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And So It Goes....

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

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26th, 2009 Picks

Arrr, 12-2-0 in my picks yesterday. I had a 6W streak built up but the Broncos’ selection of Knowshon Moreno destroyed that streak and spurred me on to keep picking. I then selected 9 in a row while skipping two others that turned out well in my blog. The final pick I was nearly certain the Bengals would take an offensive linesman with Robinskie and Nicks being off the board, but their selection of Rey Maualuga, who is listed as high as 260 pounds on a number of sites, but cut weight down to 249 for official purposes of the draft, ended that one as well. So on to the picks!

1) Philadelphia Phillies @ Florida Marlins – Philadelphia
2) Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls – Boston
3) Jerry Kelly or Steve Marino vs. Rest Of Field – Kelly or Marino win the tournament
4) Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers – Washington
5) Clint Bowyer vs. Matt Kenseth – Kenseth has a better final position
6) Chicago Cubs @ St. Louis Cardinals – St. Louis
7) Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels – Los Angeles
8) Orlando Magic @ Philadelphia 76ers – Orlando
9) New Jersey Devils @ Carolina Hurricanes – Carolina
10) Derek Jeter vs. Kevin Youkilis – Youkilis hits, runs, and RBIs
11) New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox – Boston

1) Philadelphia will be starting the elder Jamie Moyer against 25-year old minor leaguer Graham Taylor. Moyer was great last season with a 2.81 ERA and 0.97 WHIP against the Marlins, but so far this season he has recorded a 6.35 ERA and 1.65 WHIP. The Phillies have also been having difficulty htiting the ball lately with a .169 batting average and .309 slugging average in their last three games. It would be surprising to see those batting numbers go anywhere but up after this game, facing Taylor and the Marlins’ bullpen. Florida has not been spectacular in their last three games, batting .257 and slugging .419 and unless Moyer is feeling his age more than he did last year it does not look good for them to increase those numbers. I think Moyer will have a solid game as he did in his first start this season. As long as the game is close the Phillies have shown their superior relief pitching can lead them to wins against the Marlins.

3) At 10-under par Steve Marino leads the rest of the field by oen stroke, and Jerry Kelly leads by 4 strokes at 13-under. The lowest score carded in the first three rounds has been a 6-under par 66. So players currently six strokes back are realistically the only players with even the most remote of chances of catching the leaders. If someone like Charlie Wi or Rory Sabbatini can hit 3-under par for the final round and Marino and Kelly each card their worst round at over par they might end up losing to someone from the rest of the field. It’s not as unlikely as it seems at first glance, but there’s nothing suggesting that it will happen based on the first three rounds, so the best pick would be to pick the current leaders.

6) The Cubs are starting Rich Harden who currently has a 1.27 WHIP and 4.20 ERA. The current Cardinals’ lineup has only had 22 at bats against Harden, but have only managed three hits while being walked three times and struck out five times. Harden is probably due to pitch a solid game but should be tested by a Cardinals team who is batting .366 and slugging .574 while scoring 24 runs in their last 3 games. I am thinking the Cardinals struggle early on and manage only 1 or 2 runs off of Harden. Todd Wellemeyer is starting for the St. Louis Cardinals. He has a 5.29 ERA and 1.94 WHIP thus far this season which are much worse than his numbers from last year. The Cubs have been cold with their bats lately and Wellemeyer is due to have a solid game as well. In 77 at bats against Wellemeyer the Cubs have only hit .286 and slugged .351. Provided both pitchers play well this should be a very close game with few runs. With the Cardinals’ bullpen having a combined WHIP of 1.24 and the Cubs’ bullpen with a combined WHIP of 1.45 and the Cardinals being at home I think they’ll pull out the win at the end.

7) The Seattle Mariners look to sweep the 3 game series with the Angels today. In the three games prior to facing the Angels the Mariners were batting .169 and slugging .303. After two games against them their three game batting average is up to .311 and slugging average at .462. I think those numbers will go back down a bit after today’s game. Jarrod Washburn for the Mariners faces off against Jered Weaver of the Angels for the second time this season. In the first game Washburn shut down the Angels and the Mariners won 11-3 in Seattle. Washburn has a 1.71 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in his first three starts of the season. Weaver has not done so bad himself with a 3.38 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in three starts. Historically the Angels have not been shut down against Washburn, batting .243 and slugging .388 in 276 at bats. Last season Washburn’s ERA against the Angels was 4.42 with a WHIP of 1.58. The Mariners have done very well against Weaver as well, with a career batting average of .312 and slugging average of .462. The Mariners’ bullpen has also done much better than the Angels’ this season. I think Weaver will put in at least 6 solid innings, and keep the bullpen out of the game, while Washburn will have a poor game overall so that the Angels will be the ones defending a lead. With their bats cracking, especially at the end of yesterday’s game, I think they’ll be able to keep that lead and win here, but this is far from a sure thing.

8) Basketball, and especially a 7 game series between two teams, can be one of the most tactical of all sports. The losing team, provided they are not completely overmatched, generally has the advantage after a loss. The winning coach may try to anticipate offensive and defensive changes to be made by the other team but is more likely to continue to emphasize what led to their victory in the game before. The losing coach can run new plays and change defensive strategy to bring the advantage back to their team. Here I think Orlando has the more talent and were on the losing side. Even though they are on the road they also have Hedo Turkoglu approaching full health which is a large factor in their ability to close out teams in the fourth quarter. I think Orlando can make the necessary adjustments to win. Dwight Howard is also young enough that he can put forth an all-star effort night in and night out.

10) A quick look at each players’ numbers will show that Youkilis has been hitting more, scoring more runs, and batting in more runs. Though Jeter is more consistent when it comes to getting at least one hit, run, or RBI Youkilis has a greater likelihood to get more of these in any single game. Masterson and Pettite both had poor games against the opposition last year with Masterson recording a WHIP of 1.93 and Pettite a WHIP of 2.15 so I think each player will record a large number of hits, runs, and RBIs and that favors Youkilis. Pettite is also a left handed pitcher, which favors the right handed Youkilis, while Masterson and Jeter are both right handed. Here is a graph showing the probability distribution and cumulative probability functions for each players’ combined runs, hits, and RBIs based on this seasons’ stats. Youkilis averages about 1 more combined run, hit, and RBI this season (3.59 to 2.65) and I can see him winning this one 5 to 4 today. Keep in mind that each game is not statistically independent and so the functions are based on invalid assumptions, but they do not suggest anything improbable and so have some utility.

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