Saturday, 3 November 2018

Wade being Wade and the World Series

Quickly was able to catch the last couple of games last night. Earlier, was interesting to see Jamie Lewis (and, to an extent, van den Bergh) find their floor games from nowhere, somewhat of a good sign for Dimitri with the Grand Slam coming up. Anderson beating White wasn't so much of a surprise, with me having pointed out Kyle's actually throwing better than his performances suggest, White again failing on TV isn't a great one though, although he's got another couple of chances before the worlds to turn floor form into TV form. Raymond Smith did pretty well and will be one to avoid in the worlds for sure, Heta/Langendorf was quickly forgotten, Chizzy easily dealt with Hopp, who replaced Murschell on short notice (odd that they said they called Hopp up on the World Series order of merit and he was the first that could get there - if it was in Glasgow again, who'd have been able to make it?), Price put away Lam with little trouble, Gurney whitewashed Beaton which is always a surprise, and then Wade was very solid on his own throw after both him and Ross Smith struggled early to move on.

Today I'm mostly interested in the Raymond derby to see how Barney's doing and whether he can just turn it on against a dangerous opponent, both the Anderson games could be decent, will want to see if Lewis can do it again... there's a few decent games but with this being unranked it's hard to be that interested in it. I suppose I might watch bits of it just because it's on, but counter-programming of the Premier League is also tempting. Frankly I'd rather watch a stream of the Development Tour if one was available. de Zwaan's playing it, which is interesting - Grand Slam qualifier warm up I guess?

On Wade, Chris Kempf posted up a piece on the PDC website that was interesting reading on how he perceives Wade to do what he does. First, he looks at the rate of killing on bull, where Wade's second behind Cullen at a barely believable 44%. Two things come into play here. First, sample size - how many outshots are people taking at bull? Sure, if you go ton-ton-ton 40 and then get the first two trebles you're not going to have too many options if you need to go for it, but if you're on 121 after nine by getting that one extra treble earlier? If you're on 141 after eight darts, you'd better have a bloody good marker on the treble to justify not going for bull right now. Or if you do stay on treble, and leave either 121 or 81, do we really want to take a route that forces you into an inner bull finish, or should we go bull first and set up an actual decent double? I'd fancy this doesn't correlate with success much at all, as a good player is probably taking a route that doesn't require them to finish on the bull in the first place. We've even seen Steve West go 17-double 17 on 91, which is one of the 91-95 finishes where you might think to go the bull route because double-double requires an awkward choice of doubles (92, 94 and 95 all involve a combination of tops, D18 and D16 in some combination, 93 leaves the same 74 left as 91 does). Where Wade having accuracy on the bull may make more of a difference is before the game even begins - winning the bull, as talked about on here a long time ago, makes a big difference.

Chris then talks about 140 rates in comparison to 180 rates, which seems a bit daft really - a 180 then a ton counts the same as two 140's, and this can be rolled up into one stat - what percentage of darts thrown at treble 20 hit treble 20. He also looks at stray darts, i.e. the number where someone does a Harrington and misses the big number, where Wade's got a low chance of doing that, relatively speaking. That said, he then goes on to say that he's able to threaten a twelve dart leg fairly often - so why isn't he actually hitting twelve dart legs that often? Given you say he's good at finishing on the bull, which is something you'll do a fair bit if you stay straight and are able to hit just enough treble 20's to leave a 121 or 81 out, and that he is also the best in the game at cleaning up two dart finishes, it seems weird that he hasn't hit that many twelve dart legs. Wade's played the second most legs in my database this year (only Ian White has more), but he doesn't even rank in the top ten for most twelve dart or better legs. He's tied for eleventh with Steve West, and has needed to play over 250 legs more than West to get that many, leaving Wade winning in twelve darts less than 10% of the time when he's actually won the leg.

What I think actually makes the difference is just the level of consistency. It's not Wade blowing people away with power scoring - it's more that he scores enough to not allow the opponent cheap legs. It's not even doing enough to win in fifteen darts - of the legs he's won this year, he's only at 58% in that stat, not even good enough for the top twenty (given a decent sample size). Legs won in eighteen darts is more interesting though - he's won more legs in eighteen darts than anyone in the database this year. Percentage wise, he's not that far up, just inside the top twenty with 91.5% of all legs won being in eighteen darts, but combine that with his losing average of exactly 90 - which if the opponent hadn't gone out, would leave him on average needing eleven for tops - exactly the sort of two dart out that Wade's apparently the best in the game at. The consistency rate that I've used in the past, taking the losing average away from the winning average, is also something that Wade's rated very highly at - there's some randoms with low winning averages that rate quite highly on that metric, but Wade is at 2.65 - good enough for the top 10 if you just consider those whose winning points per turn is above 90 (Suljovic, Dekker, Joyce, Ross Smith, Cross, Durrant, Dolan, Stevenson and Gary Anderson are ahead, but only Suljovic is below two points, Dekker's second best score being 2.11). So I think this is how he gets it done - he scores regularly enough that he leaves himself in a position to get an easy checkout a very high percentage of the time after twelve/fifteen darts, and then converts that into a finish an equally high percentage of the time. If you're wanting to beat Wade, then you're going to need a good leg yourself against the darts almost as often as anyone else you can think of.

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