Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

click it

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 10th, 2009 Picks

1-0-0 today, and I'll consider myself beyond lucky to have gotten it. After I passed on Kenny Perry, Fulham, Tiger Woods' 69 or worse third round, the Rays, and the Braves I knew I had to get one before my picks started to go south, so I took the Denver Nuggets. It was brutal watching their performance in the first half, with so many shots of every kind just refusing to fall. It was a tad heartening to see them actually up 3 at the half, but I had a feeling they were on a path to defeat.

The second half was a close fought battle all the way, but it appeared the Mavericks had momentum on their side, especially after Jason Terry's late three put them up four points. Carmelo Anthony made a dunk with 28 seconds remaining, and Nowitzki followed it with a miss and Denver got the rebound with 6 seconds left. Out of the timeout they ran an isolation play for Anthony who nearly lost the ball while moving to the right wing. Antoine Wright appeared to foul Anthony but the whistle was not blown and 'Melo followed through with a go-ahead three pointer with a second left! Dallas missed their catch and shoot opportunity and the Nuggets won Game 3 106-105.

After that result I knew I'd better stay away from any of the other matchups. So on to the picks.

1) Ernie Els vs. Geoff Ogilvy – Els cards a lower front 9 score
2) Chelsea @ Arsenal – Arsenal win
3) St. Louis Cardinals @ Cincinnati Reds – Cincinnati
4) Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee Brewers – Chicago
5) Alex Cejka vs. Rest Of Field – Cejka wins the tournament
6) Juventus @ AC Milan – AC Milan win
7) Kansas City Royals @ Los Angeles Angels – Los Angeles
8) Los Angeles Lakers @ Houston Rockets – Los Angeles
9) San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers – San Francisco
10) Ryan Getzlaf vs. Johan Franzen – Getzlaf goals and ast.
11) Carolina Hurricanes @ Boston Bruins – Carolina
12) Ray Allen vs. Rashard Lewis – Lewis pts.
13) Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox – Tampa Bay

1) Geoff Ogilvy has been having a very good Tour this year. He’s made the cut in all 10 events he’s participated in and has two wins already on his way to making over $3 million. Ernie Els has been fairly impressive in his own right, making the cut in 11 of 12 events participated in, but with only two top 10 finishes to his credit. The two events Els finished in the top 10, the WGC Accenture Match Play tournament and the Mercedes-Benz Open, happen to be the two events Ogilvy has come away the winner. Results-wise then Ogilvy has been the better golfer this year. A quick look at Ernie Els’ stats and Geoff Ogilvy’s stats shows Ogilvy has a slightly better scoring average and a fairly large advantage in putting average. He also averages one more birdie per round than Els. The one stat where Els has an advantage is driving accuracy and that has held true in this tournament, with Els driving 59.5% of his fairways through three rounds and Ogilvy driving 47.6% of his. On the front 9 Els has been better too, with 8 birdies, 2 bogeys, and 1 double bogey compared to 6 birdies and 5 bogeys for Ogilvy. Els has also had a lower putting average per green in regulation in this tournament. Since 2001 Els has an average front 9 score of -0.3, and a median score of even par in 29 rounds at Sawgrass, though he’s carded 2 under par more often than any other score. Geoff Ogilvy has an average score of even par and a median score of -1 in 21 rounds at Sawgrass since 2001. Since 2005, however, Els has been a bit better, with an average score of -0.4 and a median score of even par in 19 rounds while still carding 2 under par more often than any other score. Ogilvy has an average score of +0.5 and a median score of even par, while carding 1 under par most often in 15 rounds. Ogilvy has had 7 of those 15 rounds at even par or better on the front 9, while Els has 13 of 19 rounds at even par or better. This will be only the 4th time in 8 tries Ogilvy has made the cut at TPC Sawgrass, where his previous final round front nine scores have been even par, -2, and +3. This will be the 7th time in 8 tries Els has made the cut, with his final round scores being even par, -2, -4, -1, +1, and -2. The historical performance only slightly favors Els, but I’ll go with the player who has done better on the front 9 this weekend and has had the more accurate drives.

Ogilvy has bogeyed the first and third holes shown above the past two rounds each. Els double bogeyed the middle hole last round. Click on the image for a Readers Digest tour of TPC Sawgrass.

2) Chelsea visit the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal with both teams coming off of disappointing Champions League exits. Disappointing for Arsenal because of their poor overall form, and disappointing for Chelsea because their superior form was not enough to overcome a single goal after 183 minutes of shutting the opposition out. Arsenal will want to regain some of their form which has seen them go undefeated in Premier League play against Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool so far this season. Chelsea will be looking to put the past behind them and play with the same form and added composure. Here is a preview from SkySports which foresees both Arshavin and Drogba starting for this match. The Daily Mirror, a British tabloid, had five analysts make predictions with three calling for a win by Arsenal, one a win by Chelsea, and one a draw.They point out Arsenal have won only twice in 13 previous matches against Chelsea in any competition. Goal.com offers a 2-2 draw as a prediction. Then there is a great preview with a number of trends from BBC News. Notably, Chelsea has not had much success in the Premier League against the Big Four, with only a single draw to go along with a string of losses thus far. Finally, the Daily Telegraph offers a short preview. They highlight the matchup between Theo Walcott and Ashley Cole and have neither Drogba nor Arshavin in each team's probable Starting XI. I have to give Arsenal the advantage at home with Almunia and their defense conceding fewer goals at the Emirates than Cech and Co. have conceded away from Stamford Bridge. Based on that I computed odds of 38.5% for an Arsenal win, 30.9% for a Chelsea win, and 30.6% for a draw. SkyBet has fractional odds that convert to 37.9% for an Arsenal win, 32.9% for a Chelsea win, and 29.2% for a draw. The online books cataloged by livegoals.com have Chelsea's odds a couple of percentage points better at the expense of Arsenal's odds. Chelsea really has appeared to be the better side recently, but there is a lot of history that suggests Arsenal will get the result here.

3) The Cincinnati Reds look to complete a 3 game sweep of the visiting St. Louis Cardinals today with Edinson Volquez on the mound. Volquez started out the season a bit rough against the Mets and the Brewers. Since then he's recorded 27 terrific innings, allowing 4 earned runs and 9 hits total. He does have a tendency to walk a large number of batters, but his high ground out-to-fly out ratio, over 1.20, helps him get out of jams. The Reds' recent string of success is also due to strong hitting. In their past three games, all victories, they have batted .330 and have a slugging average of .543, which is about as good as it gets in the Majors. They will attempt to maintain that level of offense against Adam Wainwright. Wainwright has done well for the Cardinals, racking up a 3-1 record with a 4.08 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in his first six starts of the season. He is coming off a poor performance against the Phillies in which he pitched for 6 innings and gave up 6 earned runs off of 9 hits. The Cardinals have also been slumping at the plate, with a .237 batting average and .318 slugging average in their last three games. I imagine the Reds will hit worse than they have been, and the Cardinals a bit better, but not too much so with Wainwright still allowing hits and Volquez limiting the Cardinals' return to normalcy.

6) AC Milan have been playing incredible football lately, having overtaken Juventus for 2nd place in Serie A. Their last 5 matches have been wins, outscoring their opponents 13 to 1, including a 3-0 defeat of 7th place Palermo. Juventus have been going the opposite direction recently, having not won a match since March, a 4-1 thrashing at AS Roma. Since then they have suddenly been unable to keep the opposition out of the net, racking up a string of 4 draws and a 2-3 loss away at Genoa. Two of those draws were at home against relegation clubs Lecce and Chievo Verona. Both teams have their fair share of injury concerns and you can see a list of them in this terrific goal.com preview. Nobody has had trouble recently scoring on Juventus, so the main concern for A.C. Milan is the health of their second string keeper Nelson Dida. If he is unable to play then their third stringer, Zeljko Kalac, would be slotted to make his first start of the season. Dida has been named to the squad and you can see the other Rossoneri who have been called up at Milan's homepage by clicking on their logo. Based on the overall form for the season I would give AC Milan a 46.6% chance of winning, or about +115 on a money line. Based on each team's form form their previous 10 matches I would put AC Milan at 52.3% or about -110. The big questions here are whether Dida or Kalac will be in goal for AC Milan, and whether Juventus will continue their poor form of the past month.

7) The Kansas City Royals were beginning to look like they had truly improved from last season, going 8-1 from the end of April into the beginning of May, before hitting a major road black in the Los Angeles Angels. Including their 3-1 victory over Washburn and the Mariners the Royals are 1-2 while scoring just 4 runs in their last three games. They've only managed to bat .180 and at .213 their slugging percentage has been atrocious. The Royals will start Kyle Davies on the mound, who started well, but has also been having problems lately. He started out decently, pitching 6 or 7 innings and yielding three earned runs or so, nothing too terrible. Since then he has pitched 15 innings, giving up 23 hits, and 16 earned runs. He has walked 8 batters, which is not bad, but has only struck out 4. One of those games was a 5 innings stone which the Royals won, showing how important their batting has been to their success. He will certainly need run support against the Angels who have found plenty of offense without Vlad Guerrero behind Napoli and Matthews, and even Figgins and Izturis. Kansas City may be able to get that support off of Shane Loux who has been an off-and-on pitcher this season. He's on at the moment, however, with a couple of 1 run, 5 hit, performances most recently. I think Loux will aid in continuing the Royals' woes and the Angels will find themselves up early. With their bullpen starting to perform well it's a lead they should keep.

9) Starting for the Giants tonight is Tim Lincecum, the freak of nature. He's fairly diminutive compared to many pitchers out there, but his stuff is about as nasty as it gets. Still, he's young, and as you can see to the left even Lincecum gets rocked for a home run here and there. In 85 at bats against Lincecum the Dodgers have a batting average of .235 and a slugging average of .329, so while Lincecum slows them up, and can shut them down, they can also hit off of him. I have a sneaking suspicion that Lincecum will be having a difficult time tonight in this game. Not so difficult that he is relieved early in the game, but difficult enough that the Giants will have a hard time providing him with enough run support. San Francisco is batting .252 and slugging .330 in their last three games, and were shut out yesterday against the Dodgers. Jeff Weaver has thrown 9 scoreless innings so far this season, but before he left the majors for a year in 2008 the Angels' lineup had his number. In 86 at bats they had 3 home runs, slugging for .453 and batting .256 off of Weaver. I'll pick with Lincecum to hold the Dodgers' heads in the dirt, but let me go on record as saying I have a bad feeling about this one.

12) I'll let the graph do most of the talking. The curves represent a Poisson distribution of points based on each players' average number of points. One of them is based on their points on the road, for Ray Allen, and at home, for Rashard Lewis. The second curve is based on their average number of points against the opposition, Boston or Orlando, from both home and road games. The bars are a histogram of games with a certain number of points, with the second set of bars being for the games against the opposition. Ray Allen's average includes his 51 point game but was left off the graph to fit everything in. Allen scores more points on the road than Lewis does at home but Rashard Lewis averages more against Boston than Allen does against Orlando. I think Lewis represents a mismatch for whoever the Celtics use to defend him, and Courtney Lee can do a good job against Allen and that is why you see a disparity in their points production.

No comments:

Post a Comment