Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Some specific player analysis

Managed to get all of PC7/8 into the database last night, so let's have a look at some of the players I wanted to.

First up, Adrian Lewis and James Wade. Two players who have had a fairly similar trajectory of late - former major winners, both English, both mid-30's, next to each other in the Premier League standings last year, and both had an awful 2017 which saw them slump to their lowest position in the PDC rankings for quite some time. Now both of them are playing a lot better stuff, with Wade threatening in Europe and Adie making two finals just this past weekend. Is this just variance or are they playing better?

The Dartconnect stuff allows us to see everything from the floor, which I didn't have prior to the worlds, so the 2017 stats are only from the European Tour and upwards (as noted many times, if it's unranked, to me it's an exhibition, so I ignore it), so what did the players do in 2017 (i.e. from the UK Open up to the worlds)?

Lewis: 111-113 legs won/lost, 97.73 points per turn in winning legs, 89.90 PPT in losing legs, 93.96 PPT overall, 19.82% of legs won in four visits, 74.77% of legs won in five visits
Wade: 116-129, 90.10, 87.52, 88.84, 7.76%, 48.28%

Overall, those figures are quite good for Lewis, but they are overwhelmingly taken from his one good tournament (the Matchplay), where he played 111 legs. The rest of the year he's not been so great, but he was injured for a chunk of it, so there is that. Wade's figures are rank average and I think everyone knew that. Now let's look at 2018 to date:

Lewis: 275-201, 93.79, 90.38, 92.45, 12.73%, 60.73%
Wade: 286-237, 93.41, 91.31, 92.53, 9.79%, 60.49%

Now these figures are somewhat different to the previous sample, and they're actually quite similar. Lewis has a few more twelve dart legs than Wade, which you might expect given his explosive power scoring that he can produce. Wade on the other hand has a better losing average by nearly a point, which again you might expect as he's known as the more consistent player. But Wade's definitely upped his game - everything is a hell of a lot better, and while most of this is on the floor, it's a marked improvement. Lewis' stats aren't as good as last year, but as stated, half his 2017 sample is from one good tournament. On their rankings in terms of overall points per turn, they're 13th and 14th this year (after excluding BDO players), and you could roll off the players who are better pretty easily (it's the Premier League minus Price and Whitlock, then add Cadby/van den Bergh/White/Chisnall). Are either Lewis or Wade playing well enough that you can make a case that they should be ahead of four of these players? Probably not, but if they keep playing as they are, and hit some good form on the stage, perhaps taking advantage of a draw opening up, then it's entirely possible that they can throw their name into the hat for a wildcard for the 2019 Premier League.

I wanted to look at Joyce, Tabern and Barnard. I've not got the Challenge Tour in the database (it's unranked), but the same stats for these players are as follows:

Joyce: 193-143, 92.00, 88.50, 90.62, 10.88%, 55.44%
Barnard: 181-155, 89.78, 86.57, 88.40, 4.97%, 49.17%
Tabern: 167-156, 89.96, 85.08, 87.73, 7.19%, 46.71%

Joyce looks the most impressive of the three, which you'd expect given he's doing it on the main tour quite a bit more often, but while none of these are awful stats, none of them are truly threatening, but compare Barnard's figures to Wade's of last year. He's not blasting in the twelves, but they're awfully similar otherwise. To try to compare Joyce's figures, have a guess which ex-Premier League player is putting up the following statline:

241-216, 91.96, 88.87, 90.60, 10.37%, 55.60%

That's extremely similar on more or less everything. I don't know if it says more about Joyce than it does about Kim Huybrechts, but it's notable just how close everything is. Both rank around #30 in the overall average stats that I'm looking at, so while Huybrechts may be slumping, it's not by a great deal - you've just got quite a lot of players who are outside the top 16 that have had great starts to the season like de Zwaan, Aspinall, Dobey, Keegan Brown and James Wilson who aren't otherwise in the official top 30. de Zwaan's the best of these and he's barely more than a point ahead of Joyce's average.

Will update the second division darts later tonight (off to watch the Bayern game and play some actual darts myself) and probably do the quick thing on Mansell I wanted to. May also troll the archives and find some Bristow footage to look at how he did in his peak in the 80's, if I can find a Betamax player.

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