Sunday 14 May 2017

Gibraltar quarter finals and how good is Rob Cross

Nice win for Cross putting us close to a whole unit up for the tournament. This evening's quarter finals are as follows:

Wright/Johnson - Johnson's estimated at having less than a 12% chance of winning, I get him up to 11% to win before a deciding leg (these figures are from a new, fresh, up to the second table including this afternoon), with about 18% of legs getting to a decider. If he'd managed to beat Norris in more convincing fashion (Norris could have won any of the legs he lost just by finishing in fifteen darts) I might have a micro play, but he didn't, so I won't.

Smith/Cross - bookies have this evens for all intents and purposes. We're starting to get a decent sample on Cross now (more of which later), I'm up to over 60 legs won (by contrast Smith has twice as many) so I'm feeling confident enough on sample size. The calculator gives Smith as a good favourite - winning 44% before a last leg to Cross' 29%. Bearing in mind that all of the data on Cross comes from the UK Open and earlier, this seems representative of his current form, Smith I think is certainly playing well enough for this to be, if anything, an underestimate of his quality, so I think the Cross run ends here enough to bet - 0.5u Smith evs

Suljovic/Caris - Mensur is listed as an 80/20 favourite. Huge sample size problem for Caris in that we have this tournament and this tournament only, but I get Mensur at nearly 79% to win before we look at last leg wins. Caris is also really, really bad in the legs he doesn't win - averaging only 76. Suljovic is looking as good this weekend as he has done for a while so I think he continues a run here - 1u Suljovic 1/4

Wilson/Gurney - Daryl's about a 2/1 favourite, I have Wilson at 24% before a decider and Gurney at 50%. That's pretty much straight down the line, if it gets to a decider and they win the bull equally then there might be enough there for Wilson to be tiny value, but I'll leave this one.

So, Rob Cross. Already in my live top 50 after his victory over Chisnall, with the potential to climb another two places with just one win, he's taken the PDC by storm winning a title already and looking a cert for the Matchplay and all other major events in his first season. As mentioned, I now have over 60 legs of data when he is winning, and over 40 when he's losing. His stats are as follows:

Legs in 12 darts or less: 4.69%
Legs in 15 darts or less: 59.38%
Legs in 18 darts or less: 92.19%
Average when losing: 92.05

Straight off the bat, apart from being 0.03% behind on twelve darters, he beats Glen Durrant in every single category. The twelve dart finish is actually quite a low stat, but not necessarily a terminal one, there's plenty of high class players in single digits including Kyle Anderson (9.68%), Benito van de Pas (8.65%), James Wade (7.66%) and Alan Norris (6.54%), but nobody of note below 5%. There's only two players in the entire top 32 that are below that figure, Brendan Dolan (on 4.29%) and Justin Pipe (down on 1.49%). This could become an issue when running into a good player and he absolutely needs to break and the opponent will be killing in fifteen darts.

On the 15 dart percentage, this is a lot better, at just short of 60% he's easily in the top 20 in the database that has a good sample size, within 1% of Michael Smith, Jelle Klaasen, Daryl Gurney, Gerwyn Price and Joe Cullen, not a bad group of players to be among.

On the 18 dart percentage, he's not messing up too many legs at all, this is a better figure than Wade, van de Pas, Lewis, White etc, but it's the losing average which is really outstanding - this is in the top 10 of the whole database of players who've lost at least 20 legs, behind only the four that are at the O2 this Thursday (who are ranked 1-4 on this stat), Barney, Chisnall, Lewis and Suljovic. This indicates that he will be pushing opponents hard consistently - and in terms of consistency, it is within a tenth of a point of what he is doing when he wins the leg. If he can just convert one of every ten legs he finishes in five visits into one he finishes in four, then we're talking Premier League quality. Not easy to do, but the potential is there.

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