed 34 games in May and June, due to a strained left oblique. But Kelly had taken 87 at-bats this season before getting off his zero in the HR column. He ended up with barely half of last year’s 13 bombs, despite actually having a few more at-bats (317 vs. 304). However, his final OPS of .617 represents an improvement, considering it was at .281 on June 12, with Carson hitting under a buck at .098. From the date of his first homer, Kelly hit .248/.326/.409 for a .734 OPS: hopefully that’s an indicator of better things to come.
Zac Gallen Wins 9.5 (1422-590) - OVER, 12
Zac Gallen Strikeouts 175.5 (573-2690) - OVER, 192
“Gallen may not hit 100 innings, how is he going to reach 175 K’s?” — ChuckJohnson56. Afraid Zac can’t hear you, over the sound of his Cy Young votes. :) It’s safe to say this was Gallen becoming all we had hoped for over a full schedule. He set a new franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings, his 0.913 WHIP was the best in the National League, and there’s a strong case to be made he deserved more than 12 wins, considering a 3.07 ERA over his 15 no-decisions. He hit the All-Star break with only four victories, but then went 8-0 over his next ten games, to seal the over before the end of August, in the middle of his scoreless streak. His 13-K outing in LA on Sep 22 did the same for K’s.
Madison Bumgarner Wins 8 (3426-436) - UNDER, 7
Madison Bumgarner Strikeouts 135.5 (1290-272) - UNDER, 112
“Only way he finishes short of 10 wins is if he’s injured” — Michael McDermott. Sorry, Michael: you mis-spelled “blows chunks for most of the year”. This did remained a credible over finisher for a while: MadBum had six wins after a start on July 23, in game #94, so eight seemed within reach. But heavy regression led to a 7.12 ERA over his last ten games and just one more victory. It came in his final appearance before being removed from the rotation for the final two turns, because... [/checks notes] Ah, yes: “We want to see some different arms, some younger arms. On top of that, Bum has had a full season.” Torey may have saved the Win line with that move. Though given how Madison pitched, it maybe didn’t matter
Mark Melancon Saves 19.5 (786-3886) - UNDER, 18
On the other hand, Lovullo’s decision to take Melancon out of the closer’s role in early August, probably stopped this from going over, and saved customers from even harder punishment. Mark had 16 saves on August 9, but got only two of the eight saves recorded by D-backs’ pitchers the rest of the way, as the team went to a closer by committee (Ian Kennedy had three, Reyes Moronta two and Kevin Ginkel got the last one). Doubt on Melancon’s tenure among fans was already apparent in spring training, and this was the most heavily-wagered under bet. While many SnakePitters would have removed him a lot earlier (mid-May personally), in percentage terms this ended up closest to the betting line.
Some adjustments of the bets placed was made, to bring them into compliance with the rules e.g. betting more than S$1,500 or more than S$300 on a single bet. When that was done, the results were tallied and can be seen on this spreadsheet. All told, a total of S$35,800 was wagered, and most of it will not be coming back, with a total balance of just of negative seven thousand dollars. The optimism concerning the pair of Marte lines was responsible for the great bulk of that, with the tally across all other bets about -S$1,000. The over on Wins proved a big success, but Gallen W’s and Melancon Saves were the only other lines where bettors turned a profit.
As a result, only seven of twenty-four participants walked away with more SnakePit Dollars than they entered with, and nobody ended up higher than +S$300. So we have a six-way tie for champion between Snake_Bitten, DBacksEurope, Smurf1000, DSmith1218, Justin27 and NikT77. All placed five bets at S$300, getting three right and two wrong, so are declared co-champions. At the other end, we find SenSurround, whose brave strategy of betting every line, misfired to the tune of -S$1,220, by picking the wrong side for ten out of the eleven wagers. Below are the full standing. Please check your betting slips and let me know of any errors. There’s probably at least one! Otherwise, explain yourself in the comments!
- Snake_Bitten 300
- kilnborn 134
- Michael McDermott -100
- ryeandi -300
Jack Sommers -300
- Imstillhungry95 -409.1
- its_been_chronicled -500
- Hannibal4467 -900
- SpencerO’Gara -1000
- SenSurround -1220
We will see you in spring training for next season’s lines, so please continue to save your money until then. Me? Time for another margarita, I think...