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.

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