Wednesday 15 December 2021

Worlds quarter four

Right, let's get this done

Barstow/Norman - Chas has been a decent top up player on the Pro Tour after just missing out on a card last year, and is clearly a capable player scoring in the 88 range, the concern is most of his good scores were before the Matchplay and that he's potentially being thrown into a situation that he's not been in previously. The counterexample is Norman, who's at least played in the World Cup previously, he's here through finishing high enough in the CDC Canada rankings. Looking at DartConnect, it seemed like he averaged alright? This is super hard to call, but I'm going to go with the domestic player for no real logical reason other than he's got more match practice at a higher level. Barstow 3-2

van Gerwen/Barstow - Michael is scoring the best of anyone in the world, which might surprise you considering the comparative fuck all he's done in terms of results all year. Cannot seeing this being a problem at all. van Gerwen 3-0

Rodriguez/Robb - Rusty has been a revelation this year, crushing the EU Development Tour and making several deep incursions onto the Pro Tour having barely missed out on getting a tour card back in the day, much like Barstow. Scoring is just over 90 like his elder brother in the same part of the draw, real dangerous for someone TV crowds outside of the people watching the Slam will know. Ben kind of got gifted a spot because lol bubonic plague not allowing a proper New Zealand qualifier. We've seen him before in the 2019 World Series where he turned over Whitlock and looked good against Cross, but he also got blown out by Meulenkamp a couple of years back on this stage. Got to favour Rusty here. Rodriguez 3-1

Dobey/Rodriguez - This one is going to be a lot of fun. Chris has been on the borderline of hitting the top 32 solidly and hitting all majors for what seems like forever, he finally binked a Pro Tour to get that monkey off his back, but the key thing is his scoring. It's sixth in the world. Numbers don't lie. Dobey 3-1

Labanauskas/de Decker - Darius was able to put up enough money in the relevant time to make the Grand Prix but not the Matchplay, which is kind of the borderline level you would expect to creep into majors. His level of play (mid 90) is decent, and he's going to be a dangerous opponent for whoever. de Decker is in as an alternate, he seemed a bit disappointing at the Slam and hasn't really been able to progress beyond the "get to board finals, occasionally win them" stage, and is scoring roughly a couple of points behind Darius. The Lithuanian seems too strong here. Labanauskas 3-1

Chisnall/Labanauskas - Dave hasn't really made quite as much of his amazing win from last year as you might expect, getting through a couple of rounds of the Grand Prix and doing alright in the UK Open, but not getting to a single Pro Tour final. You'd expect him to do that. It's been quiet. He's been scoring heavily enough that I'd expect him to take Darius out, but not without a fight. Chisnall 3-2

Rodriguez/Kenny - Rowby's had a decent year getting a lot of callups from the reserve list, not really breaking through deep into any events, but steadily picking up one or two wins in quite a lot of the Pro Tours, also getting out of his Grand Slam group which helps him move up the FRH rankings solidly. Scoring's above 90, still a little bit inconsistent, but it at least is working for consistent results. Kenny's won through the PDPA qualifier again, he got one board win this season and a couple of board finals earlier in the year but it's mostly been a dry 2021 for Nick, who's scoring three points lower than Rowby which I think will give us an inevitable result. Rodriguez 3-1

Humphries/Rodriguez - Luke's pushing up towards the top 16 in both the FRH rankings and order of merit, and is certainly putting up statistics in that sort of region. UK Open was clearly the highlight, but three Pro Tour finals is possibly more important as he looks to get a first senior bink. Luke ought to be that little bit too good for Rowby, who I think is a live underdog in this one, wouldn't shock me to see the Austrian hit a few good legs and maybe get very close, then again it wouldn't shock me to see Luke just shut him out. Humphries 3-1

Lewis/Campbell - Adie is showing some occasional good darts, he is still playing at a top 32 level statistically, and can still play well enough to reach a Pro Tour final a couple of months back, but isn't quite accumulating enough to reach the majors, which has seen him slide outside of the top 32 which is a real shock for the twice world champ. There are signs he might be getting things together, and Matt will be a good test - the Canadian's claimed three Challenge Tour titles, but the scoring he's actually produced deep into them, as well as the Grand Slam, has been a bit pedestrian, but we have seen him hit high enough heights that Lewis might be in trouble. I think he scrapes through but not without a fight. Lewis 3-2

Anderson/Lewis - What a round two match this could be. Anderson is actually less than half a point ahead of Lewis in the scoring rates, with a greater deal of consistency, but since reaching last year's world final he's not done anything spectacular results-wise, so despite the ranking difference, this could end up being extremely close and hard to pick a winner. Oddly I fancy Adrian to pull his game together and squeeze through to give us probably the biggest seeding upset in the early stages. Lewis 3-2

Mitchell/Landman - Scott claimed his tour card outright on the final day and has had a very respectable first season on the Pro Tour, reaching four quarter finals with some more board wins behind that, scoring deceptively highly at just a few hundredths under 91, and getting a useful big tournament win over Kleermaker at Minehead, although the less said about the second round the better. Chris won the ever tough West Europe qualifier, averaging generally in the mid 80's to low 90's and sweeping both Klaasen and Kist in the process, generally a little bit higher than his Challenge Tour averaging. He did reach the quarters of the last BDO worlds so knows somewhat what he's doing on this sort of stage, but Scott should be strong enough. Mitchell 3-1

White/Mitchell - This isn't a bad draw for Scott. Ian is still playing at a high level, scoring over 92 per turn, he has just not been able to manufacture enough results compared to what he did a couple of years back, and all that Euro Tour success dropping off the rankings has seen him slide to the high 20's in most ranking systems. He'd normally be good to bink a Pro Tour each year, but he has just two semi finals. Scott definitely has chances here, I think that Ian will just about edge it though. White 3-2

van Barneveld/Ilagan - Barney binked a Pro Tour early in the season once back on tour, but is a bit lacking in results after that, not even cashing the UK Open, just getting a couple of Pro Tour quarter finals after that, looking OK in the Slam but not getting out of his group, then similarly looking OK at Minehead but being second best to van Gerwen. Ilagan is someone we know who's generally competent and can threaten a lot of players, but this is an awkward draw and we don't really know where he's at outside of a fairly one sided game at the World Cup. van Barneveld 3-0

Cross/van Barneveld - Incredibly good first round game here, another one in this quarter of the draw. Cross maintains a higher scoring rate than Barney by nearly a point, and with his European Championship win, along with claiming another Pro Tour afterwards, rumours of Cross' demise are very much exaggerated. Going to be a tough one to call, I think with Rob's form picking up in the second half of the season he should be slightly favoured, but any result could happen in this one. Cross 3-2

Evans/Kumar - Ricky has had some struggles this season it's fair to say, but he's picked up enough money here and there to get into the event right in the middle of the pack of Pro Tour qualifiers and isn't actually scoring that badly across the course of the season, ending just shy of 89. That should be enough to handle Kumar, who's back for a third go here and looked a bit improved two years ago, but that was a long time ago and it's going to be hard to gauge his standard. With Ricky being so hit and miss, accurately calling this game will be a nightmare, I think Nitin will finally get a set here. Evans 3-1

Gurney/Evans - Daryl is hanging around in the top 32 and his scoring is right there, while he's lacked outstanding performances outside of a decent Minehead run, he's probably playing better than any time since he was just out of the Premier League. Steady play ought to handle Ricky easily enough. Gurney 3-0

van Gerwen/Dobey - This is going to be the test. Chris absolutely has the quality to win this one, but it's going to be hard to call against one of the best players in the world. Think a lot of observers will be thinking the same now that Dobey has won a Pro Tour, but they might not be looking at the numbers to realise quite how much of a chance he has. Michael should have just enough to get home, but this is probably the biggest banana skin he'll face in the quarter. van Gerwen 4-3

Chisnall/Humphries - There's not too much to separate these two, both have had a fair bit of success at this event, and this'll be an important one for both players. May well be a tight one, I'm going to favour Luke here given the generally better stats and given his game is in the ascendancy, compared to Chizzy stagnating a touch since last year. Humphries 4-2

Lewis/White - All-Stokie matchup, you love to see it. Yet another game which looks to be fairly close, what I will do is say that in the event we get this match up, Lewis will be brimming with confidence, whereas White might just be a little bit relieved to get through what ought to be a tricky first tie. A confident Adie is a winning Adie. Lewis 4-2

Cross/Gurney - I don't think this is completely cut and dried, but I'm struggling to see how Gurney is going to be able to score heavily enough to keep pace with Rob given that he has regained some of his best form that's seen him previously go all the way. Maybe Daryl will start to regain his best form and prove us wrong, but I'm going to take Voltage in this one. Cross 4-1

van Gerwen/Humphries - Will likely be an easier game for van Gerwen, there's a lot of similarities between Luke and Chris from the round before but while Humphries is very good statistically, Dobey's a little bit better. Again, another one where Luke can take it and it wouldn't surprise me, but I think van Gerwen is going to do enough. van Gerwen 4-2

Lewis/Cross - Adie's run will come to an end here, Rob is playing the superior darts at this point in time and while Lewis can certainly produce enough to contend, Cross ought to come through. Cross 4-2

van Gerwen/Cross - This ought to be a fun rematch from the year where Rob binked it all, and I think that's going to motivate van Gerwen to put together his best performance of the year. While I've been saying that Rob has been playing excellent stuff, there is a sizeable difference between the two players statistically which ought to demonstrate itself. van Gerwen 5-2

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