Tuesday 28 July 2020

And Dimitri wins

Pretty impressive performance. Maybe Gary could have taken more advantage of the slack legs from the Belgian (ten of his eighteen legs won were in more than fifteen darts), but Dimitri got four critical four dart kills, three of them breaks, and was putting relentless pressure on the Anderson throw - in the legs Anderson won, Dimitri was averaging over 103, completely the opposite of the severe up and down game he used to have. It was always said that if Dimitri could drastically improve his B-game (or get one, it always used to be A and then something in the middle of the alphabet), he'd be dangerous, it looks like it's finally happened.

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gerwyn Price
4 Rob Cross
5 Michael Smith (UP 1)
6 Nathan Aspinall (DOWN 1)
7 Dimitri van den Bergh (UP 12)
8 Glen Durrant
9 Daryl Gurney (DOWN 2)
10 Dave Chisnall (DOWN 1)
11 Gary Anderson (UP 2)
12 James Wade (DOWN 2)
13 Ian White (DOWN 2)
14 Krzysztof Ratajski (DOWN 2)
15 Mensur Suljovic (DOWN 1)
16 Adrian Lewis (UP 2)
17 Jonny Clayton (UP 1)
18 Chris Dobey (DOWN 3)
19 Simon Whitlock (NEW)
20 Stephen Bunting (DOWN 4)

Obviously Dimitri's the big winner, Anderson hasn't made as much ground as you might have thought, but he was a lot closer to the players just behind him than those ahead, he's less than a grand ahead of Wade, although less than 200 quid behind Chisnall. Cullen, despite getting a win, drops from the top 20 due to Whitlock getting a quarter final. Vincent's up to 27, just ahead of Mervyn King.

Interestingly, the gap between van Gerwen and Wright is the closest it's been for a while, it's down to only 105k, if Wright had have binked he'd be number 1. Oh well.

Sunday 26 July 2020

What the hell is going on

Predicting a Smith/Durrant final was more or less the kiss of death for both of them, wasn't it? Dimitri seemed to out-Glen Glen, with Dimitri not winning a single leg in four visits (in contrast to Durrant's four), instead piling in the five visit kills, slotting in a solid near-93 average in the losing legs to always be there or there abouts. Meanwhile Anderson needed a small amount of overtime to get home after it looked like Smith had done enough with a six leg burst to get the key break for 15-14 from a 14-9 deficit, but a 116 out for a twelve to level (after Smith had missed the bull to go one away) was critical, and Smith failing to get more than one treble in any visit in the final leg was enough. This was a weird one, Anderson could easily have been clear, but allowed Smith three separate breaks of throw in six visits, which at this level is really unforgivable.

As for the final, we either get Anderson defending all his money with interest (as an aside, it's pretty lol that they each got 20k for reaching the final compared to the 25k for reaching the semis), or we get a first Belgian winner of a major, which would lift Dimitri, already at an FRH ranking high of #13, up to #7 and surely a lock for the Premier League in 2021, assuming the powers that be do recognise that this is a cold that's going round and not the bubonic plague. Their stats in the Matchplay are remarkably similar - both have lost 41 legs while Gary has won 55 compared to Dimitri's 54, both are scoring 93 in winning legs (DvdB is about half a point higher) while Dimitri's doing the same in losing legs, about three points higher than Gary. Neither has been prolific in power scoring legs, only having three twelve darters a piece, both doing their damage in relentless 13-15 dart legs. Anderson doing this slightly more gives him a tiny edge on the "just Matchplay" projections at around 53/47, but Dimitri scoring more all round makes this too close to call.

What about longer samples? On both just 2020 and a full twelve months, this favours Anderson considerably - somewhere in the mid 60% range up to around a 2-1 favourite. Does this suggest a bet? Not really. Gary's 8/13, which isn't really tempting enough over the course of longer samples, factor in that Dimitri's been playing the slightly better darts over the week, and the edge that the larger dataset points to probably disappeared. As such, there's no bets to recommend, so the near 2 unit lead we had built up this year has gone and the year to date stats are down to about a quarter of a unit loss. Which is a shame, I think I'd make all the bets again, we just had a few people critically underperform.

Where we go after this is unclear - there's a great lack of action, I would have thought the PDC would have announced another series of five Pro Tours at some point in August, but there's nothing yet (maybe they are waiting until after the Matchplay), there's an intriguing to be confirmed set of Challenge Tour events in MK in mid August before the Premier League catches up, but there's nothing ranked until Hungary in September. Meanwhile in the WDF side, there's nothing scheduled until minor events in Iceland in September. So we'll probably have to do a bit more filler, we do have stuff to catch the Second/Third Division Darts up a bit, but what we do outside of that, who knows.

Saturday 25 July 2020

Then there were four...

Stats of the semi finalists in this tournament:

This really should be Glen's to lose now. Smith's playing at a slightly higher standard in terms of the legs he's won, and is certainly more explosive, but he's got quite a few more legs in over six visits than Glen has and is considerably worse in the legs he's lost, so if it was to be a Smith/Durrant final (as I think it will be), I think Glen will be able to grind out enough that he'd be able to claim the title. Of course, there's games to be played before that can actually happen, what do we think will happen in them?

It's Smith/Ando first. The bookies have this even, Anderson is actually evens with Michael just a shade ahead at 10/11. On the form shown in the Matchplay, this shouldn't be close in favour of Smith. Over all of 2020, this is fairly even, Smith showing a marginal edge in the low 50's percentage wise. Over a twelve month time frame, Gary takes a solid 60+%. Which do we believe? Probably the middle one. Anderson's been fairly mediocre, but being one game away from a final, and realistically speaking this could be his last chance of winning a big major (he will be 50 by the time the next worlds ends) and if he can't raise his game for this one, he surely can't raise his game for anything. There's also the whole psychological "mentor" thing that Sky bring up, as well as the pressure that Smith still hasn't won a major title of any description. Should be close, wouldn't surprise me if it went to extra legs, it also wouldn't surprise me if Smith opens up the sort of lead that Cross opened up on him in last year's final. No value here.

Then it's Dimitri against Glen. Durrant's been in a few major semis on the PDC side but has yet to win one, whereas this is, I believe, Dimitri's first. Glen's just a little bit better on everything, but Dimitri has enough talent and has cut out enough of the times where he just goes away in a game at this stage to be in with a chance. Over twelve month stats, I'm seeing around 65/35 in favour of Durrant, more like 70/30 on 2020 form, while it's more like 75/25 looking just at the 76 legs they've won combined this week. 4/7 is very close to value on Glen, but the line looks close enough to correct to not bet on this one, there's enough of a combination of Dimitri having improved and maybe Glen seeing the final that I'm hesitant to recommend a play. Glen certainly didn't look outstanding against van der Voort, and if Vincent didn't have those two consecutive legs where he let Glen win in 23 darts having missed tons of doubles (the second being the one where he went on monkey tilt), we'd probably be talking about a different semi final. 14-8 would have been a huge lead to claw back.

Should be two very good semi finals, it really wouldn't surprise me if we got a match of the year contender in one of these, have we really had any so far apart from that Dobey/Ratajski UK Open game? Or that Price/Petersen Pro Tour semi final?

Friday 24 July 2020

If my tipping quality continues like this Duzza is fucked

Hmm, didn't expect Ratajski to lose that comfortably, Smith played OK but it wasn't anything that Ratajski wouldn't have been able to handle normally you'd have thought. Meanwhile in the other quarter, Whitlock was able to hang around with Anderson until 12-12 before Gary pulled away to set up a repeat of a Grand Slam last 16 from 2017 (Ando won that one 10-6), they've only actually met in a ranked event once since then, which comes as a bit of a surprise, but there you go.

One thing I do want to note, which is a very good development - van der Voort did this in the penultimate leg of his match with Gurney, and Ratajski also did it separately against Wattimena very early on. Wanting 132, they went bull first dart, and after hitting bull, both went to 14's and hit, Vincent missing the outshot but Ratajski hitting it. This is excellent news in that they're both seeing sense as to what to do when both opponents were on a big number for double return. You need to hit two targets, go for the biggest one. Then again, Whitlock did manage to clog up the treble 20 heavily enough on a 120 out that he thought it best to go bull-bull (and hit lol), so who knows.

Thursday 23 July 2020

Matchplay quarters

What was already not a great Matchplay got a bit worse by Noppert being completely unable to score heavily against Lewis, it's somewhat of a miracle that he was able to keep it as close as he did for as long as he did, but that level of checking out was clearly unsustainable for the long haul. Elsewhere, Gurney went out as seemed a possibility, Dimitri got over the line in a tight one against Cullen, and Durrant beat Wright in a bit of an upset - seems like more or less a two horse race for the title between him and Ratajski, but it is incredibly wide open. The stats from the first two rounds for those who are left:

That's a bit small but it should be legible - and should indicate what I was saying, this looks like a straight fight between the top two here. Of the remaining games, tonight we've got a flip between Ratajski and Smith while Ando's around a 2-1 favourite against Whitlock, while Lewis and Dimitri looks like a flip as well, with Duzza being about a 5-2 favourite over Vincent. What do we like?

0.25u Ratajski 19/20, on pure natural talent this is the best chance Smith might ever get to bink a major, but he's going to know that, he was a bit fortunate against Suljovic, but he's got a very tough task here. On 2020 form he's not even at 40%. On twelve months form he's more like 35%. Taking the Pole as a flip looks to be a real solid play (then again, we said the same things last night about Noppert, so...)

Nothing on the Whitlock game. 9/5 just isn't quite fat enough. It looks flat out bad on a twelve month sample, and he's only at 40% on a 2020 sample, but if we had a bit more we'd go with it. Look at the distribution of their scores above - Whitlock and Anderson are scoring exactly the same per turn when winning legs, while Whitlock's scoring a lot more in losing legs. Ando hasn't hit a single twelve in the tournament. If Simon can keep plodding away and not give Gary many chances to break in fifteen darts, this could happen.

I'm almost tempted to stab at Dimitri here. We're getting 11/10 and on twelve months form, he's up around 60%, but this drops to 55%, but Adie's hitting enough good legs. In a weird change in consistency, Lewis is playing complete trash when he's losing legs, while Dimitri's scoring more or less the same throughout, but Adrian should be able to find enough good legs to get home half the time here.

0.5u Durrant 1/3, I think Vincent's gone as far as he can go here. Duzza looks so incredibly solid and I can't see Vincent keeping up the rate at which he's been hitting twelve darters, especially at key moments. On 2020 form this looks to be a near 90% chance for Glen, over the last twelve months it's just under 85%. This is also a fairly long match, which I think given Vincent's litany of injury issues might further play into Glen's hands more than any other matchup we have here.

Two punts, and they're on the two players I'm thinking reach the final, best of luck everyone.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

The Matchplay has jumped the shark

Seriously, what the hell happened last night? First we had Dimitri play up to a level that we've not seen before for this length of time, then we saw possibly the biggest upset in Matchplay history with Whitlock taking out MvG to gift Wright the title make this the most open event in a long, long time. Quarters in the top half of Whitlock/Ando and Smith/Ratajski look fairly tasty (well, the second does anyway, but Gary I still don't think looked particularly great, so maybe Whitlock has his chances. Michael against Krzsyztof should be good fun in any case, credit to Clemens and Suljovic for making their matches so good.

Bottom half tonight, eight players will become four, let's have a look:

Gurney/van der Voort - Odds look alright in this one. While my system hasn't liked Gurney, it's showing him winning just shy of three in four over 12 months worth of data, and maybe slightly more than that on 2020 form. He is available at 2/5 so there's an argument to go with Daryl, particularly if you do think that my projections underrate him, but I'll err on the side of caution for this one, a 92 conventional average in round 1 isn't that big a deal, if he'd slotted in 100 or something I might have gone with it. Vincent frankly played better in beating a much stronger opponent in the openers.

van den Bergh/Cullen - Market has Dimitri as a small favourite. I think it's not quite right, the Belgian should be a bit shorter than he actually is, over both samples I used he should claim this about two in three, and while Cullen didn't exactly beat a bad player, he should have lost that game while Aspinall is at least as good as White and Dimitri didn't look like losing at all. I'm so tempted to go against Joe, while my projections are based on winning legs, and it'd become a bit closer if we look at everything, their losing averages are within a quarter of a point of each other. I should probably go with it, but I won't. If there's a flood of money on Joe and Dimitri gets to evens then I'll punt.

Wright/Durrant - This could be the match of the tournament, whoever wins this one has a real chance to bink. Market says around 65/35 for Peter, which looks close enough to me, I'm seeing Snakebite's chances at 68% for either sample, although in running it might be a touch closer given Glen's incredible game in the opening round. Either way, I'll duck it - if you like Glen's side, I'd be tempted to just back him for the tournament each way, as I don't see anyone else that's left on this side of the draw as being a serious threat.

Noppert/Lewis - The bookies have this evens. How times change, but Danny taking out Price will do that for you. It's not enough of an adjustment though, 0.25u Noppert evs, my projections are seeing this as 2-1 in favour of the Dutchman over twelve month stats, and near three in four over 2020 stats. What's especially worrying were some of Adie's comments after the Beaton game, I can't find them precisely but they weren't exactly those of someone full of confidence, which is exactly what Noppert should be. So we've finally found a bet, take Danny.

Quarter final previews tonight I guess, probably do them all in one go.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Matchplay day 4 thoughts - day 3 not so good

Still can't quite understand how White managed to blow that lead he had against Cullen, or how Chisnall capitulated against van der Voort (in that last one, Vincent at least got two very good breaks, but Chizzy could have broke in fifteen in any leg after the break but wasn't even on a double in any of them). Beaton losing out, meh, Lewis played alright I guess although Beaton in the final leg was incredibly disappointing.

We've just got the Aspinall/DvdB game to round out round one, then we've got all the top half of round two. I only really have lunch to look at these, so I'll be brief (and go in running order):

Smith/Suljovic - Mensur's pretty tempting at slightly odds against, I have to say. On 2020 form it's a flip slightly in favour of Michael, but on twelve months form it's more like 55/45 in favour of the Austrian, so 13/10 is close to worth it, especially with Suljovic having played well in round one. I'll pass on it though, Smith didn't play badly and the game will have taken a lot less out of him.

Anderson/Wade - Hmm, Ando is a lot more favoured over 12 month stats than I thought he would be, it's like 65% which seems a bit ridiculous. Over 2020 stats it's more like he should be a 10/11 favourite and that's it, I'd have guessed Wade might be a bit closer than that. With that 2020 form, Wade at 6/5 just doesn't do it for me, the relative first round games would point to James, but I'll pass again.

van Gerwen/Whitlock - van Gerwen isn't quite good enough in this one to be worth the bet, he's 1/9 so we'd need 90%, and we only get up to 80-85%. That's not good enough to bet Whitlock either obviously.

Clemens/Ratajski - Seems like the line's right again. 65/35 in favour of the Pole, which is more or less bang on the 4/7 you can get. Cut it down to 2020 data (which, as mentioned before, is somewhat tainted by Gabriel's lolworthy performances in Germany) and it becomes heavily in favour of Krzysztof, but without filtering out the Superleague I'm not sure how big an exaggeration it will be.

As such, no recommended plays today. I might dump what's remaining from the sole win in round 1 on a Mensur/Wade/MvG/Ratajski acca just for the sake of it.

Sunday 19 July 2020

Some quick Matchplay thoughts

I said I wasn't going to post until round 2 bets, but I've got a bit of time this morning so will post some things. I've not watched the actual games, and just looked at the dartsdata results, so if I'm off based on that not reflecting gameflow, then fair enough, but here we go:

- How poor was Whitlock? 10-4 looks like a bit of a dicking, but he only won three of those legs in fifteen darts, the first two legs (where Joyce was hovering on 41 after 12 and 88) and the last one (where Joyce got himself on 87 after 9 then missed four darts at double). In between those, it was a whole heap of junk and if Joyce could have just got steady fifteens with any regularity he'd have rolled all over Whitlock, in those intervening 11 legs he won four and had doubles in another five.

- How good was Ratajski? Five twelve dart or better legs, only two going beyond fifteen darts, in the legs Wattimena did nick Krzysztof was averaging 102, that's very, very dangerous form and Cross or Clemens, whoever comes through, could be in a world of trouble if Ratajski gets even close to that. Sadly I think the secret's out enough on Ratajski now, even before tonight, so it wouldn't surprise me if he's priced as the favourite against Cross (he clearly would be against Clemens).

- That's super solid stuff from Wade, and super mediocre stuff from Anderson. Gary only managed half his legs in fifteen or better (mostly after the final break, it was 5-5 at that point and Pipe was hanging around fine), whereas Wade only had two of his twelve legs go beyond that mark (which incorporates the twelve he had to open the game). Anderson's the favourite, but without running the figures, I really don't think he should be.

- van Gerwen's numbers didn't look awe inspiring. Dolan did alright to hold things together at 7-7, but Michael, like Gary, only put together five legs in fifteen or better (admittedly two were four visit kills), and if it weren't for missed doubles, Brendan could have taken this. Two missed in leg 2, six in leg 4, and four more in the final legs were the key ones, take those and it's 10-7 the other way around.

We didn't have any bets yesterday, today's the first big one with three today and then three on Monday, I'll probably pop in this evening with some quick thoughts, I'll see how it goes. There's only the two second round games set up, I've said that my gut is thinking Wade will be value, but maybe Michael at 1/9 could actually be worth the play? It's really, really hard to be a 90% favourite, but even so...

Saturday 18 July 2020

Matchplay round 1 bets

I've posted up the projections, scoring and analysis for everything now, so let's look match by match and see what we'll go with.

Whitlock/Joyce - nothing here. Market has it as a flip, I can't see it as anything really different than that, Simon has just enough to justify being the tiniest of tiny favourites at 5/6. Carl Fletcher's gone for at least 16 legs at 2/5, that seems alright to me if you're wanting to punt on everything or to add a bit of value to an acca, Joyce is a worlds quarter finalist so it's not as if we're going to see him bink a Pro Tour out of nowhere then shit the bed on the TV stage.

Ratajski/Wattimena - nothing here either. 23/10 on Jermaine looks half tempting if you're looking at the full length stats, but it'd only be marginal at best and in 2020, Krzysztof's winning chances look more in line with the 4/11 that you can get. You might want to consider Jermaine on a handicap where you're getting paid out 4/6 or something like that, but it's easiest just to move on.

Wade/Brown - same price as the above match. Keegan has shortened slightly since I posted the top half to the point where it's just about put me off a bet. It's probably just about marginal value, but everything is telling me that Keegan will not be able to hold his game together against a player like James on current form for long enough to get over the line often enough. If he can come out of the blocks quickly and get to half time at 5-5, maybe even 6-4 down, he could make it interesting, but I don't want a part of it.

van Gerwen/Dolan - nothing here again. van Gerwen is usually an auto lay, but in the longer format of the Matchplay, Brendan simply doesn't win often enough to make 7/1 look like even small value. Michael should be pretty comfortable and did look real good in the Summer Series.

Anderson/Pipe - would usually go with Justin here, he was playing well enough that he should be able to hang around with Gary for long enough that the 10/3 being offered would be a good play, but with Justin having needed to pull out of the back end of the Summer Series through injury, I can't recommend anything and am taking this one off the board, so there's nothing to recommend on day 1.

Suljovic/Hughes - and there's nothing immediate on day 2 either. The bookies are pricing Mensur at 8/11, which equates to having win chances in the high 50's, exactly where my projections are putting him. Nothing of value whatsoever here, Carl's done similar to the Whitlock game on an over leg count, can't say I like it as much here as I think there's enough results where Hughes has bad visits or Suljovic pulls away and we miss out.

Durrant/de Zwaan - 0.25u Durrant 1/2, I think we've got our first play here, it's not for much as the twelve month data makes this look like a fair line, but on 2020 data this should be nearer to 1/3 Durrant. Jeffrey was I guess struggling with the injury that saw him pull out of the Home Tour, and picking up just two grand in the Summer Series doesn't make me think he's improved back to the level where Glen doesn't easily take this at least two times out of three.

Cross/Clemens - no bet. I'm thinking both players are in the underrated category at this stage, while Rob has a bit of separation from the big three, he's still really good, while Clemens is capable of beating any seeds at this stage. 7/5 doesn't offer any value at all, maybe the Clemens secret's out, or maybe the bookies are sleeping on both players. Who knows. Whatever it is, we're not betting.

Wright/de Sousa - 0.25u de Sousa 11/5, this is a real tough draw for Peter, Jose is an extremely dangerous player who's continued his excellent level of play from the back end of 2019 into 2020, to the point where my projection model actually spits Jose out as a tiny favourite on 2020 data. On longer data he's only just up to 40% but that's still more than worth the shot at a price that's better than 2/1.

Smith/Clayton - 0.25u Clayton 13/10, Jonny's really, really good and extremely underrated, Smith's not done a huge amount in 2020, or since last year's Matchplay for that matter, the 6/4 that was available when I was looking at this match earlier in the week is long gone, but with the Welshman projecting as a solid 60%+ favourite whichever data we use and scoring more points per turn, we don't need to think getting better than even money.

Chisnall/van der Voort - 0.5u Chisnall 2/5, this looks like a safe play, Vincent's scoring is one of the worst in the field while Chisnall's all round game continues to improve, as well as being one of the heaviest scorers in the game today. The projections I have say this ought to be more in the region of 2/7, maybe 1/4, so 2/5 looks tasty enough, I really cannot see van der Voort doing this. The price is only available on Skybet, elsewhere is 1/3 or worse so grab this quick.

White/Cullen - 0.5u White 4/7, another Skybet special but the generally available 1/2 is still good, Cullen simply isn't in White's league as we saw last year and I just don't see how the projections that I have which give White winning three in four over twelve months data and seven in eight on 2020 data are in any way inaccurate. Better than 1/2 is really tasty and probably the bet of the round.

Gurney/Evans - no bet, Gurney's priced up at 2/5 which is probably a little bit on the short side, but it's really nothing much and I can't say that Daryl is a great matchup for Ricky stylistically speaking, Gurney should be able to grind this one out comfortably enough.

Price/Noppert - this is almost worth the shot on Danny, 11/4 is an alright price when I'm thinking this should be more of a 1/2 sort of game, especially if you're taking the opinion that Price plays his best when he feeds off a crowd which sadly isn't a factor right now. I'll give it a miss, Danny's someone who I think might not quite have the extra gear that he'd need to hang with Gerwyn if the Iceman's on form.

Lewis/Beaton - 0.25u Beaton 11/8, this is more on 2020 data than anything where I can't separate the two on more or less anything, Lewis has been pretty mediocre there and I'm not sure why he pulled out of the last Pro Tour before the draw, on full year's data the line looks right, but I'm thinking all of Steve's experience will allow him to adapt better than Adie to this situation.

Aspinall/van den Bergh - no bet to finish off. Nathan's priced at 2/5, so more or less a 70/30 game, the Belgian's certainly not without his chances, but is going to need to hit his top game to live with Nathan, who's become one of the most consistent players on the circuit. If he does so then he could certainly pull it out, Dimitri's peak is certainly comparable with Nathan's, but can he do it in this sort of environment is the big question. We'll see.

I probably won't be watching much of the first round, so I probably won't be back until round 2 bets unless something crazy goes on. See you then.

Friday 17 July 2020

Matchplay preview - bottom half

Better late than never...

(2) Peter Wright v Jose de Sousa

2020 data - Wright 48.6%, 96.39 ppt, de Sousa 51.4%, 95.30 ppt
12 months data - Wright 59.1%, 96.16 ppt, de Sousa 40.9%, 94.20 ppt

Oh boy, this is a great one. We've got the world champion against arguably the most dangerous non-seed in the field. And the bookies are respecting the Portuguese ace to a fair respect - he's only just longer than 2/1. Anyone that's not seen Jose play (and it's fairly easy to miss for the casual viewer) might be surprised at this, but it's an accurate enough assessment to me. I'm reluctant to automatically suggest a bet, given it is to the best of my knowledge the first time that Jose will be going up against an elite calibre player like Peter on this sort of stage, but if you take de Sousa I can't say you're getting the worst of it.

(15) Glen Durrant v Jeffrey de Zwaan

2020 data - Durrant 79.8%, 93.92 ppt, de Zwaan 20.2%, 88.88 ppt
12 months data - Durrant 66.9%, 93.46 ppt, de Zwaan 33.1%, 91.13 ppt

This might have been a tough match for Glen at some point in time, but I'm not seeing the issue if we look at more recent form. I believe Jeffrey said in a recent interview that he was having some sort of injury issue, which is enough for me to think there's no value in the Dutch kid, the line's basically 2-1 in favour of Duzza, so if we're going to go with any sort of gun to the head prediction it'll be with the Teesside native.

(7) Daryl Gurney v Ricky Evans

2020 data - Gurney 63.6%, 92.97 ppt, Evans 36.4%, 90.15 ppt
12 months data - Gurney 70.3%, 92.68 ppt, Evans 29.7%, 89.46 ppt

This is quite the clash of styles, and it's probably pitting two of the lower end players in each pool against each other. I've been bearish on both players for some time now, neither's really inspired confidence, although Gurney looking competent enough in spots over the Summer Series is probably enough for me to lean in his direction. It's not going to be a bet by any stretch of the imagination, he's 2/5 which is insane against anyone putting up enough results on the Pro Tour to qualify, but he should take it.

(10) Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort

2020 data - Chisnall 80.6%, 91.40 ppt, van der Voort 19.4%, 88.54 ppt
12 months data - Chisnall 78.8%, 92.98 ppt, van der Voort 21.2%, 89.62 ppt

This'll be a nice game to watch. This should be incredibly fun, both players will likely play into each other's strengths, go along at a good clip, the only problem is that Chizzy's that much better than Vincent that it's probably not going to be interesting as a contest. Vincent's been alright in 2020 but hasn't done enough to make me think that my projections are off, and with Dave at 2/5 that's possibly tempting for a bet recommendation.

(3) Gerwyn Price v Danny Noppert

2020 data - Price 67.8%, 96.33 ppt, Noppert 32.2%, 94.00 ppt
12 months data - Price 66.0%, 94.76 ppt, Noppert 34.0%, 92.58 ppt

Bottom quarter - Noppie's got a tough draw, but so has Gerwyn. Danny's probably one of the most underrated players on the circuit, despite having made the World Series finals at the back end of last year and finding himself in the business end of floor tournaments more often than not. Make no mistake, Danny would be a huge threat to a number of seeds in this event, it's just unfortunate he's drawn Price - while there's probably a small amount of value with Noppie being the right side of 3/1, and while he'll probably be a recommended play, it's not anything to go crazy about.

(14) Adrian Lewis v Steve Beaton

2020 data - Lewis 49.8%, 90.20 ppt, Beaton 50.2%, 90.13 ppt
12 months data - Lewis 58.3%, 90.15 ppt, Beaton 41.7%, 90.14 ppt

How is Lewis still in the top 16? What's he done? No idea really, I guess he's done just enough in the worlds to hang around, without ever being someone who'll threaten to bink something huge, despite having the clear talent to do so and having shown the ability to go deep enough on the floor to keep ticking over. We know what we're getting with Beaton, it's maybe not a surprise that the bookies list this 60/40. I don't think there's going to be value in this one.

(6) Nathan Aspinall v Dimitri van den Bergh

2020 data - Aspinall 67.8%, 94.15 ppt, van den Bergh 32.2%, 90.75 ppt
12 months data - Aspinall 60.6%, 93.41 ppt, van den Bergh 39.4%, 91.23 ppt

This could be spicy. Aspinall's very much transcended the path from very good to the world's elite, that he is the #6 seed doesn't seem an exaggeration in the slightest, he is that good. Dimitri's managed to do enough on the floor whereby he's got into this, it's a bastard draw, and I think the issue is that Dimitri may not be able to get up for what is, for all intents and purposes, a floor tournament having taken a couple of speedballs. The market has it around the line that I'm projecting, the Belgian's been somewhat overrated in my rankings historically because of his up and down nature, so if there is any value here it'll be on the Stockport native.

(11) Ian White v Joe Cullen

2020 data - White 87.3%, 95.67 ppt, Cullen 12.7%, 90.43 ppt
12 months data - White 76.2%, 95.12 ppt, Cullen 23.8%, 90.84 ppt

This game simply isn't interesting. This time last year, these two drew each other, and White smacked Cullen up 10-0. Yes, since then, Joe's managed to grab a Euro Tour, which is nice, but it'd take an incredible display of character to be able to pull this one out. With Ian being the right side of 2/1 on and with my projections looking as they are, I don't see how I don't lump on the Stoke native here.

Bets tomorrow.

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Matchplay preview - top half

Let's do some previews.

(1) Michael van Gerwen v Brendan Dolan

2020 data - MvG 82.9%, 96.59 ppt, Dolan 17.1%, 91.25 ppt
12 months data - MvG 84.1%, 96.38 ppt, Dolan 15.9%, 91.38 ppt

Can't look past van Gerwen in this one. Michael is, perhaps as standard these days, a bit overvalued, but Brendan is only floating around at 7/1, which with his projected winning chances isn't in the slightest bit tempting. With a solid five points per turn lead on any sample you like, van Gerwen should cruise through, it's always a bit of a concern when a Pro Tour qualifier is here basically on the back of two wins from the previous calendar year. Sure, Brendan did get a final in the severely weakened pre-lockdown Pro Tour weekend, but he didn't beat anyone really useful prior to Wade in the semi. Easy one to avoid for me.

(16) Simon Whitlock v Ryan Joyce

2020 data - Whitlock 59.1%, 92.13 ppt, Joyce 40.9%, 92.59 ppt
12 months data - Whitlock 49.4%, 90.90 ppt, Joyce 50.6%, 91.86 ppt

Here's one that's a bit more even. I'm not entirely sure how Whitlock is still in the top 16 in the world, but he is, and clings on to the last seeding, which is handy as his Pro Tour results are nowhere, and only earned a fifth of what Joyce did all week compared to what Ryan did in the one event he won in the Summer Series. The bookies have this fairly close with Simon as the small favourite - he has a little bit of an edge that is almost worth exploring, but when you consider that Ryan's scoring more per turn in both samples, clearly has the form, and it looks like a flip over the twelve month data set, we can ignore this one as well.

(8) Gary Anderson v Justin Pipe

2020 data - Anderson 53.1%, 94.13 ppt, Pipe 46.9%, 90.92 ppt
12 months data - Anderson 57.9%, 94.14 ppt, Pipe 42.1%, 91.81 ppt

I think given Pipe picking up an injury we need to take this one off the board in terms of considering betting, which is a shame, as looking at those stats, Pipe looks moderately tempting at 10/3. Anderson's got a fair bit of pressure on him with him defending a title, but really ought to have no trouble - I assume Pipe's final right after the cutoff last year is more or less responsible for him having got over the line, and his work in 2020 is nowhere near the level it was in 2019. Ando does have a floor win this year as well, which is a useful data point to have, he should at least get through this one.

(9) James Wade v Keegan Brown

2020 data - Wade 61.9%, 92.37 ppt, Brown 38.1%, 89.77 ppt
12 months data - Wade 64.6%, 91.78 ppt, Brown 35.4%, 89.13 ppt

Not really sure how Brown's got here, it certainly feels like he's fallen over the line, seems to be a lot of last 32, last 32, last 16 and just chipping away and getting to board finals. Wade won last week and has had a much better track record over the last 12 months in almost all formats. With Keegan only having picked up the three wins in the Summer Series, and with his well publicised NHS work, I've got to wonder how sharp he's really going to be, while the odds (Brown is 5/2) are close to looking worth it, I can't help but feel that right now my stats are overvaluing him enough that it's not a bet, the format certainly is one that should favour James quite heavily.

(4) Rob Cross v Gabriel Clemens

2020 data - Cross 70.9%, 92.88 ppt, Clemens 29.1%, 90.49 ppt
12 months data - Cross 58.5%, 92.98 ppt, Clemens 41.5%, 91.74 ppt

A word of caution here, the 2020 dataset includes Gabriel's performances in the German Superleague, which, at least in the group stages, seemed someway off his best, seemingly not needing to get out of second gear against most of his opposition. The German number one makes his debut against the defending champion in what should be a very interesting tie, the market has Clemens at just 6/4, which is roughly the sort of ballpark we'd expect if we're looking at the twelve month data set, Cross has probably switched to underrated at this stage, but Gabriel should certainly be in that category to go with it. There's a worry about Clemens' relative lack of TV performances, but with his semi final last week he's at least playing well enough that this should be competitive.

(13) Krzysztof Ratajski v Jermaine Wattimena

2020 data - Ratajski 71.3%, 94.62 ppt, Wattimena 28.7%, 91.08 ppt
12 months data - Ratajski 64.6%, 93.65 ppt, Wattimena 35.4%, 91.18 ppt

Another leader in the underrated stakes (at least amongst casuals and the bookies given we can still keep finding him in our auto bet rankings), Ratajski comes in as a seed with a decent enough draw against Wattimena, still looking for his first ranking title but having picked up an alright TV run at the Grand Prix last year. Krzysztof's priced up at just the wrong side of 1/2, which feels about right and looking at the stats such has been the quality of his play over the last couple of years. It feels like forever since Jermaine has made his name, and while he's made continuous improvement he doesn't yet feel like a top 16 quality player, and Ratajski should be able to deal with Jermaine easily enough, a reputation of being a consistent board winner and occasionally a bit further isn't going to cut it against someone with multiple ranking titles.

(5) Michael Smith v Jonny Clayton

2020 data - Smith 33.9%, 92.65 ppt, Clayton 66.1%, 93.99 ppt
12 months data - Smith 38.0%, 92.44 ppt, Clayton 62.0%, 92.93 ppt

One of the most interesting matches of the round, Smith is still in the top 5 in the world primarily based on his world final, and last year's finalist gets an incredibly tough draw against Clayton, who's quite easily been performing at a better level than Smith of late, at least that's what the stats are showing. Smith's had a final in the one Euro Tour this year, but has been somewhat lacking outside of that. The UK Open semi finalist is continually overlooked, and while his scoring is a bit one sided in terms of winning legs, 6/4 looks very tempting.

(12) Mensur Suljovic v Jamie Hughes

2020 data - Suljovic 56.8%, 92.53 ppt, Hughes 43.2%, 91.57 ppt
12 months data - Suljovic 58.6%, 92.69 ppt, Hughes 41.4%, 91.24 ppt

Last year Hughes finished off a red hot start to 2019 with a win in the red hot location of Prague to sneak into the Matchplay by the back door, since then, it's hard to recall exactly what he's done to qualify this year - looks to be mostly decent appearances in Europe (although whether all of these counted for ranking money is something I don't recall). Suljovic is hanging around the top 16 in the world and playing to a good enough standard that he's rightly the favourite here, the price of 4/6 looking like it's the right ballpark, since Hughes' bink he's managed a Euro bink of his own as well as  a Pro Tour win, the numbers appear reasonable for this one.

Will do the bottom half either tomorrow or Thursday, depends on what I'm doing after the Leicester game really.

Sunday 12 July 2020

Summer Series done, onto the Matchplay

Meant to post yesterday, but got a little bit too excited after thumping Chelsea, my apologies. So the Summer Series is in the books, Wadey binked yesterday and then today, despite the best efforts of Devon Petersen (and, to a lesser extent, John Henderson), we got more or less the field for the Matchplay we expected after we got a Wright/Price final, which Peter took. The new FRH top 20:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gerwyn Price
4 Rob Cross
5 Nathan Aspinall
6 Michael Smith
7 Daryl Gurney
8 Glen Durrant
9 Dave Chisnall
10 James Wade (UP 1)
11 Ian White (DOWN 1)
12 Krzysztof Ratajski (UP 1)
13 Gary Anderson (DOWN 1)
14 Mensur Suljovic
15 Chris Dobey
16 Stephen Bunting (UP 1)
17 Adrian Lewis (DOWN 1)
18 Jonny Clayton
19 Dimitri van den Bergh
20 Joe Cullen

Wade sneaks into the top 10 with his victory and generally much better form this week than White, Ratajski flies past a fairly mediocre Gary Anderson (who, it should be noted, is defending a title at the Matchplay which is a huge reason why he's a lot higher in the orthodox rankings than here), while Bunting, who wasn't able to get into the Matchplay field, did enough to sneak past Lewis back into the top 16.

Lower down, title winner Ryan Joyce sits at #42 just behind Jose de Sousa, the impressive Petersen's just 4k outside the top 50 now, today's surprise semi finalist Wayne Jones is into the top 90, Scott Baker has hit the top 100, and Jason Lowe should get there as well by the end of the week I'd think. Martijn Kleermaker had a good week and is at #110. Aaron Beeney is up at #287, after he was able to gain his first win of the season.

Here's who played well this week:

And here's not so much:

Some interesting names on the first list - Noppert, Clayton and Humphries continue to throw good stuff and stay under the radar, while Scott Mitchell sneaking into the top 20 is a bit of a surprise. After a fairly poor start to being a card holder, it's good to see Callan Rydz getting into the swing of things, that 11-20 lineup containing a great bunch of North East talent. In the bottom list, I don't know what Waites and McGeeney are up to, I wouldn't necessarily have expected to see both of those that low down. Probably chuck Dave Pallett into there as well, but other than that I think it's mostly the names we'd expect to see.

The Matchplay draw is done. I'm not going to analyse it to death tonight, we've got a week's lead time, but Joyce got the plum draw against Whitlock, Clemens/Cross should be very good, Clayton could easily make the quarters, de Sousa getting Wright is harsh but probably the pick of the ties (Noppie getting Price isn't nice either), nobody really wants to see a White/Cullen rematch but it is what it is, and has anyone got an easier run to the quarters than Dave Chisnall?

I think I'll take a bit more of a look by quarter, maybe one per day. Be back soon.

Saturday 11 July 2020

Three down, two to go

Firstly, apologies for lack of posting during the first time we've had ranked darts back since forever, it's been a really weird combination of work and non-darts stuff that's limited me somewhat, it's never going to be easy to do this sort of thing on a midweek, but the timing was really not great just now. So we're back, and I think it's fair to say there's been quite a few surprises - nobody would ever think that van Gerwen winning one would be a shock, but winning two in this sort of format which you'd think wasn't ideally suited to his style of play might raise a few eyebrows. Then again, he's still the best player in the world (sorry Peter/Gerwyn), and in the brief amount of the games I've seen, it's been nowhere near as stop/start as the German Superleague was. The big shock was Ryan Joyce binking his first title, well done, that ten grand has pretty much locked a spot at this stage, and also got to give a shout out to Aaron Beeney for getting onto the board with a good win over Scott Waites.

Courtesy of the Weekly Dartscast Twitter feed, the current race looks like this:

It's hard to say who's going to be completely safe, I'd be surprised if enough combination of people go on runs to knock out Dimitri, Beaton's a different question as it's just needing three people to do not much. That extra £500 that the Belgian had makes a big difference, especially in the context of the roads for the four behind him - they're seeded 32, 31, 30 and 29 respectively, so today Searle, Evans, Brown and Beaton are on the same boards as Price, Wright, Ratajski and Suljovic. Good luck getting more than a grand out of that, but who knows it can happen. DvdB doesn't have the most favourable board himself, getting MvG, but against Stevenson first round then probably Kuivenhoven, you'd think he'd get a grand a fair bit of the time and £500 most of the time.

Let's quickly chuck up who's scoring the best just in the three events so far:

You weren't expecting de Sousa number 1, were you? Let's have a look at who's just on the bubble who might play in on this list. Dobey could, but has so much work to do - he needs a final one day or another, two semis just won't cut it, and his board today is really spicy, Whitlock first round (who's not been playing too badly) then Aspinall before someone else moderately dangerous, that's tricky. Bunting doesn't look too bad and is a lot closer, one semi might be enough, he's got Jacques and then probably Durrant, so while it's a tough ask, even that 500 quid might give him enough to keep him within a quarter final on Sunday. Searle we've mentioned, if he can get through Price it's not necessarily all plain sailing from there as Cross is on an adjacent board. Lowe continues to look good but it too far away, Petersen continues to look solid enough, and on the Gurney/Clemens board, he's not got the trickiest thing to deal with in the world, although with van Gerwen on the next board, Devon's probably capped at £1500 for the day which would mean a final's necessary on the Sunday. Luke Humphries has a bit of a chance - he's got Beaton first up, then likely Kleermaker, Suljovic and Clayton, which isn't a real tricky task to get to a quarter. If he does that he's within a board win of making it in all probability, so who knows.

Of those on the bubble who have disappointed? West has done little but we weren't expecting much, so let's look down to Hendo - god knows what he's doing, and he's now got Ross Smith and then Peter Wright. He was looking really good, but is scoring a pedestrian 87 and change per turn - pretty much identical to West. Baker, Leung and Kciuk are games he should be winning, even one extra win from those tournaments puts him level with Bunting. King's probably the biggest name that's outside who might creep in, but we can't really say he's disappointed - Wednesday/Thursday he won the games he should then lost to Michaels Smith/van Gerwen respectively, then drew Smith again yesterday. It's hard to say it gets easier when you draw a multiple major champion, but Gurney isn't the worst out in round one for Mervyn.

I think the Matchplay's now looking like three from four between 14-17 on the Pro Tour rankings. I think that gap from Searle to Huybrechts is significant at this stage, if you assume that nobody's standing still. Sure, two first round defeats are entirely possible, but Searle should beat Dave Pallett and have a good chance against an improving Callan Rydz, Evans has a real potential banana skin in Boris Krcmar but his round two opponent (probably Lennon) isn't that bad, Beaton's got a tough one as mentioned above in Humphries, while Keegan Brown has Darren Penhall then McGeeney or Menzies. Stick on what you think they'll get out of those, and then maybe another £500 tomorrow, and that's a big amount to catch up without, realistically, a final run. Huybrechts out of interest has van der Voort, then probably Webster then White (or maybe DvD if Dirk can get going), so I wouldn't be counting on Kim to tear things up either.

We'll know a lot more by this evening - I'll be watching our game vs Chelsea when we're at the real business end, but expect something when we've really trimmed down the possibilities. Watch Luke Woodhouse bink from nowhere and ruin everyone's projections.

Wednesday 8 July 2020

PC9 draw out

Let's look for the value in this one. Here's something I've not done before, simply plot player's averages by board in a graphical form:

Now, irritatingly enough, I can't for the life of me find the option to display data labels, so I can't tell you who each little dot is, but it should be clear enough what I'm trying to do here - the dotted lines break the tournament into quarters, so let's see who we like. This data is filtered to 2020 information.

The first players that jump out are the players over 95 - van Gerwen on 3, White on 7 and Wright on 9. The only issue with two of these is they're quite short, with van Gerwen on just the right side of 3/1 and Wright a second favourite at 8/1. So we'll look at White - perennial value, and look at the enormous difference on his board between him and everyone else (and, for that matter, board 8 as well). Sure it doesn't help that he's in the same half as van Gerwen and Price, but at as much as 50/1 in one place, that's got to be worth the shot.

Who else might we like? Let's look at who has a decent bit of separation on his board to everyone else. Board 13 is jumping out to me, the blue dot is Krzysztof Ratajski, who's got a nice bit of separation between the rest of his board, and only Smith (Michael) on the adjacent board that looks in the same ballpark, so with him available at 40/1, I'll go for that value. The format is surely going to favour Ratajski as opposed to Smith massively, while that board 15 is a concern (that is the Aspinall/Anderson board), the bet surely has to be on the Pole here.

One final player I'd be tempted to have a look at is Glen Durrant - tipped by Edgar to do stuff, he's the highest dot on board 12, and while his board looks a bit dangerous on paper, he should be alright at 25/1. But what about board 11? That's missing a dot just below the pink one at the bottom as I can't spell Kirk Shepherd, but the guy at the top is Jason Lowe - and you can get 500/1! That's got to be worth a few pence of anyone's money.

Saturday 4 July 2020

MAD Magazine

I'm a touch confused as to what Steve Brown's actually doing. He's done great work with the JDC, let's make no mistake there, but as far as I can see, the latest tweets he's put out are, as well as having gone through no spellchecking whatsoever, seemingly trying to create a huge network of amateur level events.

I mean this is fine, but if there's one thing that we've learned from the last quarter century of darts, then it's that splits help nobody and just cause shitloads of friction. I've not read a huge deal into it yet, until there's something professional I'm not going to bother, but what it looks like is a replica of the superleague/county level things, albeit with slightly larger catchment areas in each of them respectively.

What's this going to achieve? By all accounts, the whole superleague/county setup was largely self contained and immune from the whole BDO shitshow, and for the most part they're all diverting into one of a couple of separate entities (I've seen UKDA, Tri Nations, god knows what else). Making yet another rival thing, I really don't see the purpose. Someone give me a clue what's going on.

Friday 3 July 2020

RIP Matchplay

At least as we know it. Was announced a couple of days ago that it will be behind closed doors - I think we all accepted this would be inevitable, but there was maybe a bit of hope given the boozers are open tomorrow (thank god), still, it is what it is. The question now is who is this going to help - there's a few things in play here, I asked this on the Weekly Dartscast a couple of weeks ago, but here's what I'm thinking.

The biggest thing I'm thinking is the heat, or lack of it. Blackpool, as far as I know, was always one of the hotter venues, whereas behind closed doors, while you're still going to have some TV lights, it's not going to be quite the same as a packed Winter Gardens. This might have helped out the likes of Mervyn King, and disadvantaged someone like Jamie Hughes who excelled in the furnace that was Prague last year, but neither are looking too likely to qualify in any case.

Then you've got the lack of crowd noise. I don't think this is going to make a huge difference, I think anyone that's one way on a stage player:floor player line is going to find themselves somewhat in the middle.

Final thing is tempo. Matt Edgar alluded to this somewhat on one of his recent videos, and says he'd be surprised if Glen Durrant, who's very much on the deliberate side of a deliberate:natural scale, doesn't win one of the Summer Series events. Here it's hard to disagree, someone who has a bit more of a manufactured style will surely benefit - players like Ratajski, maybe Pipe, Dolan etc, who are going to take their time anyway will notice less of a difference than other more fluid players.

We'll see, fortunately there's five events that we can take a look at beforehand, and there's been a very nice turnout announced all things considered - 117 in and 11 out from tour card holders, we're missing both Heta and KAndo (assume they can't get out of the country), all the Spaniards (maybe some issues with returning?), Siepmann (which seems odd, with him having played a behind closed doors live event, this might have been the best shot he had to do something), and other Euros in Harms, Meeuwisse, Larsson, Kantele and Michael. Challenge Tour fill up list seems fairly standard, just can't wait until Wednesday now.