*Record scratch. Freeze frame.*
"Yeah, that's me. You're probably wondering how I got here," said every single D-backs player after the club clinched a World Series berth.
Okay, not really. But, seriously, how on earth did the 84-win Diamondbacks secure their first championship opportunity since 2001?
For that, my baseball sickos, we need to do a deep rewind.
D-backs World Series Run: Odds History
|Date||Odds To Win World Series|
|Wild Card Game||+4000|
Quickly, I wanted to illustrate how insane the D-backs' run through October has been. At the start of the year, this club faced plus-money odds to even make the playoffs. Look at 'em now.
After all this winning, Arizona is still an underdog, and that's been part of the Snakes' identity. More on that later.
How The D-Backs Made The World Series
A one-sided trade with the Blue Jays
Last Christmas, the Diamondbacks dealt from an extreme area of strength: young, talented outfielders. Arizona was overflowing with them.
The D-backs traded Daulton Varsho to the Blue Jays for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and top prospect Gabriel Moreno. Varsho struggled in Toronto (.674 OPS), while Gurriel (24 HR, 82 RBI) and Moreno (4.3 bWAR) excelled.
That trade has aged even better in the postseason, where Moreno has used his cannon arm behind the dish to squash opposing run games. The kid is now also hitting in the meat of a World Series batting order.
D-backs general manager Mike Hazen deserves a slow-clap applause, I reckon.
A Profitable regular season
|Team||Profit ($100 ML Bets Every Game)|
As I said, expectations weren't that high in Arizona. Obviously, the books adjusted as the season chugged along, but the D-backs remained one of baseball's most profitable moneyline teams for the 162-game regular season.
This was great for bettors who caught on early, but, anecdotally, it put a chip on Arizona's shoulder. These fellas had nothing to lose and everything to gain — it's a cliche, but there's no better way to describe this club.
Underdogs In Every Playoff Series
|Matchup||Series Price||Series Score|
|NL Wild Card vs Brewers||+145||2-0 W|
|NLDS vs Dodgers||+190||3-0 W|
|NLCS vs Phillies||+165||4-3 W|
Lord, you thought the regular season profits were something? If you had heaved your entire bankroll on Arizona before the playoffs began, you'd be paddling down a river of melted gold in a diamond canoe filled with cash.
D-backs vs Rangers: Best World Series Bets
Here are a few D-backs markets I love ahead of the Fall Classic.
Ketel Marte OVER Total Hits Props
The NLCS MVP, Marte set a record Tuesday by continuing his 16-game hit streak, the longest such streak to begin a postseason career.
Marte has been the Snakes' hottest hitter by far, mashing a mix of singles and extra-base hits in big spots. If I'm prop betting this series, I'd back the 30-year-old to keep cooking, assuming you find reasonable odds.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to win World Series MVP (+4000)
Okay, listen here, folks. If the D-backs can defy the odds for an entire postseason, then why can't a +4000 candidate win the World Series MVP?
LGJ is one of the streakiest hitters in baseball, dating back to his Blue Jays days. If he had a player perk attached to him, it'd be a microwave or a campfire, or something — he heats up in an instant.
If the D-backs win an offense-heavy World Series, count on Gurriel to be at the forefront.