Saturday 24 March 2018

Leverkusen round 2 predictions

Quick run down of today's games in draw order, will list overall points per turn for each player when winning and losing, i.e. John Smith (55 when winning/45 when losing) as well as the FRH master computer win chances, dataset is 2018 PDC worlds onwards to give a better sample for Kantele amongst others, briefly on yesterday there were a couple of surprises, I thought van den Bergh would give Meulenkamp more of a game, letting him win three legs in seven visits (one of them being a break of all things), Dekker seemed to be in bad Dekker mode but Kanik was solid enough to capitalise on it, Hopp was his typical infuriating best, Darren Johnson looked very good against Humphries. Thought de Zwaan might have done more, Edhouse has to be kicking himself needing only to finish in 18 darts on throw to beat Lewis, and only managing to get one shot at the bull. Without further ado, the previews:

Michael van Gerwen (99/95) v Cameron Menzies (91/85) - 84/16 van Gerwen

Tough task for the Scot who looked pretty solid against Mark Wilson in rolling out to a 4-0 lead then holding out from there, but this is a big step up in quality and I don't know if he can hold consistently enough or generate doubles to break the van Gerwen throw if needed.

Alan Norris (90/83) v Jermaine Wattimena (90/88) - 52/48 Norris

Jermaine had a tricky draw against Johnny Clayton, but won out easily enough without needing to throw particularly well at all, only getting the one leg in fifteen darts (against the Clayton throw) but still winning 6-2. Norris hasn't looked great so far this year and the lack of consistency may allow the Dutchman to get home if he ups his game slightly.

Simon Whitlock (93/85) v Tytus Kanik (89/84) - 70/30 Whitlock

As mentioned above, Kanik looked decent against a very dangerous opponent in Dekker, Whitlock may be a bit similar in that he can throw unstoppably but at the same time chuck some complete trash. Whitlock should have enough if he plays similar to how he has been doing in the Premier League, but if he takes his foot off the gas the Pole will be there or there abouts.

Dave Chisnall (95/91) v Marko Kantele (86/83) - 90/10 Chisnall

Marko obviously has a small sample size, he did pretty well against van der Voort in a game I thought he'd lose, apart from a spell in the middle where van der Voort fired in three straight legs Kantele was getting the job done. Chisnall, off the back of a Pro Tour final, is a different proposition entirely and I'd expect Dave to clean this up fairly easily unless he has his usual can't hit a double streak.

Rob Cross (98/94) v Adrian Lewis (93/91) - 77/23 Cross

Amazing that this is a round of 32 game, but there you go. Edhouse should have dealt with Lewis but didn't, so Adie's got another life and it's a first real chance to see how he's doing against a top level player who's on a five game win streak in the Premier League without ever really being troubled in it. Lewis can obviously produce the goods but Cross will take this every time if he isn't doing for a large chunk of the match.

Gerwyn Price (95/89) v Richard North (91/86) - 70/30 Price

A Premier League player with contrasting fortunes now, Price seems to be lacking confidence, and that could be costly against North, who's always been a dangerous floor player. A 6-0 win yesterday should boost him, but that was honestly Atkins being bad rather than North playing well, three of the six legs won in more than six visits really shouldn't happen and won't happen against Price.

Daryl Gurney (97/88) v Ron Meulenkamp (90/87) - 84/16 Gurney

Gurney might now have done enough to survive for now in the Premier League with a big win on Thursday, but is still horribly inconsistent - his speed when winning legs is top 5 level but that's a huge gap when he's not winning. Meulenkamp can equally hit purple patches where he finishes in twelve darts for fun, he didn't show it against van den Bergh but didn't need to - he may need to today.

Ian White (95/91) v Justin Pipe (90/87) - 76/24 White

Pipe got through yesterday against Rasztovits, but will really need to step up his consistency, Michael had legs where he had six, seven and eight (!) visits to break the Pipe throw and couldn't. White, fresh off a title, will walk all over that and probably not allow Pipe too many chances to break his throw.

Peter Wright (95/91) v Luke Woodhouse (91/84) - 72/28 Wright

Peter's really been struggling in the Premier League, and has had some rogue results on the floor as well. Woodhouse overcame the decent youngster Ryan Meikle yesterday with a couple of twelve dart legs, if he can find one of those on the Wright throw and keep solid on his own there's upset possibilities.

Kyle Anderson (93/89) v John Henderson (92/87) - 54/46 Anderson

A potential tight game between two players in the twenties in the FRH rankings, this looks close on paper although Hendo's probably got slightly better floor form of recent. His game yesterday against Langendorf was of a good standard and should put him there or there abouts today if he keeps it up.

Joe Cullen (93/87) v Danny Noppert (92/88) - 54/46 Cullen

Another potentially close game, Cullen's been very good on the floor and in Europe for the past year or so, but occasionally has bad games which his opponent can take advantage of. Noppert's the sort of player that will do so, and came from 2-0 down against the red hot Jeffrey de Zwaan yesterday to get here, a four leg from five burst of good darts being enough to break his compatriot and he held out from there. Should be good.

Kim Huybrechts (92/90) v Chris Dobey (93/89) - 57/43 Dobey

Real tough draw for the Belgian, as Dobey's back to playing his best stuff and is the first match where the seed is projected to go out. Kim needs to start making some moves on this tour, he's done little on TV and if he continues to bust at the first hurdle (with no ranking points as a result) he'll continue to slide down the rankings. Dobey won six straight yesterday after losing the first leg against the veteran Wayne Jones, scoring well enough that he's definitely in with a chance, although I don't think Kim will let him break him in six visits twice like Jones did.

Michael Smith (96/92) v Darren Johnson (89/87) - 81/19 Smith

Michael's been playing extremely well so far this season, and the section of the draw looks good for him, if not without some banana skins. Johnson's one of those, and played probably his best game this season in seeing off Luke Humphries, including two twelve darters. He'll probably need to do the same here to give himself a chance, and while it's a big ask he did do similar in Europe once last year and likely did the same when he made a tour final in 2017.

Jelle Klaasen (92/84) v James Wade (93/91) - 59/41 Wade

The maddeningly inconsistent against Mr Consistency here, the difference between the usual match is that Wade's picked up his finishing speed when he is finishing enough that he's outperforming Klaasen on that metric to slightly edge the winning average. It's going to need Jelle to hit his best stuff and keep doing so, Wade only really had one bad leg against Beaton yesterday, so if Klaasen throws nails he'll lose.

Mensur Suljovic (92/93) v Jamie Hughes (93/87) - 57/43 Hughes

We're actually lacking a bunch of data on Suljovic given he missed all of the UK Open and went out fairly early in the worlds, but it looks like he's been unfortunate, a losing average being higher than his winning average is unusual and indicates a bunch of bad running really. See also having the second highest conventional average in the Premier League right now while being out of the drop zone on goal difference. Hughes has done OK after surprisingly not getting a card, and overcame Hopp yesterday with a good display against what'll have been a hostile crowd, at least the dozen or so that looked to be there in the afternoon, and the same will be in play today.

Mervyn King (92/86) v Gabriel Clemens (92/89) - 51/49 King

Arguably the best German player right now, Clemens took care of Thomas Junghans with minimal fuss yesterday, with three legs in five or less visits (one a four visit kill) and nothing over eighteen darts. King on his game will win this, but we don't see his game often enough these days and if he has a bunch of legs where he starts 60-100-60 or the like then Clemens will be all over that.

Oddschecker annoyingly isn't collating the lines for this so I'll just look at three books and go from there for the best:

0.5u White 2/5 v Pipe
0.25u Henderson 6/4 v Anderson
0.25u Dobey 11/8 v Huybrechts
0.25u Clemens 6/4 v King
0.1u Kanik 9/2 v Whitlock
0.25u Hughes 23/10 v Suljovic

Will update the Second Division Darts later today, and come back with last sixteen projections once this round is done.

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