Saturday 31 March 2018

Munich preview 2

Praise the sun, oddschecker has actually collated the lines so I can look at multiple books at the same time, it probably actually had them last time but I couldn't see the European Tour link on the desktop site as it needed some sidewards scrolling that I couldn't see. Then again, I wouldn't have thought to check the unranked tournaments tab, but there you go. The matches are as follows, thankfully all the domestic qualifiers are ones that I've got good data on (please note that the matches involving Goedl have no data so I've put in a dummy win chance of 50/50 - in the absence of actual data, he either wins or he doesn't):

Annoyingly it's sorted things in alphabetical order of player 1 rather than the draw order, but I can't be bothered to fix that right now, so here's what my takes are:

- Lewis has a good spot to make a deep run here, with the winner of his pod getting the Huybrechts pod, Meeuwisse's one of those names like a Vincent Kamphuis that we've seen around for a while and is in the low end of the FRH top 100 or just outside that we don't know a huge deal about, so to see him in what's effectively a low pressure game should be useful. Cullen looked alright last week so it should be a good test.
- European special next, Noppert and Ratajski have both had good starts, the pressure's on Ratajski as he's not quite high enough to get up into the Pro Tour spots from the Challenge Tour, at least for the weekend just announced. The bookies have it such that it's marginal Ratajski value but this has a bit more importance so I'll pass on it. That Suljovic win chance is, as mentioned previously, a bit misleading as we have limited recent data on Mensur and he's playing better than it suggests.
- Two players who had good worlds, Webster being a bit better than Dekker who's reverted to maddeningly inconsistent again, the bookies have it closer than I think so first bet here, 0.25u Webster 4/5, Chisnall is more of the same in the next round.
- Wilson's been doing great so far early this season, with a semi final run in the last Pro Tour where he was playing excellent stuff. Alcinas not so much following his worlds exploits, annoyingly the market has adjusted correctly enough. Norris could well be in trouble whoever he plays.
- Wattimena has put together quite a few solid runs this year as he tries to crack the top 32, and here's a potential good chance, but Tabern has more chances than the market suggests, this being the first of three European Tour events he's qualified for and he's already won his board twice this year. Good punt option here, 0.25u Tabern 9/5. Anderson ought to have enough but his early season has been a bit ropey.
- Clayton has struggled a bit so far this year, only getting five wins in six Pro Tour events, so Berndt, who's played the UK Open qualifiers and given us some information, could be live here. I think that his chances could be falsely inflated, but with a home crowd, who knows? 0.1u Berndt 10/3. Cross should steamroll either opponent unless it's Clayton that does come through and he picks up his game from late 2017.
- Payne has won a couple of boards on the floor this year as he looks to put the disappointment of the world youth behind him, Rasztovits had one good run in the UK Open qualifiers and has made both of the European Tour events so far, he isn't a complete mug and probably is worth tiny value at nearly 2/1, but Payne's a classy operator when needed and has shown it in Europe within the last year. Wright is under pressure in the Premier League but looked incredible last weekend and should have taken the title, and I can't see him not making the final day.
- Humphries and O'Connor both made the worlds last year and this one looks incredibly tight. We've seen a bit more of Humphries and it'll be good to see if he can push on in the senior ranks, something O'Connor has been doing but nowhere near frequently enough to really start threatening for the majors. Price is now officially done from the Premier League and the question is whether he is mentally gone or can now put it behind him and rebuild in ranked events.
- Wade's good start to the year continued last weekend and Razma should provide little trouble for the now veteran lefty. Klaasen's a very good draw for Wade, ironically the same draw as he had last weekend, and I think it would go the same way assuming the Latvian doesn't pull off what would be a big upset.
- Langendorf has done the double of domestic qualification so far, but really hasn't been good in mostly UK Open qualifiers - winning 64 legs but not winning a single one in twelve darts. Brown should easily destroy him and then have chances against Whitlock, who was gifted a couple of wins last weekend before running into Michael van Gerwen.
- Schindler and Dobey had a fairly similar 2017, both sneaking into the worlds as one of the last few Pro Tour spots, Schindler having a good debut season with the card while Dobey regressed after 2016 but is rebuilding well on the floor so far this year. Line looks perfect and the winner will run into another youngster having a great season in Michael Smith, who is doing great in the Premier League but, while rightly being a favourite, cannot afford to take any liberties against whoever he faces.
- Aspinall and Lennon are kind of similar to the two above - both young talents, Aspinall just missing the worlds last year but making the European Championship (incredible how he didn't even have a tour card last year), while Lennon had a good debut season and will look to consolidate and secure his card for another year. The bookies have this real close but I've got Nathan having enough of an edge to bet, 0.25u Aspinall evs, while van Gerwen should have no troubles it's not hard to see a situation where either player can get to 3-3 or so then anything can happen.
- Rodriguez and Hopp are two real similar players again - both capable of brilliance but both equally likely to throw junk for long periods, it wouldn't surprise me if we see multiple legs won in 22+ darts here. Bookies have it even, I can barely split them, King should be OK off the back of his road trip - if his nerve (physically, not mentally) holds out. Oddly, while I have Hopp as the tiniest of tiny favourites, King projects to beat Max more than he would Rowby. Strange.
- Meikle and Taylor is one I want to watch, I know little about Scott who didn't make a European event in 2017, while Meikle is incredibly young and capable of throwing some great arrows if needed. I think Ryan's a bigger favourite than the market suggests, 0.25u Meikle 8/11. Gurney can't be displeased with this fresh of a hugely confidence boosting win in Belfast on Thursday.
- Goedl is on debut and I know next to nothing about him, with dartsdatabase reckoning he had no more than £150 career earnings before today. No bets but Bunting should come through comfortably and then face White, who was very disappointing in Leverkusen and this will be a good marker for both players, White as he looks to threaten the top ten in the world while Bunting will want to get back into the seeds and show he's still relevant in the modern darts world.
- Finally we have Steve West on his first European runout of the year, with another two booked in for later this month. He's done alright so far but cooled a little bit since the UK Open, and faces Rowley, who we saw three times in Europe last year and he lost three times. He's done nothing so far this season that makes me think he can threaten West, who would have a very winnable second round match against Kim Huybrechts, not drawing dead even if Kim is in good Kim mode.

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