Monday 18 December 2017

Round 2 Previews - Part 2

Hope everyone was on board the Keegan Brown hype train that pulls us back to level in the betting stakes, yesterday's results have given us another three matches we can preview so let's start off right away with the game decided as a result of that Brown match:

Keegan Brown v Zoran Lerchbacher (afternoon session, Saturday 23rd)

Round 1 - Brown 3-2 vs Wade, Lerchbacher 3-2 vs King

Set winning chances on throw:
2017 to date - Brown 76.82%, Lerchbacher 36.03%
Matchplay to date - Brown 74.42%, Lerchbacher 39.85%
European Championship to date - Brown 80.86%, Lerchbacher 30.57%

Match score calculations:
2017 to date - 24.16% Brown 4-0, 51.20% Brown 4-1/4-2, 18.14% 3-3, 5.80% Lerchbacher 4-1/4-2, 0.70% Lerchbacher 4-0
Matchplay to date - 20.04% Brown 4-0, 49.38% Brown 4-1/4-2, 21.47% 3-3, 8.07% Lerchbacher 4-1/4-2, 1.04% Lerchbacher 4-0
European Championship to date - 31.52% Brown 4-0, 51.98% Brown 4-1/4-2, 12.98% 3-3, 3.18% Lerchbacher 4-1/4-2, 0.34% Lerchbacher 4-0

Two players here who have come through seeds in deciding sets, Brown coming out on top of a swinging game against James Wade, while Lerchbacher was the beneficiary of a mid-game recurrence of Mervyn King's back injury to come from 2-0 down in sets winning eight legs on the bounce. These stats all look to favour Brown somewhat comfortably, although there's not a huge sample on either player so we'll apply a bit of caution. Brown won eight out of his twelve won legs in fifteen darts or less and averaged over 90 in losing legs, which is a solid standard, while Lerchbacher only managed four out of his thirteen legs won in the same speed, but averaged a point higher than Brown in the legs King won. Whether Lerchbacher would have stepped his game up if he needed to given King's injury is a question that we'll never know the answer to, but his season long stats say that he was performing pretty much as you would expect him to, so I'm not sure if he would have done. The bookies have this surprisingly even, with Brown only a small favourite, Brown has shown in the past that he is able to maintain a good standard over a long format, see the 2014 Grand Slam for the best example where he overturned Barney in a race to 10 and was only two legs shy of eventual finalist Dave Chisnall in a race to 16, whereas Lerchbacher is in unchartered territory to the best of my knowledge. Brown should capitalise here - 1u Brown 3/4.

(16) Gerwyn Price v (17) Ian White (afternoon session, Friday 22nd)

Round 1 - Price 3-0 vs Evetts, White 3-1 vs Harris

Set winning chances on throw:
2017 to date - Price 59.75%, White 56.65%
Matchplay to date - Price 66.70%, White 50.73%
European Championship to date - Price 82.93%, White 30.56%

Match score calculations:
2017 to date - 6.71% Price 4-0, 30.39% Price 4-1/4-2, 31.68% 3-3, 26.03% White 4-1/4-2, 5.20% White 4-0
Matchplay to date - 10.80% Price 4-0, 39.39% Price 4-1/4-2, 29.42% 3-3, 17.54% White 4-1/4-2, 2.85% White 4-0
European Championship to date - 33.16% Price 4-0, 52.03% Price 4-1/4-2, 11.85% 3-3, 2.68% White 4-1/4-2, 0.27% White 4-0

Another game that the bookies have pretty close, although this time it's somewhat expected given their one place difference in the seedings, and two place difference in the FRH rankings. There's interesting trends in those calculations, you might have thought the earlier ones would favour Price when they factor in the UK Open run (this, of course, being a rematch of the quarter final of that event), but it's actually the other way around, Price having thrown some great legs for little reward in the Grand Slam as well as at the European Championship. Those last figures are off at least 25 won legs from each player, so it's not likely that it's a sample size based outlier, although we should note that White's averaging a good four points better when losing legs, so maybe on another day White gets the shot to convert some decent legs. Neither player was particularly tested in the first round, but Price was still able to slot in seven from nine legs in fifteen darts, whereas White could only muster five out of ten. Price seems to be a statistical favourite, and it's close to a bet, I just feel that the whole year numbers seem to be more accurate than the more recent ones, and I don't think that generates quite enough of an edge to start backing, even at 5/6.

Vincent van der Voort v (25) Steve Beaton (afternoon session, Friday 22nd)

Round 1 - van der Voort 3-0 vs Chisnall, Beaton 3-1 vs O'Connor

Set winning chances on throw:
2017 to date - van der Voort 60.26%, Beaton 53.54%
Matchplay to date - van der Voort 58.89%, Beaton 55.01%
European Championship to date - van der Voort 78.82%, Beaton 31.21%

Match score calculations:
2017 to date - 7.84% van der Voort 4-0, 32.90% van der Voort 4-1/4-2, 31.18% 3-3, 23.55% Beaton 4-1/4-2, 4.53% van der Voort 4-0
Matchplay to date - 7.02% van der Voort 4-0, 30.91% van der Voort 4-1/4-2, 31.47% 3-3, 25.48% Beaton 4-1/4-2, 5.11% Beaton 4-0
European Championship to date - 30.16% van der Voort 4-0, 51.98% van der Voort 4-1/4-2, 13.88% 3-3, 3.58% Beaton 4-1/4-2, 0.40% Beaton 4-0

Both players had fairly routine victories, Beaton perhaps being pushed a bit harder by O'Connor than van der Voort was by Chisnall. Vincent's a small favourite, and the larger samples indicate that should be an accurate line, but the more recent data favours van der Voort heavily - his play in round 1 was much better than Beaton's was, and despite his run at the Players Championship Finals, he didn't put in too many good legs - Vincent only got the five legs there but they were all good legs, Beaton after the first round couldn't manage half the legs he won in fifteen darts. It could be a case of that the back's working fine for the Dutchman and that some of Beaton's earlier season form has deserted him to an extent, it could just be variance. Wouldn't blame anyone for wanting to back van der Voort on current form, he does tend to play his best stuff here whereas Beaton hasn't got past this stage in a very long time, but I'll avoid it.

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