Thursday 10 November 2022

Slam - let's pick groups

A - This one seems relatively easy to call. Evetts has had a relatively poor year and is a couple of points per turn behind Barney, but Barney is closer to Evetts than he is to either of the other two in the group. The gap between Price and Chisnall is closer than you think, but the Welshman still has the edge. Current form might make it closer.

B - Noppert is the clear class of the field. Suljovic and Whitlock are both declining talents who have had quiet years (at least in unranked events), with Whitlock dropping out of the top 32 and Suljovic not far behind. Mensur probably playing the better stuff, but it's close. Perez is the wild card, the play he put up to get here was not good, and he seems easily favoured to finish last, but over a short distance maybe he can up his game.

C - This is a bit of a mish mash of a group. Smith's easily the best player but is still looking for that first major. Edhouse did well to make it and has been scoring just a shade under 90 per turn this season. Cullen's basically smack in the middle of them statistically. Then we've got Ashton, who looking at the Women's Series stats should be nowhere near any of them.

D - This is spicy. There's not much to separate Cross and van Duijvenbode, the former world champ probably playing slightly worse stuff this season, while Schindler's still up above 92 a turn and apart from maybe group H, is the clear best "third" player. Adam Gawlas completes the group, still very up and down, he is perfectly capable of nicking stuff in a short format (he is very reminiscent of Madars Razma from 3-4 years ago), but is nearly five points below anyone in the group and will need to play a blinder to get something here.

E - This seems straightforward. Wright is scoring the second highest out of anyone with a decent sample size this year. Aspinall is at a competent 92 for the year, and playing better in recent months so might be closer than the numbers suggest. Soutar is below 90 for the year after a terrific debut season and this is a good spot to try to pick up some form. Then we have Sherrock, who may well show up just because TV when she's not done anything of note on the floor, but hasn't done a thing in the World Series either. Might be a profitable lay spot.

F - This one looks to have the best top two in Heta and Clayton. Maybe. Both top 8 in scoring for the year. Seems fairly obvious that they'll take the two spots, Wattimena has had a good couple of weeks but is below 90 for the year when both the above are above 94. Gates is going to be a wild card, is scoring pretty consistently and not actually too far off what Wattimena is doing overall over a good 150+ leg sample. Lack of scoring might be a big problem though.

G - van Gerwen's still the best player in the world and will take the group. Second is up in the air - Ross Smith probably has the edge in terms of confidence (being the most recent major winner) and scoring (just short of 92), but Woodhouse and Rafferty are extremely close to one another statistically (both just above 89, only separated by a hundredth of a point scoring, Woodhouse doing better on winning legs, Rafferty a bit more consistent) and are within the range where they can give Smudger some issues.

H - This is the best group. Humphries is the seed, but despite being fifth in scoring isn't the top player in this group. Josh Rock is. Ryan Searle's also in there and is in the top sixteen of scoring, so cannot be ruled out at all, while Scott Williams has a scoring rate over 90 and a Pro Tour win, and just knows how to win over short distances. Whether TV becomes an issue for him, who knows, but he cannot just be inked in to fourth just by looking at the quality of the other three.

Bets for day one tomorrow evening.

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