Place strategy

Place your bets on the 2022 Diamondbacks: The Reckoning

In case you missed it, ahead of the season we continued a long tradition of opening the doors at SnakePit Casino. There, we gave people $1,500 SnakePit Dollars and invited them to bet on a series of over/under lines, for player D-backs 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 will get the line first. Then, in parentheses, the amount bet more and less by the 24 participating players, rounded to the nearest dollar. Finally, we have the year-end figure. As you will see, what started out well and ended well for bettors, turned into a SnakePit Casino massacre in the middle…

The lines

Diamondbacks win 65.5 (5362-300) – OVER, 74

April was about the only time that line was in doubt: the team started 6-11, before winning four of the last five games. It got them over the line, and they kept that pace going the rest of the year. The D-backs were one of twelve teams to go through, but were far from the biggest surprise. This belongs to the Orioles who were 20 years old12 games on their line, followed by Guardians (+1612) and Astros (+1412). Eighteen teams were under, with the biggest disappointment belonging to the Nationals, who finished 1812 games below expectations, with the Tiger (-1212) also well below their line.

Ketel Marte HR 21.5 (3313-450) – LESS, 12
Ketel Marte RBI 76.5 (3362-150) – MINUS, 52

Marte becomes SnakePit Casino’s employee of the month for his performance this year, which generated a net profit for the house of more than six thousand SnakePit dollars, on just 6,735 Singapore dollars in wagers. We honestly can’t blame the injuries as Ketel wasn’t on the injured list until September 30, with an unspecified issue, which likely means it was COVID. But he had to work his way through a number of issues, in particular a recalcitrant hamstring. His defense in particular was problematic, but a 106 OPS, his lowest for a full campaign since 2018, was probably not what you’d expect from a player who signed a five-year, $76 million contract extension. in March.

Christian Walker FC 17.5 (600-2263) – PLUS, 36
Christian Walker RBI 64.5 (600-1412) – PLUS, 94

Marte received valuable support from Walker, whose outperformance took home S$2,475. After a slow start, with just seven RBIs in April, Walker turned up the heat in May, hitting nine home runs and making 18 runs. The home run line was locked on the most from Walker’s two-home run game on June 18, becoming the first bet to close. RBIs took a little longer, but there was still plenty of time to spare on August 14, when Christian went 4 for 5 with four drives, dropping a short triple from the cycle but also sealing the RBI line on top . Expect a very strong upward adjustment in these two lines next season.

Carson Kelly HR 15.5 (2013-600) – LESS, 7

All you need to know here is that Kelly hit her first home-run of the year on June 26 – more than a week after Walker crossed its HR line. Part of that is that it doesn’t have to be said, due to injury. Carson missed 34 games in May and June with a strained left oblique. But Kelly had taken 87 at bats this season before dropping his zero in the HR column. He ended up with barely half of last year’s 13 bombs, although he actually had a few more hits (317 vs. 304). However, his final OPS of 0.617 represents an improvement, given that it was at 0.281 on June 12, with Carson hitting under a dollar at 0.098. Since his first homer date, Kelly has 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 (573-2,690) – OVER, 192

“Gallen may not hit 100 innings, how is he going to hit 175K?” — ChuckJohnson56. Afraid Zac can’t hear you, despite the sound of his Cy Young votes. 🙂 It’s safe to say that Gallen was becoming everything we had hoped for on a full program. He set a new franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings, his .913 WHIP was the best in the National League, and there’s a strong case to be made that he deserved more than 12 wins, considering a 3.07 ERA on his 15 no-decisions. He hit the All-Star break with just four wins, but then went 8-0 in his next ten games, to seal the most before late August, midway through his scoreless streak. Its 13-K release in Los Angeles on September 22 did the same for K’s.

Madison Bumgarner wins 8 (3426-436) – UNDER, 7
Madison Bumgarner Strikeouts 135.5 (1,290-272) – LESS, 112

“The only way he ends up less than 10 wins is if he’s injured” – Michael McDermott. Sorry, Michael: you misspelled “blowing tunes for most of the year.” That remained a credible finisher for quite some time: MadBum picked up six wins after a start on July 23, in Game 94, so eight seemed within reach. But a steep drop has led to a 7.12 ERA over his last ten games and just one more win. He came in his last appearance before being taken out of rotation for the last two rounds, because… [/checks notes] Ah, yes: “We want to see different arms, younger arms. On top of that, Bum had a full season. Torey may have saved the Win line with this shot. Although given how Madison threw it might not have mattered

Mark Melançon saves 19.5 (786-3886) – MINUS, 18

On the other hand, Lovullo’s decision to remove Melancon from his role as closer in early August likely prevented that from happening and saved the patrons from even harsher punishment. Mark made 16 saves on Aug. 9, but got just two of eight saves recorded by D-backs pitchers the rest of the way as the team edged closer to committee (Ian Kennedy had three, Reyes Moronta two and Kevin Ginkel got the last). Doubt over Melancon’s tenure among the fans was already apparent during spring training, and it was the bet under the biggest bet. While many SnakePitters would have pulled it much earlier (mid-May personally), percentage-wise it came closest to the betting line.

The results

Some adjustments to placed bets have been made to bring them into line with the rules, for example betting more than S$1,500 or more than S$300 on a single bet. When this was done, the results were counted and can be seen on this spreadsheet. In total, a total of S$35,800 was wagered, and most of it will not return, with a total balance of just seven thousand negative dollars. Optimism over the Marte line pair was largely responsible for this, with the tally for all other bets around -1,000 S$. The Wins bet proved to be a big hit, but Gallen W’s and Melancon Saves were the only other lines where bettors made a profit.

As a result, only seven of the twenty-four participants walked away with more SnakePit dollars than they had, and no one ended up above +S$300. So we have a tie at six for the champion between Snake_Bitten, DBacksEurope, Smurf1000, DSmith1218, Justin27 and NikT77. All placed five S$300 bets, getting three good and two bad, and are therefore declared co-champions. At the other end is SenSurround, whose courageous betting strategy all line, missed to the tune of -S$1,220, picking the wrong side for ten of eleven bets. Below is the full ranking. Please check your betslips and report any errors to me. There is probably at least one! Otherwise, explain in the comments!

  1. Snake_bitten 300
    DBacksEurope 300
    Smurf1000 300
    DSsmith1218 300
    Justin27 300
    NikT77 300
  2. born in the oven 134
  3. Michael McDermott -100
  4. rye -300
    Jack Sommer-300
    Traces Falco16 -300
    EdTheRed99 -300
    GuruB -300
  5. I’m still hungry95 -409.1
  6. its_been_chronicled -500
    Xerostomia -500
  7. Hannibal4467 -900
    MrRbi17 -900
  8. SpencerO’Gara -1000
  9. SenSurround-1220

We’ll see you at spring training for next season’s lines, so keep saving your money until then. Me? It’s time for another margarita, I think…