Monday 2 January 2023

lol price

Christ, he really doesn't help himself, does he?

Slide back a little bit more thanks to the Bunting loss. Looked the better player, but just couldn't hit doubles. If we look at the legs where he missed more than one dart at double, he'd have taken set 3 to 2-2 (albeit the decider would be on the Smith throw), taken set 4 to 2-2 on his throw, be throwing to take set 5 to 2-2, and he'd have won set 8. Sure, it's asking a lot to say he should have taken all of these, but getting to a deciding set wouldn't have been an absurd ask. In the other ones, Price wasn't great but Clemens just had his best game since forever, Dobey I don't think played great but MvG was giving absolutely nothing away (oddly, only the one four visit kill, but eleven of the other fourteen were in five visits), while Clayton against DvdB was as expected the closest of the games.

Two semis to come, Clemens/Smith first. Let's not beat about the bush - if they both play like they did yesterday, Clemens is into the final. Michael was that far off the pace and Gabriel was that good. Will they? I can certainly see Clemens approaching that level, he's been good throughout the tournament, but I can't see Smith playing quite that badly twice in a row, and even when he was playing his worst game in some time, he was still nicking the scrappy legs. Season long I have this at 81% to Smith. Maybe for reasons that we alluded to in the quarter final post, that's a bit too high, but if we knocked it down to 75/25 on the assumption that Clemens has performed below 100% for chunks of the year, it becomes a pretty clear no bet. Smith's 4/11.

van Gerwen against van den Bergh is actually priced more one sidedly, with a huge 6/1 available on Dimitri. That's actually half tempting, as I've got the Belgian up at 23% on year long numbers, on raw data that looks to be close to at least a small play. What I like to do in this sort of spot is to look at whether Dimitri's playing at the peak level (which we know can trouble MvG) within the current tournament enough that we're likely to realise that equity. The raw averages aren't inspiring, with a line of 95, 93, 96 and 95 - although as only Clayton tested him for extended periods, these aren't overly useful statistics. What I can do is filter my dataset to just this tournament and get a better idea. Dimitri's won 51 legs, but only 25 of them were within fifteen darts or better. This is in comparison to van Gerwen winning 37/52 in that number. Maybe it's a bit of an underestimate, given Dimitri is actually scoring nearly two and a half points more (93 compared to 90 and a bit) in the legs he's lost, but check this out - van Gerwen's scoring near 97 in the legs he's won, but over 105 in the 24 legs he's lost. Sheesh. Not going to lie, I'd actually feel more confident if it was Clemens going against van Gerwen than it being Dimitri. I just don't see how he ups his level to what is needed in the biggest game of his life (sorry, but playing to get into a world final is bigger than to win the Matchplay) often enough to justify the bet.

So nothing today - if, as we expect, it's an all-Michael final, I'd be looking at Smith having a 36% shot right now, which seems out of kilter with how van Gerwen is already as short as 1/2 to bink without having played the semi final, but looking at respective form in this event, you can see why it's like that and I'm not sure Smith realises that equity for the same reasons we've talked about with Dimitri.

Let me have a quick talk about the Premier League. What on earth are they going to do with that? Literally every player outside of the big four that was in contention has played their way out of it. Let's assume Humphries has done enough to get in. The top eight level of scoring is there, the titles are there, he's not quite blasted through in the majors as you might have liked, but I think he's been close enough for long enough that he gets the spot. So who else? If I look down scoring numbers first, with the top five outside of MvG, Price, Smith, Wright and Humphries:

Heta - On TV against the best players in the world for four months? Potential recipe for disaster
Rock - Way too soon, let him develop further naturally, come back in twelve months
van Duijvenbode - I'd love to see it, he would be a great addition, he was only stopped by MvG in the worlds, but as he said, if I was in contention would I be playing in the afternoon session (not sure which of the games against Sedlacek or Smith he said this in reference to, but it could be either)? If he'd pushed van Gerwen real close, then maybe, but he didn't
Anderson - I sure as hell hope we don't get what'll be a farewell tour, he needs to shove everything into the Pro Tour to retain his major spots
Clayton - I wouldn't hate it, but after a meh year it just seems like a by default "fill up the numbers" spot

If we look at the post-worlds order of merit:

Cross - If they're not putting him in when he won a major, they sure as hell aren't putting him in when he didn't
Clayton - See above
Noppert - Think he's played himself out of it. He was on my provisional list and just needed a decent worlds run, but didn't get that
Aspinall - Similar, except he doesn't have the major win that Noppert has
Wade - LOL

Think if either of Clemens or van den Bergh get through, they get a spot. In reality, I think they do boring stuff like say "Clayton topped the table and Cullen reached the final so they get back in" then use the Masters Premier League Qualification Tournament to fill the last spot. They could of course change the format again, but I don't see them giving up on what was a moderately well received format (not from here) after one year, expanding it back up again when there's a lack of players making a case to make an eight man field seems counter-intuitive. I don't know. Maybe they'll surprise me, but I doubt they do.

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