Thursday 10 May 2018

Zwolle preview

Draw is out, the home nation qualifier is going on as I write (Benito already out obviously, 6-1 to de Graaf), let's have a quick look at the opening day:

Steve Lennon v Rowby John Rodriguez (winner vs Cross) - Lennon got through Eastwood and Murnan, Rowby beat an unknown, Bunse and his younger brother, two young players, one that'll make their World Cup debut soon while another is likely to be dropped for Lerchbacher, projections give this as a Lennon win, but not even 60/40.

James Richardson v Jason Cullen (Henderson) - Richardson beat Petersen and Padgett, Cullen beat Thornton and McGowan (nice scalps), with a not bad draw these may fancy a run to Sunday. Projection is similar to the first game, but in favour of Cullen, oddly enough - Richardson's just not winning enough legs quickly.

Josh Payne v Jonny Clayton (Suljovic) - Payne beat Temple and Pipe to qualify, Clayton did the same to Darbyshire and Kellett. The newest Euro Tour winner is the favourite here, but not by much - barely better than 55/45. Payne has good consistency and isn't lacking behind the Welshman in speed at all, except on twelve dart leg percentages, so this could be an underdog punt.

Adrian Lewis v HNQ2 (Whitlock) - We don't know who Adie will play, but if the site I'm looking at the qualifier draw on (thanks has things in the right order, it's likely to be the winner of Meulenkamp v Dekker, with Jimmy Hendriks and de Vreede being outside punts. Adie, who beat Dolan and Jacques to get here, would be better than 2-1 to win against either of those (edit - Dekker just won vs Ron and de Vreede is gone)

Adam Huckvale v HNQ1 (Cullen) - Huckvale won on the Challenge Tour last weekend so must be playing OK, qualifying via Woodhouse and a last leg decider against Johnson. The likely opponent is Wattimena with only no-names left in his section, and it rates to be very close - Wattimena only being a potential 11-10 favourite.

Wayne Jones v Jamie Lewis (Huybrechts) - These defeated West/Burton and Meikle/Baxter respectively, and the in form Welshman should be around a 2-1 favourite to advance against the veteran Wolverhampton native.

Johan Engstrom v James Wilson (Wright) - I know nothing about Johan, but he beat Razma, Labanauskas and Kantele to qualify, so must be OK, Wilson'll be a tough ask, who took out Lynn in a whitewash and Bain in a decider to reach the main draw. Can't think it'll be an auto win though if Engstrom qualified like that.

Antonio Alcinas v Dragutin Horvat (Price) - Short on data on Horvat, who's only played the one game, losing 6-4 but finishing everything in six visits and clocking in a 95 average in his losing legs, so the Spainard shouldn't have it all his own way.

Tobias Müller v Stephen Bunting (Smith) - Müller's here for a second punt, beating Micheletti, Lerchbacher and Drobick (no, me neither) to give himself a shot at doing better than a sub-80 average in a first round loss to Kuivenhoven last month. Bunting beat Barney then whitewashed Evans to make it, and despite barely having a winning average in the 90's should be too strong here.

Ricky Evans v Krzysztof Ratajski (Klaasen) - Big chance for the Pole to clock up key ranking points, Evans is no mug though, taking out ranking winners Norris and Mansell (still feels weird to say that) in qualification and the model gives him a bit more than a 40% shot to get through here.

James Wade v Cristo Reyes (Gurney) - One of the last times Wade will play the Friday for a while by the looks of things, James saw off Caven and Kirk while Reyes, always hit and miss but mostly miss for the last twelve months, got through Losan (?), Bilderl and Marijanovic. Reyes projects as about a 6-4 underdog, and I can't see how Wade's consistency doesn't come through here given Reyes' form.

Ryan Joyce v Michael Rosenauer (King) - Big chance for Joyce, who's been tearing up the Pro Tour. Qualifying by beating Bowles, Mark Wilson and Green for the loss of just four legs, he should have too much for the veteran German, who edged out van den Bergh in a decider to qualify. Michael's not got any data so it's hard to say how he'll do, except it's probably badly.

Cameron Menzies v Kevin Munch (Chisnall) - Menzies has been doing OK in qualification for these, and Pallett/Evetts/Brown is a good trio to beat. Munch is on a second appearance this season, having lost easily to Luke Humphries in Austria, and beat a couple of no names before Schindler and Clemens to make it here. Hard to call given what we know Munch can do from the worlds and limited data since, but limited data puts Menzies at better than a 3-1 favourite.

Kyle Anderson v HNQ3 (White) - Ando was tested a bit against Osborne and Burness, which is a concern, but he's here and faces a Dutch qualifier, which is looking like being one of van der Voort, Kist or Meeuwisse (who just beat Jeffrey de Zwaan, what?). If we say it's Vinny, then Kyle's around a 5-2 favourite, and will likely be better against other opponents.

Mike de Decker v Terry Jenkins (van Gerwen) - Jenkins beat Nicholson, Ross Smith and Dobey in tough qualifiers, while de Decker didn't have to face anyone tougher than Ronny Huybrechts in the final round. Jenkins should come in at just short of a 2-1 favourite in this one.

Steve Beaton v HNQ4 (Webster) - Beaton beat Taylor and Brooks for the loss of just four legs in comfortable qualification, and the section of the draw he has looks like it'll throw out Danny Noppert, unless Kamphuis, de Graaf or Plooy can stop him. If it was to be Noppert, it'll be very tight, rating to be the closest of all games projected, Beaton being a 52/48 shot.

Bets later once the draw's confirmed.

As we're not a PDC blog, the BDO drew its World Trophy earlier. Some interesting games include Hurrell/Machin, Harms/Warren, Phillips/Labanauskas and Spaaridans/O'Shea. Still qualifiers to go and it's not for three weeks, but hopefully they'll produce stats for it.

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