Wednesday 27 December 2017

Round 3 Previews Final Part - Now not featuring Peter Wright

Jamie Lewis v James Richardson (evening session, 28th)

Round 1: Lewis 3-0 vs Clayton, Richardson 3-0 vs K Huybrechts
Round 2: Lewis 4-1 vs Wright, Richardson 4-1 vs Norris

2017 head to head record: Lewis 1-0 (minor ranked)
All time head to head record: Lewis 3-2 (all minor ranked)

Set winning chances on throw (all 2017): Lewis 67.43%, Richardson 45.18%
Set winning chances on throw (Matchplay onwards): Lewis 80.95%, Richardson 30.01%
Set winning chances on throw (Euro Champs onwards): Lewis 86.51%, Richardson 21.12%

Scoreline projections (all 2017): 13.66% 4-0 Lewis, 43.11% 4-1/4-2 Lewis, 27.05% 3-3, 14.00% 4-1/4-2 Richardson, 2.17% 4-0 Richardson
Scoreline projections (Matchplay onwards): 32.11% 4-0 Lewis, 51.89% 4-1/4-2 Lewis, 12.63% 3-3, 3.04% 4-1/4-2 Richardson, 0.33% 4-0 Richardson
Scoreline projections (Euro Champs onwards): 46.57% 4-0 Lewis, 46.69% 4-1/4-2 Lewis, 5.79% 3-3, 0.87% 4-1/4-2 Richardson, 0.08% 4-0 Richardson

As mentioned on Twitter earlier today, this is the first match at this stage of the tournament not to feature a seeded player in eleven years, dating back to Darren Webster against Wynand Havenga in Barney's last title run, following James Richardson eliminating Alan Norris to follow up his first round win over Kim Huybrechts, and Jamie Lewis pulling off an upset that nobody apart from FRH readers saw coming with a sensational performance featuring seven twelve dart legs (nobody else has had more than four in a match so far this year, and nobody has had seven this calendar year - obviously you need a decent length match to do that but the last player to do that was van Gerwen in last year's final, where he had 13) and it could easily have been more, not getting a fourth visit after the failed nine dart attempt for example. These numbers all heavily favour Lewis, and for very simple reasons - he's been playing the darts of his life by a large distance, these darts make up the bulk of his sample size, and as I mentioned in the preview of the Wright game, his darts in the run up to the worlds weren't bad either. Richardson's games haven't been amazing - he has not hit a twelve dart leg so far this tournament (Lewis has twelve), and while his game against Huybrechts was clean enough, against Norris he could only get six from twelve legs in fifteen darts, and in the ten legs he let Norris win, he averaged 76.

We've not had a bet yet in this round, but I think we have one here, because the market has this one surprisingly close - 1.5u Lewis 4/7. Even in the whole 2017 sample, Lewis gets home over three times as often as Richardson does, which is ample enough to bet on its own, factor in that Lewis is playing well and the numbers are overwhelmingly in his favour, the only question is whether we don't bet larger. Richardson hasn't played someone that's been playing well yet - he has now, and waiting to grab chances may just see him not get chances at all.

Will not do the MvG/Barney preview now, will group all the quarters in one post. Price, for me, did enough tonight to make the Premier League, pity he threw away the fifth set or that could have been epic.

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