Sunday 11 July 2021

Super Series 5 done

Pretty interesting set of events. A bit disappointing on the betting front, notably me switching off Dolan for day 3 because of a draw change and the de Sousa missing eight championship darts, but that was quite a list of winners. Bunting for the first time since forever and Dobey for the first time ever, forcing their way into the Matchplay field at the expense of Razma (who bricked all four events) and Wattimena (who bricked three and made one board final), then Ross Smith nicked a first title, before a pretty chalky fourth event saw Wright defeat van Gerwen to keep MvG without a title in 2021.

Also had quite a few European Tour qualifiers - quite a few big names in from there, and quite a few missing out on all of them. Cross and Whitlock made it through all three, as did Florian Hempel (who played alright on the Super Series as a whole, picking up three grand, being by far the lowest ranked player to cash all four events) and Keane Barry, who'll surely do very well from getting a bunch of stage experience with crowds. No Chisnall for any of them is quite the surprise.

So the Matchplay field is complete - I'll chuck out some betting tips nearer the time, although at a first glance nothing jumped out as huge value. Biggest name to miss out was obviously Whitlock, but there's quite a few big names not there. Wattimena dropped out as mentioned, but there's no Lewis, no de Zwaan, no Hughes, Barney couldn't work his way in, Beaton misses out for the first time since forever... there's a lot of new faces.

New FRH rankings (incorporates minimum Matchplay cash, without this move Whitlock up three places):

1 Gerwyn Price
2 Michael van Gerwen
3 Peter Wright
4 James Wade
5 Gary Anderson
6 Jose de Sousa
7 Dimitri van den Bergh
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Michael Smith
10 Joe Cullen
11 Jonny Clayton (UP 1)
12 Dirk van Duijvenbode (DOWN 1)
13 Krzysztof Ratajski
14 Nathan Aspinall
15 Stephen Bunting (UP 1)
16 Devon Petersen (UP 3)
17 Mervyn King (NEW)
18 Daryl Gurney
19 Simon Whitlock (DOWN 4)
20 Glen Durrant (DOWN 3)

Rob Cross is out of there. Dobey is back into the top 30 after his title, while Smith is one place outside of the top 32, a first round win over Cross (which doesn't seem an unreasonable ask to be honest, although Cross is correctly the favourite) will get him there. Petersen jumping that much is more down to the struggles of Whitlock and Durrant to be honest. Elsewhere, Dolan's final moves him to #26, a good series from Scott Mitchell gets him into the top 70, while surprise package Chas Barstow is one place outside the top 100. Also at some point in the last month, Corey Cadby finally dropped off the rankings completely. How good it would be to see him back, even if not firing completely on all cylinders.

Scanning through the list of players, it's still the "big three" with de Sousa and Clayton that make up the top five in scoring, but after that there's still some great each way value to be had in the Pro Tours. The next two down are Ratajski and Humphries, Krzysztof's had a bit of a quiet 2021 and is dropping to around 40/1, which is probably worth a punt these days, Luke's 50/1 generally. Noppert's up into the top ten and is frequently triple digits. Dobey's up to tenth as well but may have lost some of the value having binked just this past week. Then we've got some players like Heta, Smith, Dolan, van Duijvenbode, Cross, King and Searle, all of whom may be worth the shot on any given tournament. Schindler seems to remain an auto punt, as does Huybrechts, but I'll chuck out another name - James Wilson is scoring over 92 this season. That's sandwiching him between White, Aspinall, Rydz and Ross Smith, which isn't bad company at all (right behind those five is Ando as well). He's somewhat of a forgotten man but if he's got over some injury issues (I think he had injury issues at least) and is back to his best where he was pushing towards the top 32, then I don't think it's unreasonable to look at a potential semi final run from him at some point.

I'm going to check out what's happening outside the PDC - looks like there's been some CDC action this weekend, but take a quick look at the Grand Prix race. Normally you'd only see a couple of changes between the Matchplay and Grand Prix in terms of field, but right now, Gurney is out, Petersen is out (and not particularly close on the Pro Tour rankings, I guess the Euro Tour he binked drops off before the cutoff?), White's only safe by a couple of grand, Kleermaker and Labanauskas are provisionally in, while Barney's less than a grand away. That might be a surprisingly interesting race to follow. May all come down to when they schedule remaining Euro Tours?

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