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And So It Goes....

Overall: 7-1-0 (0.875)
Basis Function: Daubechies4

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14th, 2009 Picks

A terrific turnaround as I divorced myself from the past two days to go 3-0-0. My first pick was Ipswich Town to win or draw. The first half ended in a 0-0 scoreless draw but Bristol City midfielder Marvin Elliott received an excellent through ball from Michael McIndoe 6 yards from the goal and booted a goal home. Ipswich Town were completely unable to muster up any offense for most of the game until the striker Giovanni was substituted into the game. Ipswich Town were still unable to find the goal as the match entered injury time, but just before the whistle Bristol City committed a penalty. Giovanni converted the penalty kick and the match ended with Ipswich receiving a miracle point in a 1-1 draw.

My second pick was the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox went up early in the 2nd inning with back to back homers by Dye and Konerko to lead off. The Tigers gained a run back in the bottom of the inning but Quentin, Konerko, and Ramirez batted in four runs in the third inning. The Tigers gained back three runs on a home run by Santiago in the bottom of that inning. The White Sox had an answer again in the fourth inning when Quentin hit a two run homer. The Tigers kept clawing back but the theme of the game was the White Sox scoring after every inning in which the Tigers scored. Quentin and Konerko led the Sox with 4 RBI’s apiece and the White Sox won 10-6.

My third pick was the Milwaukee Bucks. When I originally posted my blog I was under the impression Dwight Howard would be playing limited minutes so when Stan Van Gundy revealed Howard would not dress for the game I locked in the pick. The Magic had a 6 point lead after the first quarter but from there the Bucks grabbed the lead and slowly extended it throughout the game. The Bucks had 25 assists on 35 field goals made while the Magic had 13 assists on 25 field goals. The Bucks also went 8 for 21 from three point range while the Magic went 2 for 18. Marcin Gortat had 10 points and 18 rebounds for the Magic in 43 minutes of playing time. So on to the picks of another day.

1) Marat Safin vs. Lleyton Hewitt – Safin has more aces
2) Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers – Chicago
3) Barcelona @ Bayern Munich – Bayern Munich win or draw
4) Liverpool @ Chelsea – 2 goals or fewer
5) Los Angeles Angels @ Seattle Mariners – Los Angeles
6) New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays – Tampa Bay
7) Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers – Philadelphia
8) New York, Atlanta, Colorado vs. Any Other Team – NY, ATL, COL win the lottery
9)) Cincinnati Reds @ Milwaukee Brewers – Cincinnati
10) Baltimore Orioles @ Texas Rangers – 11 runs or more
11) Boston Red Sox @ Oakland Athletics – Jack Cust records more total bases

1) Marat Safin generally has a stronger serve averaging 0.758 aces per service game played in 2009. Lleyton Hewitt averages 0.489 aces per service game this year. The match today will be played on a clay surface where fewer aces are generally served. Hewitt and Safin have played twice before on a clay surface, once in 2002 and once in 2001. In 2001 Hewitt had 3 aces to 2 for Safin in their match, while Safin out-aced Hewitt 5-1 in their 2002 match. Safin has generally out-aced Hewitt by large margins in their other matches. Hewitt just finished winning a clay court tournament in Houston on Sunday before traveling to Monaco for this event. Safin is taller and has a greater reach so he may be able to get his racket on the serve even if he does not return it, limiting the number of aces for Hewitt. Here are the ATP Tour profiles and statistics for these two. Peruse at your leisure.
Hewitt's stats.
Safin's stats.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

2) Chicago is the favorite here at -120 with Detroit an underdog at home at +110. The run line favors Detroit at -155 to +135 for Chicago. That puts the chances of a Chicago win by 1 run at 12.2% which is more than reasonable when overall 15% of a teams games are wins by 1 run. John Danks has had a good start with 5 scoreless innings pitched so far this year. Last year he had a great start in April as well but for a shelling at the hands of the Twins. This is Rick Porcello’s second major league start where he has an ERA of 7.20 in five innings against Toronto so far. Against the Tigers’ batters Danks has 8 times as many strikeouts as walks in 106 at bats. He has given up only 2 home runs, or one in 53 batters faced. He had a 2-0 record and 2.41 ERA against Detroit last season.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

3) FC Barcelona dominated Bayern Munich for 45 minutes in taking a 4-0 lead into the half of their first draw in Barcelona. Both sides adjusted their game at the half and the second half ended with the score 4-0. That is evidence of the kind of game Barcelona will play with a 4 goal lead. Bayern Munich return Phillip Lahm, Lucio and possibly Daniel van Buyton, all crucial to their defense. FC Barcelona will be missing Thierry Henry unless the fever keeping him out of practice the day before abates quickly. Barcelona will also be missing Rafael Márquez after he picked up his fifth yellow card in competition. Messi, Eto’o, Xavi, Puyol, and Toure were all rested in their domestic match against Recreativo Huelva so they could all be fairly expected to start in this match. Even with them starting I see Barcelona being unable to match the focus and intensity of a Bayern side playing at home and looking to erase any trace of that 4-0 1st half drubbing.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

7) Currently Philadelphia are a 5.5 point favorite with the money lines having them a favorite at anywhere from -220 to -270. Everybody is working with the assumption Doc Rivers will limit the minutes of Allen, Pierce, and Rondo or perhaps not play them at all. At -200 bettors were picking Philadelphia overwhelmingly. One casino put Philadelphia at -280 and a flood of money poured in on Boston to win with the profit greater than 3:1 for a Celtics win. Four minutes later they adjusted it to -270 for the Sixers. I’ll wait until the pre-game press conference before picking for sure. The Celtics will undoubtedly end up facing the Sixers in the first round of the playoffs and after being completely non-competitive with Cleveland on Sunday may be looking to prove they can win. Watch out if Pierce, Rondo, and Allen end up playing major minutes.
Confidence: W4 streak or less

8) New York, Atlanta, and Colorado have combined odds of 49.9% of being selected to receive the #1 draft pick. NHL rules stipulate a team may only move up 4 spots in the draft from their regular season finish. That means the Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning are the only ‘other teams’ who can possibly get the #1 pick. Their odds of winning are a combined 27.7% chance. At 72.3% the odds of winning this are nearly as good as a -275 money line pick, but do you want to risk your streak on a truly random event?
UPDATE: The wording of the prop has been ‘fixed’ so that it is who will win the lottery meaning the odds are back to 49.9% for ATL, COL, NYI.
UPDATE2: The wording on the prop has been changed back to “who will win the #1 pick” giving you a 73% chance of winning with ATL, COL, and NYI. Be careful as they’ve changed to wording on this back and forth more than once now.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

9) Milwaukee is favored to win at -135 and Cincinnati is the underdog at +120. Cincinnati is favored in the run line at -175 to +155 for Milwaukee. That puts the odds on a win by 1 run for Milwaukee at 17.7% which is a bit high and favors a win by Cincinnati. Milwaukee is starting Manny Parra who has not done well against the Reds. Cincinnati is hitting a home run for every 13 batters facing Parra. Parra had an 8.27 ERA against the Reds last season and has started this season with a poor outing against San Francisco. Bronson Arroyo has a large amount of experience against the Brewers with a home run rate about half of Parra’s against the Reds. Arroyo had a 3.65 ERA against the Brewers last season, but gave up 5 runs in 6 innings against the Mets in his first start of the season. Both pitchers are capable of throwing strikes, Arroyo struck out 3 times as many batters as he walked last season and Parra struck out twice as many.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

11) Jack Cust has recorded 6 total bases in 8 at bats against Daisuke Matsuzaka with a home run and two singles. David Ortiz has recorded 1 total base in 2 at bats against Eveland. So far this year Ortiz is batting .208, recording 5 total bases in 24 at bats. Jack Cust is batting .381 with 15 total bases recorded in 21 at bats. Matsuzaka has an ERA of 6.50 in one start this season against Tampa Bay and Eveland has an ERA of 4.50 in his sole start against the Angels.
Confidence: W5 streak or less

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