Saturday 29 July 2017

Matchplay semi final preview

(3) Peter Wright (5/11, FRH live ranking: 2) v Daryl Gurney (2/1, FRH live ranking: 6)

Previous rounds:
Wright 10-8 v Wilson, 11-4 v Reyes, 16-12 v Webster
Gurney 11-9 v van de Pas, 11-9 v Anderson, 16-13 v Suljovic

Previous rounds performance:
Wright 7 twelve darters, 17 fifteen darters, 96.55 winning average, 91.55 losing average, 94.73 overall average
Gurney 5 twelve darters, 17 fifteen darters, 94.25 winning average, 95.69 losing average, 94.84 overall average

Winning percentage projections:
All data: Wright 80.3 - Gurney 19.7
Worlds onwards: Wright 79.9 - Gurney 20.3
After UK Open: Wright 76.0 - Gurney 24.0
Last two months: Wright 78.7 - Gurney 21.3
Just the Matchplay: Wright 72.2 - Gurney 27.8

Head to head: Wright leads 9-3
Last meeting: US Darts Masters (15/7/17), 8-7 Gurney
Last competitive meeting: Pro Tour (20/5/17), 6-3 Wright
Last competitive major meeting: UK Open (5/3/17), 11-5 Wright

First up we have a redo from the same stage in the UK Open, as the highest seeded player left in the tournament, Peter Wright, faces off against the form player of the moment, Daryl Gurney. As you can see by the stats above, this has the potential to be quite a close match between players who had similar quarter finals, in that they both pulled away from leg 21 onwards after being slightly behind in a tight tussle. Wright's finishing slightly quicker than Gurney, while Gurney is keeping better order in legs where he's not winning by a few points, making the combined averages close to identical. Over the span of all data I have, Gurney's finishing in four visits at a decent 11% clip, while finishing in five visits at just shy of 57% - which isn't too great, and given he's won 38 legs this tournament, 22/38 is more or less band on his historical average. Wright meanwhile is just shy of 15% of legs in four visits, and only fractions of a percentage point below 70% of legs in five visits - which is a big difference and the reason why the win chances are so far in favour of Wright. Given Gurney's better losing average, it's entirely possible that he gets in more spots to nick a leg in six visits to hold, but I can't see this being sustainable over the long haul - over all data, Wright and Gurney's losing averages are the other way around compared to just the Matchplay stats.

(4) Adrian Lewis (9/4, FRH live ranking: 9) v (8) Phil Taylor (2/5, FRH live ranking: 15)

Previous rounds:
Lewis 10-7 v Beaton, 11-8 v Cross, 16-13 v Norris
Taylor 10-5 v Price, 11-3 v van Barneveld, 16-6 v van Gerwen

Previous rounds performance:
Lewis 8 twelve darters, 23 fifteen darters, 100.20 winning average, 84.80 losing average, 93.76 overall average
Taylor 5 twelve darters, 20 fifteen darters, 96.55 winning average, 94.52 losing average, 96.04 overall average

Winning percentage projections:
All data: Lewis 66.6 - Taylor 33.4
Worlds onwards: Lewis 81.3 - Taylor 18.7
After UK Open: Lewis 69.7 - Taylor 30.3
Last two months: Lewis 85.8 - Taylor 14.2
Just the Matchplay: Lewis 89.0 - Taylor 11.0

Head to head: Taylor leads 53-17
Last meeting: Premier League (11/5/17), 7-5 Taylor
Last competitive meeting: Pro Tour (21/2/16), 6-2 Taylor
Last competitive major meeting: European Championship (1/11/15), 11-10 Lewis

The second semi final is a Stoke derby between Adrian Lewis, who's come through three tricky opponents, although the game against Norris could easily have been a lot more straight forward having held a 13-5 lead, against Phil Taylor, who aside from the first half of his game against Gerwyn Price, hasn't really been troubled despite facing the two greatest Dutch players of all time, running out a 27-9 winner combined against the two. Looking at the stats, Lewis is finishing his winning legs much, much better, taking an average of five visits to kill, which is a good bit better than Taylor, who's used exactly the same number of visits to finish his legs as Peter Wright. The issue is that Lewis's inconsistency means that he'll throw in plenty of duff legs which the other guy's going to take - ten points lower on the averages in the legs he's lost than Taylor, and that's over a much bigger sample size. This will come down to whether Lewis can clock in enough twelves on the Taylor throw and be close enough if Taylor doesn't finish in fifteen to counteract legs he might give away on his own. I think he will do so often enough for it to be a bet as mentioned previously.

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