Sunday 23 June 2024

Leverkusen done

One up one down in the quarters. I guess we take that - while we could say that we had match darts in both, we also conceded match darts in both, so let's not be greedy, that could have ended up worse than it did. Congrats to Chizzy on the win, commiserations to Ross on the final defeat, a win at this level is coming, but briefly for now, the new FRH rankings:

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

Some interesting moves there. Chisnall is now in the top 5, which is probably about the peak of what you can do without a major bink or a world final, but Heta's only a PC final away from him. Price slides down to 7, which seems remarkable given he is not playing badly in the slightest. Littler hits the top 10 for the first time despite not having registered points for a month, while Wright just holds on to a top 10 spot for now by a fraction over the absent Clayton from this weekend. Ross Smith holds the last spot in the top 20 after his final, while Schindi is getting close to the top 20, van Veen is into the top 30, Doets is up to 45, and Owen Bates is solidifying a top 90 spot. Andy Baetens is also already into the top 100.

Just two events to go until the Matchplay. I think Woodhouse has just about done enough this weekend to solidify a spot, so the closest thing is that it's 2 from 3 out of Gilding, Doets and Wade (in that order), but Dirk, Rydz and de Decker are within striking distance, but after that it's basically bink or done, so it may be a bit of a damp squib of a Matchplay chasedown. We'll see shortly.

Leverkusen last 8

That went remarkably well - 5/5, clawed back all the losses from Friday and actually leaves us up slightly for the tournament. Into the quarters and we have:

Bunting/Heta - Feels like Bunting's absolutely on fire and Damon's just been OK, but this actually projects straight in the middle. Heta is the marginal betting dog, and I don't hate it if you take 5/4, but I'd want a tad more to recommend a play, especially after Stephen's performance this afternoon.

Searle/Chisnall - Another one I'm seeing split right down the middle. Can't pick a winner. Searle's slightly odds against but even less odds against than Heta is so nothing doing here.

Schindler/Smith - Can go with this one though, 0.25u Schindler 23/20. Schindler projects at over 60% and is the underdog, this is a very easy pick.

Smith/van Veen - Kind of similar to the last one, 0.25u Smith 4/5, except we're a bit worse in terms of price offered, but that's countered by Ross being that bit more of a favourite compared to Schindler.

Leverkusen last 16

Well that was a day of ups and downs, Searle and Dobey coming through tight games to put us in a good spot, then Cross had probably the worst match I can remember him playing to put us back where started. Fairly chalky day with the majority of the seeds going through, I'm just going to do very quick thoughts on the last sixteen.

Bates/Bunting - no bet, Bunting being priced shorter than 1/3 is pretty much bang on, could be a tick shorter but no big deal.

Heta/Dobey - no bet, looks right again, Dobey's about a 55/45 favourite and he's 5/6.

Chisnall/Doets - 0.25u Chisnall 4/7, seems a strange one that it's this close. Kevin's OK but Chizzy projects near to 80%. Much nearer to going half a unit than not betting this one.

van Gerwen/Searle - 0.1u Searle 7/5, looks like a sliver of value, Searle's actually projecting a couple of percent higher than van Gerwen right now, although due to consistency Michael has the slightly higher average. Call it a flip and Betfred give us just about enough odds to take a small stab.

van Duijvenbode/Schindler - 0.25u Schindler 4/5, Dirk's not looked too bad this weekend but this is projecting nearer to 65% than 60% for Martin, so 4/5 looks pretty tasty.

Smith/Wright - Might be a tiny, tiny bit of value on Wright here, he's just north of 2/1 and we're getting him above 35%, if it was an equivalent player I might say a tenth of a unit for the hell of it but I just don't feel confident in Peter's ability to get wins over big players right now.

Rock/Smith - 0.1u Smith 6/5, similar to the Searle one except here we have Ross a tiny bit above 55% and the consistency is less of an issue, so the smaller price seems fine here.

van Barneveld/van Veen - 0.1u van Veen 10/11, not really sure why this one is so close, we've got Gian as enough of a favourite that he should be nearer 8/11 than 10/11. Sure Barney just beat Humphries but I don't think that should count for this much.

So we've got a couple of normal plays and some small plays around even money, let's see what we can do. Should be back for the quarters.

Saturday 22 June 2024

Leverkusen day 2

What a weird day - mediocre scoring, missed doubles a plenty, some insane checkouts (if you've not seen leg 11 of Pratnemer/Troppmann, do that now before continuing to read this post) and a contender for miscount of the season with Ratajski completely fucking up a 143 out for reasons only he can know. That did for one of our bets, Hughes lost the other (the Kurz bet was voided) when he just couldn't score but somehow hung around. So not the start we wanted, but we go again in the last 32.

van Veen/Baetens - Andy wasn't great yesterday, will probably need to step up his game against Gian, and this looks like a typical 60/40 game. Andy's actually a touch longer than that, but with the relative performance yesterday that seems reasonable, not that there was enough edge even if he'd played a blinder.

Bunting/Troppmann - Kevin got through a real tussle yesterday, levels were not good however and it's hard to see how he's going to keep this remotely close. Heck, this could be a 6-0, and at a price of around 6/1, why not?

Heta/Taylor - Another early start for Dom, who looked decent enough against Szaganski, might not have shown enough to give any additional confidence but he's good enough at this stage to nick this one in three times. The market's already there though with him priced at 7/4.

Searle/Gurney - Feels like this could have been a last sixteen seed match not that long ago, but it is what it is, Daryl didn't drop a leg against Kantele, Marko missing a couple of doubles but Daryl otherwise not being threatened. Ryan is projecting significantly better - 70/30, and while there's a little bit of a consistency thing, I don't think it's enough to shift it so that we don't get a bet at the price offered. 0.25u Searle 4/6

Dobey/de Graaf - Jeffrey looked pretty much par for the course in a 6-4 win over Gilding, which really hurt the latter's Matchplay chances but he's still OK for now, but he should be outclassed here. Dobey's projecting nearer 80% than 75%, so 0.25u Dobey 2/5

Chisnall/Woodhouse - Luke put in an alright performance, at least after a little bit of a slow start, which might have done for de Decker's Matchplay chances and secured his own. Will need to improve in an all-Harrows match with Chizzy, but he's got a decent chance with the projection of 60/40 being tighter than I thought it'd be. He's already at 11/8 though which seems harsh on Dave, but I guess it's fair.

Smith/Rydz - Callan got a bye so the one thing I really wanted, i.e. a recent read, we don't get. Ross is clearly the better player, projects to win two in three, the market has those thoughts as well, so we move on quickly.

Pietreczko/Doets - Kevin was on pretty early against Blum, made a bit hard work of it but got through, hopefully that's just a bit of rust that's now been shaken off. Ricardo isn't a bad seed to come up against, and I cannot separate the two of them. The market's thinking Doets here, but 13/10 isn't quite enough to fire on Pietreczko. But it's close.

Noppert/Bates - Owen got one of the shocks yesterday with a win over Joe Cullen, not looking too bad at all and comes into a similar feeling sort of opponent in Noppert, but this is definitely a tougher one and Danny is up near 80% in the projections. 2/7 is listed and that looks just about perfect to me.

Cross/Smith - Michael needed every leg to get past Wade, but he did which has opened up the Matchplay for a lot of people on the fringes, just needs them to step through. This one isn't as tight as I thought it would be, with Rob projecting a shade over 60%, so I think there's enough on Coralbrokes to go with it, 0.25u Cross 17/20, Smith's game was good but it wasn't anything hugely better than what we'd expect so no concerns there.

Price/van Duijvenbode - Dirk got past a really up and down Gabriel Clemens, who had a red hot start to the game then just lost scoring and doubling while Dirk did his thing and rolled off five straight legs to take it. Price is a tough one and it's a statement of relative levels that Dirk is not even at 30% for this one. 5/2 on the Aubergenius is pretty darned accurate.

van Gerwen/Slevin - Dylan won through what was frankly not a pretty match, and if that level continues this one could be over very, very quickly - Slevin is projecting at south of 15%, so the 1/6 you can get on Michael is fair. Heck, could be another 6-0. 8/1 is kind of tempting...

Schindler/Sedlacek - Karel was one of the standout players with a fine mid match run, couple of small blips against Dennant but this was somewhat close to his best. Schindler's a tough cookie to crack though and Sedlacek isn't even at one in three for this, pricing of 4/9 on the home nation favourite looking extremely reasonable.

Humphries/van Barneveld - Raymond looked extremely solid, but was still made to work by Ratajski and needed missed match darts and a counting catastrophy to get over the line, if that did go 5-3 I don't think he comes back from there. He's got a puncher's chance but that's it, Luke's so much better the projection starts with an 8. 2/7 might be a small understatement of how much better he is right now.

Wright/Edhouse - Ritchie just keeps going on doing his thing, had little trouble with Dueckers in a 6-0 win but was pretty darned sloppy in doing so. Will need to tighten things up significantly against Wright and it does feel like a game where he knew he was going to win, so I'm happy to call this a blip and will return to normal service today, which would put this game at a pure flip. That's just where things are right now. Ritchie is actually the tiny odds on favourite. How times change.

Rock/van den Bergh - Dimi's last on again after a routine win over Ryan Meikle, who started slowly and, one good fifth leg aside, didn't up the pace to where he could handle the UK Open champion. He's not without chances, this one rates close, a 55/45 sort of game but very much in Rock's favour, he is projecting as a small favourite so it looks like everything's in order here.

So just the three bets in this one, be back later for the last sixteen.

Friday 21 June 2024

Leverkusen bets, now featuring actual bets

Yeah, that title yesterday was a tad misleading, but let's actually go this time:

Szaganski/Taylor - Actually closer than I thought it would be, was thinking 8/13 on Dom would be value but it's projecting with him just over a 60/40 shot, so no bet it is.

Sedlacek/Dennant - Similarly on the money. Karel's better, but he's not that much better, it's projecting basically bang on 60/40, it's a 4/6 line, so we move on.

Hughes/Slevin - Now here we've got a bit of a play, the market can barely separate them with neither odds against, but I'm seeing Jamie as a couple of points better in every department, which is translating to nearer 65% than 60% chances. Easy play as such, 0.25u Hughes 10/11

Blum/Doets - Not got any recent data on Nico at all, and looking at the qualifier he didn't hit the 80's in averages once. Kevin should have zero problems here and a best price of 1/8 reflects that. Might even be value, scary to say.

Edhouse/Dueckers - Another in form player against someone we don't have much on. I do at least have seven legs on Jan, and it wasn't pretty. Dueckers' quali was at least a bit better than Nico's was, but still nothing that should trouble Ritchie, but here at least you can see some sort of out.

de Graaf/Gilding - Market can't really separate these. I've got Gilding as slightly better, but it's not even 55/45, so with the bookies having him as the 10/11 side in another one where neither is odds against, we're not touching the game.

Baetens/Rafferty - Ought to be competitive. Another one where we've got a favourite, but it's not an enormous deal, Andy floating around that 60% to 65% midpoint. That'd translate to around 8/13, he's a fraction shorter than that, but nowhere near enough where we can start looking at Nathan as any sort of value play.

Kantele/Gurney - Hard to really gauge where Marko is at, we have some data but it's not a huge amount of data, and the majority of it is at SDC level. 1/6 on Gurney feels like it might be slightly unkind, but this doesn't feel like 2023 Marko where he was winning everything at his respective game. If only the World Cup could have given us some sort of stage tell (not that doubles tells you anything of use at all really).

Pratnemer/Troppmann - Now this is one just on pure gut reads. Benjamin looked really good in his quali, 90 average every single round bar the final where it just looked like he forgot how to hit doubles in the latter stages. Kevin was steady but less spectacular in the qualifier (should note that Pratnemer's was all the way back in early April), but in terms of legs in the database he's much better than Pratnemer, although neither have more than ten, that being from that impressive 6-4 reverse against van Veen in Kiel. The market can't split the two, if Ben was just average in the qual then I'd have no hesitation in going with Troppmann at 10/11, but it's a sign that he's playing alright and he is known to be a good player at best.

Bates/Cullen - Line looks about right to me. Joe's clearly a better player, projecting a tad above 70/30, 4/9 is near enough to ignore the game.

Kurz/Rydz - Don't actually have any data in the database (at least not recently enough) on Niko, quali was OK, flashing in places, although mostly when he needed it against the likes of LML and Horvat. Callan could be similarly up and down. Anything could happen here, but I'll go with the home nation stab, 0.1u Kurz 5/2 as the combination of Rydz not showing up or Niko playing a blinder feels like it's not an unrealistic thing to happen a third of the time.

van Barneveld/Ratajski - Good solid data on both, and it's actually projecting Ratajski to be closer to 65% than 60%, which surprised me given Barney's seemingly had a good start to the year. The market's got this as another one where neither's odds against, so 0.25u Ratajski 10/11

Smith/Wade - Super lol first round game this. Wade's pushing up towards 2/1 but isn't quite there, that feels just about spot on to me, I'm seeing him with more than a one in three shot, but not much more. Is actually a big added pressure game for James which doesn't help and moving things towards Michael a tick as a result isn't unfair.

de Decker/Woodhouse - Another tight game with implications, I'm seeing Mike having a very small advantage, the market agrees, we move on.

Clemens/van Duijvenbode - Yet more games that the odds setters are saying are too close to call. Sadly I tend to agree with that assessment, maybe Clemens is slightly better but it's no more than calling him 10/11 as a fair line - which is more or less where he is.

Meikle/van den Bergh - Ryan's improving from a bad spot, but this isn't a kind draw. The market may be slightly slow to catch up on Meikle getting better though - I've got him as a bit more than a one in three shot, while he's just the right side of 2/1 if you want to punt. I wouldn't hate it, but I'd probably need getting up to 5/2 before I really went with it, and he's only better than 2/1 in a couple of places with most bookies having things around the 7/4, 15/8 sort of mark. Easy enough no play for now but maybe name money comes in on Dimi late and we can take a flier.

Thursday 20 June 2024

Long time no see? Leverkusen thoughts/bets

Alright, the hiatus is done, and it is basically go time for people wanting to get into the Matchplay. With just the two PC events after this, it's pretty much do something here or go home. Let's blast through thoughts in a little bit of a different way, I'm just going to go with gut feelings and what I've thought from looking at the players previously, just throw it out there, then come back with actual picks in the morning. Vamos.

Szaganski/Taylor - I have to love how the PDC refers to him as "D Taylor" in the second round draw. As if we're thinking that Phil made a comeback, or that Scott's qualified out of nowhere OH WAIT HE CAN'T NOW, THANKS PDC. Anyway, Dom's seemingly the better player. Radek has the Pro Tour win, but it's kind of feeling like a tad of an outlier, while Taylor's quietly getting better and better. Radek seems a decent sized dog here.

Sedlacek/Dennant - Interesting one. We know a fair bit about both, Karel's been up and down and probably has a higher peak game, but feels a tad off it for now, while Matthew has maybe not made a fantastic start after getting a card after all these years, not saying it's bad but maybe there could have been a bit more. Got to lean the Czech, if only for more stage experience, but may be tight.

Hughes/Slevin - Think both of these were late call ups after a swathe of withdrawals. Not heard a huge amount from either for maybe a year now, Jamie's kind of regressed to just a guy who is there, while Dylan's hype train which was pretty damn large a bit more than a year ago appears to be cancelled. Fair opportunity for both, could go either way.

Blum/Doets - Nico is a name I've seen for some time, but not for a bit. Hard to say where he's at. Kevin ought to be pretty comfortable here, still playing well and still in the Blackpool equation, he certainly can't complain with the draw.

Edhouse/Dueckers - Ritchie seems pretty darned safe for Blackpool at this stage, and can't complain with this draw against Jan, who I think we saw earlier in the season but I'm guessing was just fodder for someone in the opening round, if he'd won a game I'd probably have remembered it. Ought to be routine for Edhouse this.

de Graaf/Gilding - This one ought to be alright, Jeffrey's continuing to grow back to where he was at at his peak on all the circuits (still playing SDC don't forget), while Goldfinger is kind of just hanging on to some degree, looking alright in spots but just not feeling like a consistent top 32 player. Might be a sneaky best game of the day.

Baetens/Rafferty - That said, this one might be alright as well. Andy's not made a deep run yet, but has not looked out of place at the PDC level in the slightest, and it may just be a matter of putting in the reps and waiting for something to click. Similarly, it feels like Nathan is becoming more and more at home at the senior level, and may also be on the cusp of pushing through. Still got to favour the WDF champ, but could be a competitive fun watch.

Kantele/Gurney - On the other hand, this feels like it might be a bit of a damp squib. Marko had a decent 2023, but 2024 has been a bit subdued, not that he's ever really been an explosive player, as such Daryl, who's been pretty solid for some time now, ought to have a routine victory.

Pratnemer/Troppmann - Now this is peak Euro Tour. Benjamin's a name I primarily know through coming through the Eastern Euro quali for the worlds probably 5+ years ago at this stage. Fuck knows where he's at. Kevin's a domestic qualifier who we saw once earlier this year I want to say, and I have no clue where he's at. So anything can happen. This is the game you want to open the evening session.

Kurz/Rydz - This one feels like it should be fun to watch, but chaotic to call. Nico might have passed up on the best chance he had to really get up in the rankings already, but this isn't the first time we've seen him this year so could be improving, while Callan has been the archetypal feast or famine player for maybe a decade at this stage, dating back to when he somehow missed out on getting a card for years. Rydz is better, but this is an awful game to feel confident about.

Bates/Cullen - Owen's not really made a huge impression since getting on the tour, he's been at this level once or twice before but it feels like he's just getting used to the pro stage in some respects. Joe's not done a great deal, doesn't feel like he's anywhere near his best game, but usually shows up when I bet against him. Ought to be Cullen, but who knows.

van Barneveld/Ratajski - Let me point out how stupid this is as a first round game here. Absurd. This feels like a pure flip to me.

Smith/Wade - Copy the above, except Smith should win, and given Wade's tenuous hold on a Matchplay spot as of right now, this is the bastard of all bastard draws.

de Decker/Woodhouse - I want to say we have seen this one before already. This looks super evenly matched - two players on the periphery of that top 32 battle on various rankings, both can be really good, both can also look shit, Woody's looking in for Blackpool while Mike's looking out, it's one that appears real close on paper but could end up getting nervy. And nervy darts is peak darts.

Clemens/van Duijvenbode - Let us continue with this stupid run of first round games. Both are actually out of the Matchplay right now, and if Wade wins his opening game it'll be by a lot. The players feel like they're evenly matched, they just need to avoid running into a tough second round draw whoever wins, they don't want anything like the defending champ... oh.

Meikle/van den Bergh - Ryan might be coming out of a horrific run of form, which is kind of important as he's one of those players who's in a battle to hold his card when it gets to the end of the year. Dimitri's clearly not the best draw that he could have got, and he's going to be an underdog, but there's certainly worse players he could have run into as opposed to the UK Open champion, and he's got the peak game to challenge DvdB. The Belgian probably should see this out, but can't take too many liberties in this one.

Bets in the morning.