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And So It Goes....

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

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Friday, April 24, 2009

April 24th, 2009 Picks

Ahh a great day as the Utah Jazz won their first and probably only playoff game this year! My picks went 2-1-0 yesterday as I finished with two wins. My first pick was Steve Marino to card a lower front 9 score. It was all square through four holes as both he and Rich Beem were at one over par. On the fifth hole Beem hit a terrific shot from just outside a fairway bunker to give himself a two foot putt for birdie and a one stroke lead. On the seventh and eighth holes Marino found himself hitting into the sand on every non-chip shot. He was fortunate to come out of the two with a bogey and a birdie to remain one stroke behind Beem. On the final hole, a par-3, Beem missed the green with his tee shot and Marino left himself with an 11 foot putt for birdie. He missed the putt, but Beem chipped to 25 feet away. Marino made par and Beem sank his longest putt of the round to save par as well and stay one stroke ahead of Marino, finishing with a 35 to Marino’s 36.

My second pick was Kenny Perry to card a lower front 9 score. Mike Weir took an early lead with a birdie on #2, but Perry got a stroke up by birdying the 7th and 8th holes. Perry hit three consecutive birdies to start the back 9 and Weir hit birdie on the 11th and 13th to stay two strokes behind. From there Perry finished weakly with two bogeys and the rest pars to finish with a 69 for the round. It was nothing compared to Weir’s meltdown, however, as he hit a double bogey on #15, then two straight bogeys, followed by a triple bogey on the final hole, which included two penalty strokes. Weir finished with a 76, seven strokes behind Perry.

My final pick was the Toronto Blue Jays. Scott Richmond had a great outing, allowing only two runs on 6 hits for the Rangers. He also struck out 8 batters while walking only two. Kevin Millwood didn’t do so bad himself with the Blue Jays only getting 5 hits off of him in 7 innings. Unfortunately three of those hits were home runs that led to four runs. Jason Jennings gave up another run to Toronto in the 8th inning and Scott Downs was able to retire the Rangers to complete the save and the win for Richmond. Toronto won at home 5 to 2. So on to the picks.

1) Andres Romero vs. Scott Verplank – Romero cards a lower front 9 score
2) Bangalore Royal Challengers vs. Kings XI Punjabi – Kings XI Punjabi
3) Rory Sabbatini vs. Charles Howell III – Howell III cards a lower 2nd round score
4) De Graafschap @ Sparta Rotterdam – De Graafschap win or draw
5) LeBron James vs. Will Bynum – Bynum pts.
6) NY Rangers points leader vs. Alex Ovechkin – NY Rangers ponts leader pts.
7) New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox – Boston
8) Dwight Howard vs. Andre Iguodala – Iguodala pts.
9) San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks – San Francisco
10) Portland Trail Blazers @ Houston Rockets – 188 points or more
11) Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels – Los Angeles
12) Antonio Escalante vs. Gary Stark Jr. – 10 rounds or more

1) Andres Romero carded 2 under par in the first round to 1 under par for Verplank. Romero won this tournament last year and this is the first year Verplank has played a Tour event at TPC Louisiana. So far in 2009 Verplank has a scoring average of 70.13 while Romero has a scoring average of 71.92, which is a hugely substantial difference. Romero has made more money on the tour in the same number of events and sure enough he plays lights out some weekends and terribly on others. Yesterday Verplank had trouble finding the fairways and avoiding the bunkers, and did well to save par on more than one hole. I think Verplank will play better and is the safer choice, honestly. Romero has more Tour experience on the course, however, and made longer putts on average in the first round.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

3) Rory Sabbatini finished with a 70, two strokes behind Charles Howell III’s first round 68. Sabbatini hit into the water once to pick up a penalty stroke and hit into the sand three times so it seems he could not do much worse than 70. Howell III only hit into a bunker once in the first round, but looking at his shot selection he should be able to avoid most of the bunkers today. Sabbatini made two 15 to 20 foot putts, a 10 to 15 foot putt and two 5 to 10 foot putts while missing 12 putts over 5 feet and two putts under 1 putt under 5 feet. Howell III made one putt over 20 feet, one from 10 to 15 feet and three from 5 to 10 feet. He also missed 12 putts from over 5 feet and made all 13 of his putts from under 5 feet. Sabbatini may gain a stroke from avoiding the water but he will probably lose it back by not scoring an eagle in this round.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

4) There are a few injury concerns for Sparta Rotterdam for this match with Ruud Knol out and Donovan Sljingard facing a late fitness test on defense. Forwards Yuri Rose and Rydell Poepon will also be out for this match. The rest of Sparta Rotterdam’s roster has still outscored De Graafschap 24 to 21. De Graafschap have scored 6 goals in 15 away matches, 3 of them in one match, so they average around 0.25 away goals while conceding 2 per match. On loan Chelsea striker Ben Sahar give De Graafschap more of a scoring punch and they’ve scored nearly half of their goals in the 13 matches since acquiring him, though only one of those goals has been away. Both teams are struggling to avoid relegation with Sparta three points clear of relegation and De Graafschap needing 4 points to climb out of the zone. Today’s match represents one of the best chances either have of earning any points for the rest of the season so I think both will put forth a good effort but De Graafschap’s form will prove to be enough to secure a draw.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

7) Joba Chamberlain and Jon Lester are starting for the Yankees and Red Sox, respectively. Both have done well enough to start the season but should display better form as the season goes on. Lester has a 5.50 ERA with a 1.44 WHIP while Chamberlain has a 5.06 ERA with a 1.50 WHIP. The Sox have had difficulty with Chamberlain in the past, as a starter or a relief pitcher, with a .220 batting average and .320 slugging average. The Yankees have a career .276 batting average and .391 slugging average. Last season, however, it was Lester who had the lower ERA in more innings pitched. Lester also has a better than 4:1 SO:BB ratio while Chamberlain is at 2:1. Chamberlain is good for 80 to 100 pitches, so the Yankees may have to rely on their bullpen more. That is good news for the Sox as the Yankees bullpen have two losses to one loss for the Sox bullpen. In their last three games the Yankees are batting .311 and slugging .525 which is tremendous, but overshadowed by the Red Sox batting .351 and slugging .649 in their last three. An off day by either pitcher could hand the game to the other side, but with the Yankees bullpen having a combined WHIP of 1.50 to 1.13 for Boston and with Lester probable to pitch an inning more than Chamberlain I have to give the advantage to the Red Sox at Fenway.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

8) Since the beginning of March Iguodala has scored over 18 points in 20 games and 18 points or fewer in 5 games. During the same time period Howard has scored more than 18 points 12 times and 18 or fewer 12 times.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

9) Lincecum and Davis have faced off once this season, with each pitcher recording 8 scoreless innings and the Diamondbacks winning 2-0. As the NL Cy Young winner last year, Lincecum obviously had the lower ERA and WHIP of the two. So far this season Lincecum has recorded a 3.86 ERA and 1.53 WHIP compared to Davis’ 2.57 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Of the two Lincecum is more likely to pitch a stronger game assuming both pitchers regress towards their previous season’s numbers. The Giants have only batted .228 in their last 3 games with a slugging average of .315 while the Diamondbacks have batted .270 with a .470 slugging average. It will be up to Lincecum to hold off Arizona and hope the Giants can find some success against Davis who has walked 14 and struck out 22 Giants batters in 185 at bats while allowing .398 of batters to reach a base. Lincecum’s SO:BB ratio against Arizona is nearly 8:1 so he has a good chance of shutting down an Arizona team which has been relatively cracking recently. Whoever can keep their bullpen out of the game the longest increases their odds of winning. San Francisco’s has a 2 losses, 2 saves and a 1.44 WHIP while giving up 3 home runs and Arizona’s has 1 loss, 4 saves and a 1.60 WHIP while giving up 6 home runs.
Confidence: W2 streak or less

12) I know nothing about these fighters other than that they are 122 pounds in weight and have recorded multiple knockouts in their careers. A well placed punch, even from these bantams can knock someone out. Thanks to phillkoo for finding this site. Click here for Escalante’s stats and click here for Stark’s In 43 fights combined each fighter has been knocked out once. I am thinking it’s because they are skilled at avoiding those knockout punches, so I can see this fight going the distance.
Confidence: W1 streak or less

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