Sunday 1 October 2023

Pre Grand Prix thoughts

Will quickly get in new FRH rankings first following the Players Championship wins for Noppert, Chisnall and Anderson, these incorporate first round Grand Prix money but as only Huybrechts in the top 32 is not there (and he's 30th, Woodhouse being the player outside now up into 34th), nothing changes:

1 Michael Smith
2 Michael van Gerwen
3 Nathan Aspinall
4 Luke Humphries
5 Jonny Clayton (UP 1)
6 Gerwyn Price (DOWN 1)
7 Peter Wright
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Dirk van Duijvenbode
10 Rob Cross
11 Danny Noppert (UP 1)
12 Damon Heta (UP 1)
13 Joe Cullen (DOWN 2)
14 Dimitri van den Bergh
15 Andrew Gilding
16 Ross Smith
17 Ryan Searle
18 Josh Rock
19 Chris Dobey
20 Gabriel Clemens

Notable results lower down see Ryan Joyce back in the top 40, and Christian Kist up into the top 80 following a remarkable series.

OK, Grand Prix time, it's always a little bit hard to model given the double in format, and the quick first round format being really brutal with one mistake possibly costing you the match, but let's look and see if there's any value.

van Duijvenbode v Dolan - Line looks alright, it does feel like one where Dirk's a little bit better than a two in three shot.

de Sousa v Anderson - Gary might be the best player in the world right now. 8/15 looks moderately generous, I'd take him at over 70%, nearer half way to 75%, in a race to 11, set format might moderate that slightly, but there's not a chance in hell I'd pick Jose here.

Ratajski v Wade - Appears moderately close, but I think Krzysztof has the better chances here, pushing up to around the 60% marker, James isn't playing badly at all, probably outdoing his ranking, but the Pole has a recent win and should take this one way more often than the market suggests, 0.25u Ratajski evs, couple of random places have 11/10, if you trust them then go with them.

Schindler v van Barneveld - Schindi continues to play well but is still searching for a first win, while Barney is, dare I say, anonymous? When was the last time we saw him do something notable on the floor to get him here? Line looks fine, I have Martin slightly better but it's not by much.

Aspinall v Bunting - Bunting's a recent Euro Tour finalist but Nathan obviously has the most recent TV win, Stephen we think's underrated but not enough that there's a play, I'd give him in the low 40% range, which makes 11/8 an automatic no play.

Price v Noppert - Danny was in the winners enclosure this week, but can he put a glove on Price in this one? Probably not, Gerwyn might not be quite as red hot as he was earlier in the year but he's still doing enough to leave Danny looking at a one in three, one in four sort of win chance, 9/4 looks in that sort of ballpark.

Smith v Rydz - Smith has only been so-so in performances since winning the worlds, but Callan, outside of those occasional flashes which saw him bink to get into the field, isn't really close and a 5/2 line looks like an appropriate place to start.

Cross v Gilding - Rob continues to be undervalued by many, Gilding perhaps overvalued following his TV win, Rob is favoured but it's not by as much as two in three, but it does look over 60% to me. 2/1 on Andrew might offer a sliver of value but not enough to truly recommend a play.

Cullen v de Decker - Onto the Tuesday now, Joe it feels to me has had a fairly quiet season outside of the Matchplay, while Mike continues to progress and is into a second big major now, and is actually a replay of the first round from there. Joe's better, he's not that much better, Mike probably has a touch more than a 40% chance, but the odds are 11/8 so we're not going for this one.

Chisnall v Woodhouse - Dave is continuing to accumulate titles at an impressive rate, which makes this an unfortunate draw for Luke despite him avoiding all the seeds, he's not drawing dead by any means and I actually see him as having a touch more than a one in three chance - not enough of a touch that 21/10 is really worth a play. It's tiny value, nothing more, chuck in possible big stage nerves and it's an easy enough pass for me.

Heta v Searle - This one looks like it should be pretty close no matter how you choose to analyse it. I'd probably give the tiniest of edges to Ryan, maybe slightly more than normal given Damon's mediocre TV results, so maybe we could start to look at a play if the line moves more than the 11/10 that it is at present. 5/4 I'd certainly think is worth considering.

van den Bergh v Dobey - Dimitri has not had a great year, while Dobey has hoovered up a lot of telly experience and realistically speaking is the better player regardless of what the rankings say. This looks like another good spot like Ratajski, 0.25u Dobey evs, like Krzysztof I've got Chris up around the 60% marker which is more than enough to take even money.

Wright v Clemens - Peter could do with some results I think, while Gabriel is kind of in the same boat as he looks to push up the rankings, such is Wright's form, or lack of it, I can't split the two. 13/10 is not the sort of line that's really inspiring, although I don't completely hate a small play. Clemens has beaten Wright on bigger stages than this after all.

van Gerwen v Rock - Two players who continue in the world's top ten in terms of how well they're actually playing, MvG is a little higher obviously, but don't let Rock's lack of results fool you, he is not playing much worse than he was last year. I think we have to take the underdog here, 0.25u Rock 19/10 with Coralbrokes, my model has it as a flip, Rock is a bit more inconsistent but I can't justify a drop to less than 45% chances, which with a price of approaching 2/1, looks decent.

Clayton v Smith - Bit of pressure on Jonny defending winners' money, while Ross looks to become a multiple major winner himself, Ross isn't playing badly at all and is only a moderate amount behind Clayton in this one, it looks like around a 55/45 sort of game, maybe a touch more to Jonny, so 4/6 with Smith not close to 6/4 because vig appears a respectable line.

Humphries v Gurney - Luke is still looking for a first major title and has added another win and two finals to his resume this month, Gurney is looking to consolidate the top 32 positioning and then some, but appears outmatched here, I find it hard to give Daryl even a one in three poke at this, so with a line of 2/1, we're not touching it.

So three bets, two even money shots where it looks like players are undervalued (Ratajski) and overvalued (Dimitri) and then staying on the Rock hype train with the line reflecting that it has perhaps unfairly died off a bit more than it should have done. Back with the last sixteen once we know the line up.

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