Wednesday 2 October 2019

Some Grand Prix thoughts

Rankings are as of right now and the points per turn rankings incorporate a minimum of 100 legs played. The sharp eyed among you will notice that Durrant is now up into the FRH top 20 - these rankings are dynamic and change daily, even if nothing's going on.

So what are the big highlights? Durrant against Ratajski jumps straight out for me, a game between two of the top eight in terms of scoring for this season, this'd surprise nobody if it was a quarter final, but alas it's only the last 32 and could be over in ten minutes. All of the top three in terms of points per turn for the year have got very dangerous opponents - Hughes has dropped off a little bit from his blistering peak, but certainly has the A-game to challenge MvG over what is a brutally short distance in the opening round. Price and Chisnall looks incredibly tasty, while Cross getting Suljovic in this format isn't exactly who he'd have wanted, but at least it's not Steve Beaton.

There's some ties that feature players that are very close in either the FRH rankings or in overall scoring - de Zwaan and Beaton are separated by one spot in the rankings and aren't too far apart in PPT either, could be evenly balanced, White and Cullen are fairly close in the rankings but not so much in scoring, in what's a rematch from the Matchplay this could end up being ugly. Evans and Dobey is a tough one to call, Lewis and Wattimena looks similarly tight, while Noppert and Gurney threatens to be closer than the market suggests.

Games I'm not that interested in? Wade, Smith, Anderson and Wright should have way too much for Henderson, Whitlock, Brown and Hopp respectively. I think the format should suit Aspinall and not van der Voort so much. That's covered almost every game apart from King against van den Bergh, Dimitri's finally done enough on the floor to play his way into a major, and it's a case of which one shows up, so it'll be fascinating to see what happens.

Later on in the tournament? That Cross section is horrific. Cross/Mensur/Durrant/Ratajski all fighting for one quarter final place is ridiculous, chuck Peter Wright into the mix as well, everyone else in that section is well capable if they bring their top game. So, so tough to call. The Price section should be Price's if he can evade Chisnall, I think Aspinall's the biggest threat to him reaching the semis, although Gurney can clearly grind it out on this stage.

In the top half, that's not a bad draw for White. Cullen ought not to pose too much of a threat, then he either gets Whitlock, or more likely someone who's not been tested by Whitlock. Hard to gauge where Anderson is, but he's got a good path to the quarters, although the idea of a rematch between himself and Dobey from the worlds sells itself. Then we get to the van Gerwen quarter - he should have enough if he can get past Hughes, which over a short format ought to be the trickiest tie. Another game with de Zwaan would be entertaining, while a battle with Wade would be exactly that given how James has played over the last twelve months. Unless Dimitri can show his stage form, who knows what might happen if the Belgian can make the quarters?

Expect bets on the Saturday evening, or maybe the Sunday morning. Putting anything up before the Players Championship double header seems suicidal. I'm at the NFL game on Sunday night, so don't expect any analysis until Monday at the earliest.

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