Sunday 24 December 2017

Round 3 Previews Part 1 - van Gerwen/Price, Barneveld/van der Voort

Wrapping done, TV crap as usual, still a bit of time before heading to the pub, so let's start on the round of 16 writeups!

(1) Michael van Gerwen v (16) Gerwyn Price (evening session, 27th)

Round 1: van Gerwen 3-1 vs Kist, Price 3-0 vs Evetts
Round 2: van Gerwen 4-0 vs Wilson, Price 4-1 vs White

2017 head to head record: 4-0 van Gerwen (1-0 minor ranked, 3-0 unranked)
All time head to head record: 10-0 van Gerwen (1-0 major ranked, 5-0 minor ranked, 4-0 unranked)

Set winning chances on throw (all 2017): van Gerwen 75.53%, Price 38.55%
Set winning chances on throw (Matchplay onwards): van Gerwen 70.23%, Price 45.91%
Set winning chances on throw (Euro Champs onwards): van Gerwen 68.19%, Price 48.71%

Scoreline projections (all 2017): 21.54% 4-0 van Gerwen, 50.23% 4-1/4-2 van Gerwen, 20.21% 3-3, 7.13% 4-1/4-2 Price, 0.89% 4-0 Price
Scoreline projections (Matchplay onwards): 14.43% 4-0 van Gerwen, 44.53% 4-1/4-2 van Gerwen, 26.36% 3-3, 12.81% 4-1/4-2 Price, 1.87% 4-0 Price
Scoreline projections (Euro Champs onwards): 12.23% 4-0 van Gerwen, 41.65% 4-1/4-2 van Gerwen, 28.25% 3-3, 15.46% 4-1/4-2 Price, 2.40% 4-0 Price

In what is only one of two possible last sixteen matches where the expected seeds have reached it this far (Wright/Norris the other possibility), defending champion Michael van Gerwen faces off against UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price. It's an important game for both - van Gerwen obviously wants to continue his amazing winning streak and claim a third world title, which was most recently extended by winning twelve straight legs against James Wilson, whereas Price is looking to cause a massive upset, or at least put up a good performance which would improve his chances of making the Premier League. Neither player has been in much trouble so far, Kist putting up more of a fight than most expected in round one against van Gerwen, whereas Price has come through two games against Ted Evetts and Ian White for the loss of just the one set, looking pretty solid in putting up an impressive 16/23 legs won in fifteen darts or less, while averaging 92 in the 12 legs he has lost. van Gerwen lost the four legs against Kist and also averaged 92 in those legs, and managed 19/23 legs won in fifteen darts or less, critically six of those being in twelve darts or less - Price only managing two.

The figures all indicate a win for Michael van Gerwen, which is to be expected, and they don't fluctuate a great deal, but surprisingly things do seem to get better for Price as we have got smaller and smaller samples from a more recent set of events - surprising as van Gerwen's won everything recently, whereas Price's best run came right at the start of the season. I can't possibly think that it's van Gerwen getting worse, it is more likely that Price is throwing better darts - that said, in that UK Open run he did beat Justin Pipe, Dave Pallett, Paul Hogan, Ian White and Alan Norris, so it's not necessarily the A-list that will shut down your opportunities at winning a leg in the sixth visit, and may make Price's won leg speed profile look a bit worse than it might otherwise be.

This is a huge price on Price - 16/1 almost looks tempting, but van Gerwen's looked so solid that I can't think that Price is able to keep a level of solidity for long enough while also be able to handle the frequency of van Gerwen's twelve darters in order to get the four sets he needs. Plus that head to head record - good god, if Price at least knew he'd won in the past then maybe I could see the unthinkable. I could easily see Price getting a set - the figures posted seem fairly quiet on the chances of a 4-0 win and taking odds against van Gerwen doing so seems incredibly dangerous, but I can't recommend anything on the outright scoreline.

(9) Raymond van Barneveld v Vincent van der Voort (evening session, 27th)

Round 1: van Barneveld 3-0 vs North, van der Voort 3-0 vs Chisnall
Round 2: van Barneveld 4-1 vs K Anderson, van der Voort 4-0 vs Beaton

2017 head to head record: 0-0 (most recent game: 2014)
All time head to head record: 17-2 van Barneveld (6-0 major ranked, 6-2 minor ranked, 5-0 unranked)

Set winning chances on throw (all 2017): van Barneveld 73.45%, van der Voort 40.07%
Set winning chances on throw (Matchplay onwards): van Barneveld 72.92%, van der Voort 42.89%
Set winning chances on throw (Euro Champs onwards): van Barneveld 65.42%, van der Voort 53.07%

Scoreline projections (all 2017): 19.38% 4-0 van Barneveld, 48.84% 4-1/4-2 van Barneveld, 22.06% 3-3, 8.58% 4-1/4-2 van der Voort, 1.13% 4-0 van der Voort
Scoreline projections (Matchplay onwards): 17.35% 4-0 van Barneveld, 47.54% 4-1/4-2 van Barneveld, 23.77% 3-3, 9.99% 4-1/4-2 van der Voort, 1.35% 4-0 van der Voort
Scoreline projections (Euro Champs onwards): 9.43% 4-0 van Barneveld, 36.98% 4-1/4-2 van Barneveld, 30.44% 3-3, 19.78% 4-1/4-2 van der Voort, 3.37% 4-0 van der Voort

Our other match which completes the previews of Wednesday's plays is an all-Dutch encounter between five time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, and the player who he beat 5-0 in the quarter finals of the fourth of those titles, Vincent van der Voort. Much like the previous game, both have looked really good so far - Barney averaging 102 in both of his games so far, only dropping the one set against Kyle Anderson, and he's hit three twelve darters and has 17/21 legs won in fifteen darts or less. van der Voort caused a big upset in the opening round, knocking out the number eight seed Dave Chisnall in straight sets, and followed it up with another straight sets win over Pro Tour winner from earlier this year, Steve Beaton, breaking the three figure mark in that game and hitting 98 against Chisnall. In the two games, like Barney, he won 21 legs, getting 15 of those legs in fifteen darts or less, slightly less than Raymond but getting an extra twelve darter in the process. The back looking to be in good form in comparison to last year, it's perhaps a surprise given the amount of darts played nowadays that neither has met for over three years, their last encounter being a group game in the 2014 Grand Slam, but there you go. They've met on big stages previously, on top of that World Championship match, Barney's also won a UK Open final, twice defeated him at the Zuiderduin Masters in their BDO days, in that Grand Slam year he also won in the European Championship and the Matchplay, with Vincent's only wins coming in Pro Tour level events in 2009 and 2011 - although at least that latter one was a final.

Barney's only 2/5 here, the market respecting that van der Voort has already knocked out a higher seeded player and his general high level of play. Barney's is better, as it has been throughout the year, but is it that much better that we can consider a Barney bet, or is it not that much better that we look at Vincent, twice a quarter finalist here, to keep the run going? The scoreline projections put Barney to win at a 68:10 ratio in the whole data set, which is good for him in comparison to the line, the Matchplay onwards being 65:11, so about the same, but more recently it's only 46:23, so just about 2:1 and more in comparison with where the line is at present. I think the key thing here is the more recent data - Vincent's had back troubles for a while now, and they seem to have cleared up more recently and are allowing him to play his better game at the business end of the season. As such I'm not going to recommend any bets in this one either - Barney should win, but Vincent is playing well enough right now that an upset is not out of the question.

That's one pair of games down, I think next up I'll look at the Taylor and Anderson part of the draw as that seems to be easier to do on paper, before getting my teeth into the interesting ties that are Suljovic and van den Bergh, then Henderson against Cross. Nothing's coming out this evening, so a Merry Christmas to all readers.

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