Tuesday 25 July 2017

Matchplay day 4 analysis, round 2 top half preview

Preview first:

(5) Dave Chisnall (1/3) v Alan Norris (11/4)

Round 1: Chisnall 10-7 v King, Norris 10-6 v Huybrechts
Head to head: dartsdatabase down again so who knows

Match up of two people who ruined my bets in the previous round, Chisnall looking solid in the face of some King pressure and pulling away when it mattered, whereas Norris didn't exactly set the world alight, and didn't need to, as Huybrechts played even worse. Either player performing like they did in the previous round should result in a Chisnall win - Norris is going to have to up his game to what it was 4-5 months ago during his UK Open/Pro Tour runs in order to get close to Chizzy in this one, and then probably hope that his opponent does his frequently done thing of missing doubles at key moments. The model projects this as 74/26, which is as near as damnit to the betting line, which is good as I really don't want to bet this one.

(4) Adrian Lewis (4/6) v Rob Cross (11/8)

Round 1: Lewis 10-7 v Beaton, Cross 10-7 v White

There were a lot of questions about Lewis as to whether he'd perform after his time off, and the answer seems to have been yes - eight out of ten legs won against Steve Beaton were in fifteen darts or less, which is a very high standard, and given his relatively small sample size in my database (which started when he began taking all the Euro Tour off last year), it increased his winning chances in a lot of projected matchups. Cross wasn't fantastic against White, he got two twelve darters, which was one more than Lewis, but was allowed to win six of his legs in more than fifteen darts, which if Lewis does to him as he did to Beaton, will result in a defeat. This seems far too close a line based on Cross hype - 1u Lewis 4/6

(8) Phil Taylor (8/11) v (9) Raymond van Barneveld (5/4)

Round 1: Taylor 10-5 v Price, van Barneveld 10-8 v Cullen

This was the game that everyone wanted to see when the draw came out, and we've not been deprived of it despite spirited efforts by Gerwyn Price and Joe Cullen. Neither of these behemoths of darting history performed that well in round 1, Taylor doing slightly better, but not by much, and while Barney has the historical stat edge, the master computer saying he's around a 58% favourite, this seems like a game where it's going to be all about emotion, nerve and experience and this can go all out of the window. I won't discourage a Barney bet, but there's enough intangibles here that I'm going to avoid it and enjoy what may be their last TV matchup (that counts)

(1) Michael van Gerwen (1/14) v (16) Simon Whitlock (21/2)

Round 1: van Gerwen 10-4 v Bunting, Whitlock 10-5 v K Anderson

Both players advanced fairly comfortably in round 1, van Gerwen hitting par for the course, with a couple of dodgy legs including one where he missed more doubles than he usually misses in a month, while Whitlock couldn't generate a twelve darter, but hit enough fifteens to deny his compatriot the chances needed. Whitlock won't be completely dead, he did after all have one dart to beat MvG in a major last season, albeit over a much shorter format - this is longer, and I've got it as a 91/9 game - i.e. betting either player is not a good idea.

Now for the round up:

Mensur Suljovic 11-6 Justin Pipe

Can't say that I watched this one, train delays back from work caused me to need to run over in preparing the previous post, Mensur was around average - one four visit kill, and enough in fifteen to never really give Pipe a chance, who was mostly feeding off scraps, and might have kept it a bit closer but for some missed doubles on occasions. Pipe couldn't raise his game enough to beat Suljovic at par for the course, but has to be somewhat happy with getting here and getting a win.

Darren Webster 11-7 Steve West

Weird one, after neither really got going for the first session until Webster fired in a twelve to break, they then both started breaking for fun with some quality legs. West couldn't quite produce enough fifteens, allowing Webster to break him in fifteen darts on three occasions which proved to be the difference, it wasn't until he was 9-5 down that he held after leg three, by then it was too late. Webster's performance was decent, eight out of eleven in fifteen darts, two of them being twelves, he may need to tighten up some of his doubling in the next round though.

Daryl Gurney 11-9 Gary Anderson

What a game. I thought Gurney was already a lock for the Premier League, but he is now, as he rises to within four thousand pounds of sixth in the world in my adjusted rankings (although Barney will push that higher with a win tomorrow). Anderson was really pressuring - over 105 in the legs Gurney won, while this is easier as Gurney managed four twelve darters and only finished one leg in over fifteen darts (the hold to go up 10-8), it's still impressive. Gurney was only broken twice all match - once with a twelve darter while waiting on 84, and in leg two having missed two darts for a 14/15 dart leg. There's zero reason why he can't reach the final having put the questionable performance in round 1 behind him tonight.

Peter Wright 11-4 Cristo Reyes

Leg in, leg out consistency was the key for Wright here - ten out of eleven legs in under fifteen darts, including two breaks in four visits at key points (one with Reyes waiting on 36 at 6-3 before the final break, one with Reyes nowhere after Reyes immediately broke back) to put the game away at a stage where it looked like it could still be in the balance. Reyes didn't play badly, he was just given very few chances, and had some poor legs to give Wright free chances, which he took (twice allowing Wright to break in fifteen without even being on a double if he was allowed to return). Like Gurney, this was a return to form after a questionable first round, although possibly not immediate form, more from a few months ago. Peak Wright regardless.

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