Tuesday 18 July 2023

Matchplay round 2

Well, that bottom half of the draw is wide open now, making Heta, van Duijvenbode and Humphries huge beneficiaries and possibly ones to go on a super deep run, with the third quarter certainly not looking the strongest. Four seeds down, at least one unseeded player making the quarters, let's go through game by game in draw order:

Smith/Dobey - Smith had very little trouble with Beaton, dropping just the two legs but also having another couple of clown show legs which will have dragged the average down a touch. Not great, but wasn't pressed either. Dobey meanwhile looked a touch better against Wade, who wasn't playing too badly either, Chris was in contention in the majority of the legs Wade won so has got to be happy despite a relatively tight scoreline. Chris looks extremely live here, showing at bang on 40% year long, and playing just as good as Smith is in more recent samples, so with the relative first round performances this seems like an easy play, 0.25u Dobey 2/1

Noppert/Aspinall - Danny didn't do much wrong, really just a couple of sloppy legs, one early for Schindler to break in lots and another later to give Martin a half chance. Aspinall was a bit up and down with the occasional slow leg but generally didn't do too much wrong against Ratajski, and was probably slightly the better performer in the opening round. This seems extremely tight year long, as you would expect an 8v9 seed match to be, but Nathan pulls away to being around a 2-1 favourite if we look at any sort of form based sample, so 4/6 isn't really tempting for one reason or another. Maybe we lean Noppert based on that it's closer in the larger sample and the first round matches, but it's safest just to avoid the game altogether.

Price/Cullen - Gerwyn showed occasional flashes in what was a 10-1 run of legs after Bunting got the first couple, but it feels like he never really needed to get out of second gear with Stephen only barely averaging 90 in the legs he lost which frequently gave Price the time to win legs moderately pedestrianly. Cullen was a fair bit better in the opener, Mike de Decker took seven legs with solid play of his own but Joe was right there in all of them ready to step in if allowed being left on an easy two darter or better in all but one lost leg. I'm not quite sure why the match is priced quite this close, 1/3 looks like a fair price for Price year long, and his projections improve slightly in more form-based samples, so this looks like one you can reasonably safely put into an acca, although the edge never gets large enough to outright recommend a play.

Gurney/Anderson - Daryl looked really good against Cross, although he needed overtime to get there, there were a few legs where he wasn't really scoring at all which could do with being tightened up and not given away, but outside of those three or four he didn't do a great deal wrong in dumping out the number 5 seed, while Ando was extremely steady, winning the vast majority of legs versus Chisnall in fifteen or better, and typically being there or there abouts in the six legs Dave was able to generate. Gary's better, no doubt about it, if anything this looks more one-sided than the previous game, with Ando projecting at 77% year long and increasing a touch in form samples, so I think we're really close to recommending a play on Gary, the 4/9 on Boyles (taking the Irish money?) is nearly there, 1/2 would probably do it and that ought to be available on the exchanges.

Wright/Searle - Peter only dropped the four legs last night against Gilding, but still looked fairly pedestrian, he had a couple of good legs, and a nice three leg run to close the first session, but otherwise there were just too many legs going beyond fifteen darts for my liking. Ryan on the other hand looked the best he has done for some time against van Barneveld, all legs but one won in fifteen or better, registering the highest average of the tournament to date by some distance. This is just like the Wright/Gilding game - Ryan projects to win just one in three year long, but it's 50/50 in 2023 and Searle pushes up to a 56% favourite since the last major. If both play like last night then Searle wins at a canter and the generally available 11/10 looks very silly, if their respective games look more like what they have done overall from the past year, then the 4/5 available on Wright looks equally daft. Won't say anyone betting on Searle is making a bad move at all, but we've seen enough instances where Peter will show the general level of play he has in the last twelve months that I don't want to make the official suggestion.

Clayton/van den Bergh - Jonny won a weird game against Clemens with a significantly weaker average (primarily a factor of Clemens being really close in the legs he lost, Jonny being a bit off in the reverse, and Clayton dragging his average down by winning more than half his legs with last dart in hand), while Dimitri took advantage of a little bit of inconsistent scoring from Ross Smith, particularly late in the game, to dive over the line with back to back four visit kills from 8-8. This looks like a Clayton game for me, with projections ranging from 60% year long to more like two in three this year, but the respective performances along with Jonny mentioning something not being quite right post match, makes me think that a typically available 8/11 isn't enough, the 4/5 you can get in a couple of spots is getting closer and I'll probably have a small personal play at that value, but there's enough there to hold me off the recommendation.

Dolan/Heta - Brendan provided the obvious stand out result of the round, looking really good in defeating a van Gerwen who was not playing badly himself - he was averaging 98 in the legs he lost so Dolan needed to be somewhat opportunistic, while Damon got over a bit of a TV slump with an up and down display against Josh Rock, getting away with a couple of slow legs and some occasional less than A-tier scoring from Rock but getting the 10-5 win. This looks a bit like the previous game for Brendan - only at 30% year long, but pushing up to 35% and then 40% with each of the smaller samples I'm using. The prices we're seeing quoted for Heta clearly aren't of interest, and I think I need slightly more than what we're getting to take Dolan. Better than 2/1 everywhere is going to give you some bang for your buck, but I want a bit more, and think that Damon will have a bit of weight off his shoulders with a TV win in the bank.

Humphries/van Duijvenbode - Clear match of the round for me. Luke just destroyed de Sousa, maybe taking his foot off the pedal a little bit in the second half of the game which might have let Jose close the gap a little but the damage was already done. Meanwhile Dirk was embroiled in what would have been the upset of the round (for all of about six hours at least), needing to dodge match darts against Kim Huybrechts and eventually getting the job done in overtime. Wasn't playing badly, although it did seem a step off his peak game, was just a case of Kim outperforming somewhat and staying in it. Seems a pretty easy one to avoid from a betting perspective. Dirk's not scoring significantly different than Luke year long, maybe fractionally worse in the legs he's lost, but it's essentially a flip, but Luke does better in 2023 data, floating between 55% and 60%, which is enough to not make me want to take Dirk at slightly odds against. I'm not sure how much it'll affect things, but Luke having a much less taxing first round game probably helps him slightly as well.

Back for the quarters when we know them.

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