Saturday 28 July 2018

Matchplay semis - can anyone beat Anderson?

Cullen pushed him all the way, but missed the match darts he had and couldn't get over the line in overtime. Oh well, that would have been an excellent coup, but I think it's just another one where we've been on the right side of the line (Henderson, White, Wilson) but it just didn't come through this time. We just need to find the spots and keep putting the volume in. As of right now, we are down about an eighth of a unit, which is nothing really, up a unit would sound a lot better but that's a width of a wire difference, on such small things can betting results change.

Semi finals tonight, and we'll start with the stats:

Let's start with the first game. Wright's been playing really excellent stuff - you could argue that he's not been tested in any game to date, Klaasen offered no resistence, Huybrechts was OK but just got outplayed, and Whitlock was easily steamrollered after he'd shown no form in his previous two rounds. Suljovic has had a bit more of a test - mainly from White who did well to rally and get back in the game, but Webster was able to keep it down to just the one break of throw at the fourth TV interval before Suljovic pulled away.

Bear in mind that the projections go off won legs. While it's getting closer, Suljovic is still averaging more in the legs where he's lost than the games where he's won. Whether that's enough that the projections would change if we threw in a few more five visit legs that he was otherwise denied by his opponent, I don't know. In this tournament, Wright's won over 20% of his legs in four visits to Suljovic's 15%, and Wright is over two thirds of legs won in "par" of fifteen darts, Suljovic being just shy of 60%. I think that's a key number - Wright should have more explosiveness to outright grab some legs, and Suljovic may end up letting him have some cheap chances to break in five visits, which you feel Peter will take.

It's funny how the projections when using stats for the whole season and then just using stats for the Matchplay are very similar - I think with the model probably underrating Mensur on account of his amazing losing average it eliminates enough of the edge we'd have on betting Wright to make it a no bet situation, but I'm not going to blame anyone if they do decide to go for it - Wright is the better player and Suljovic, for all he's managed to do in his career, is still yet to reach the final of a really big ranked TV event, the European Championship being somewhat down the pecking order, and the other three times (twice in the Grand Prix, once in the Players Championship finals) he's lost. Peter's been there and done it.

Next to the more interesting game. de Zwaan has been the story of the tournament, beating van Gerwen (again) in one of the shocks of the year, then following it up by seeing off another twice world champion in Adrian Lewis who was putting up a great showing himself, and then took apart Dave Chisnall with relative ease, Chizzy having previously dumped out one of the favourites to reach the final in Michael Smith. Anderson has had much closer matches - a tricky tie with Bunting which was only decided by one break, then he needed to come from behind against Barney who, at 9-9, had for all intents and purposes got to a tiebreak (if you win your next two legs you're through, if you split them you continue, it's the same thing really), before the scoring came off and Anderson put in two great legs to clinch it. Then we had the Cullen game which nearly went all the way, we mentioned this one above so let's not repeat ourselves here.

That bottom line of the table should jump off your screens and make you think the master computer is drunk. Remember that the projections come off winning legs - de Zwaan, at nearly 100, has the third highest winning points per turn of anyone in the Matchplay, behind Chisnall, who he obliterated, and Richard North, who won two legs. That's one heck of a display of both scoring power to get into positions, and finishing - checkout percentage is pretty comical but he's hit more than half his doubles. Anderson's only hit 36%. Gary cannot be anywhere near as lax as he has been. On the more advances stats, de Zwaan's hit the same percentage of four visit legs as Wright has, over 20% - Gary's down at one in eight. de Zwaan's got more than three in four legs in par - Gary's down at 68%. The only stat where Anderson is actually ahead (for the Matchplay) is in losing points per turn - by about as much as de Zwaan is leading in winning points per turn. I know which one I think's more important.

We're not going to cliff jump based on de Zwaan being on fire, and it's kind of odd that he's a shorter price today than Cullen was on Thursday, but let's look at the stats from all season. de Zwaan, based off a much larger sample, is behind, but he's not that far behind - the projection thinks he's got more than a one in three shot. If we say that the model is overrating de Zwaan and that it should actually be about 4% less and it is a one in three shot, we're being offered nearly 3-1! You could knock 10% off de Zwaan's winning chances according to what the model thinks and it's still fine to bet him. So we will - 0.25u de Zwaan 14/5. Stick Wright on as a double if you want.

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