Wednesday 26 December 2018

Worlds last 16 - Top Half

(1) Michael van Gerwen (1/5) v (16) Adrian Lewis (17/4)

Tough ask for Adie here, who stated he was suffering with some sort of bug prior to his game against Labanauskas, he who knocked out van Barneveld in the previous round. Lewis hasn't lost a set yet but it's fair to say he hasn't really been tested, as opposed to van Gerwen who didn't get things entirely his own way against Tabern, and while he took a big early lead against Hopp, did let the German back into the game with a bit of iffy doubling and it wasn't too far off being hugely different, Hopp missing one dart for the set in the fifth to effectively put things back on throw. Lewis hasn't beaten van Gerwen since 2016 and hasn't beaten van Gerwen in a match of any appreciable length since 2013 when he edged him out in several majors. I really can't see Lewis being able to get quite as many chances to win legs slowly as he has had in the previous two matches, notably against Labanauskas - 1u van Gerwen 1/5, I can't see Michael messing this up although Lewis grabbing a set or two wouldn't surprise at all.

Ryan Joyce (13/5) v (9) James Wade (4/11)

Intriguing game here, as surprise package Ryan Joyce, who really wasn't tested at all until Alan Norris charged to an early lead in the previous round, and who has a straight sets win over someone who is seeded higher than Wade is (albeit it's difficult to argue that Whitlock's actually a better player right now), against the Machine, who's needed to come through two tough games, firstly against Japanese qualifier Seigo Asada in an infamous match which it's best to ignore, and then over Keegan Brown, avenging his first round defeat from last year but not before Wade was stuck in a 3-1 hole, Brown not being able to leave better than 70 on throw after fifteen in a deciding leg, which Wade jumped all over. The line's looking just about alright, the season long figures reckon that Joyce has a bit more chance than the market suggests, but Joyce did much of his best work early in the season so that difference is understandable, and you have to think that Wade will not be gifting quite as many legs in less than fifteen darts. I think the run ends here for Ryan. Probably.

(28) Jamie Lewis (6/4) v (12) Dave Chisnall (3/5)

Jamie's at it again. After a 2017 where he was mostly playing complete junk then turned up hugely in the World Championship, he then had a 2018 where he was mostly playing complete junk and has defeated Daryl Gurney. That was a second straight deciding set victory after a win was ground out against Cody Harris, while Chisnall, whose 2018 has also been somewhat average, was also taken to a deciding set by Josh Payne, Dave needing to come from two behind after Payne won all of the first seven legs. A second round game against Kim Huybrechts was a lot more comfortable with the Belgian not being able to claim a set. I can't see any bets in this one either, all the metrics point to Dave having an advantage, but it's not by a great deal - the line's thinking that Chisnall takes this a little more than 60% of the time, which if you split the difference between the two projections looks to be about right, over the course of the tournament Dave's been better, but not by much, this could be another close one and one that I'm not going to be betting on.

(4) Gary Anderson (1/6) v Chris Dobey (11/2)

Our last game of this half sees Gary Anderson, who was surprisingly made to work against Kevin Burness and needed to survive a match dart against Jermaine Wattimena, who similarly had darts to win two of the other three sets that Anderson took, come up against Chris Dobey, who strolled to easy wins over a disappointing pair of players in Boris Koltsov and Steve Beaton, only to be challenged by an improved Vincent van der Voort, missing chances to take a two set lead and having to come from 3-2 behind. Dobey's actually lost less legs than Anderson despite having played a match more, and the speed of the legs they've won isn't hugely dissimilar, but Anderson could easily be heading that by more - the points per turn he's scored when losing legs is actually higher than when he's won, so it's a case of the other guy grabbing legs by force which Ando may well have turned into a fifteen darter or better. Hard to recommend a bet in this one, Anderson is quite clearly the better player, but Chris has shown enough over the course of the season to suggest he's not drawing completely dead, and if he can slot in some comfortable early holds and maybe fire in a twelve on the Anderson throw, it could get very interesting.

Bottom half analysis will come tomorrow night or Friday morning once we know the last few competitors - reminder that we're already on both of Alcinas and West tomorrow from previous analysis.

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