Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

click it

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12th, 2009 Picks

And the losing continues. I really wish I'd taken Rashard Lewis the other day, and Delonte West today would have been a good one. Fortunately it looks like a number of good props on the board tomorrow. Today I lost with Rajasthan Royals as they had a terrible game batting and lost by 53 runs. Then I lost with Middlesbrough who were thoroughly dominated and only scored one by virtue of a Newcastle United own goal. After that I passed on the Cleveland Indians to take the Pens. It was a close game but the Penguins gave up two goals in one minute of the 3rd period leading to overtime. Once again the team I picked was not the team who scored in the OT. My final pick was the Washington Nationals. With two outs already Fred Lewis hit a routine pop fly to left field but Josh Willingham ran too far forward and it landed behind him. That allowed two runs to score and Daniel Cabrera proceeded to walk 4 straight batters, walking in two runs. His reliever, Kensing, proceeded to walk a third run in before retiring the side. Without those 5 runs the score was 7-6 in favor of the Nationals, but alas they could not escape their own sloppy play. So on to the picks.

1) Kings XI Punjabi vs. Mumbai Indians – Mumbai
2) Burnley @ Reading – Reading win
3) Boston Bruins @ Carolina Hurricanes – Carolina
4) Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles – Tampa Bay
5) St. Louis Cardinals @ Pittsburgh Pirates – Pittsburgh
6) Los Angeles Dodgers @ Philadelphia Phillies – Los Angeles
7) Orlando Magic @ Boston Celtics – Boston
8) Detroit Tigers @ Minnesota Twins – Detroit
9) Carlos Lee vs. Todd Helton – Helton runs, hits, and RBIs
10) Cincinnati Reds total hits vs. Dan Haren strikeouts – Haren strikeouts
11) Detroit Red Wings @ Anaheim Ducks – Detroit
12) Kansas City Royals @ Oakland Athletics – Oakland
13) Ryan Zimmerman's Hit Streak: Reaches 30 Games vs. Ends at 29 - Reaches 30 games
14) Luis Scola pts. vs. Los Angeles Lakers win margin – Lakers win margin

1) Kings XI Punjabi currently lie 1 point above Mumbai Indians in the tables with 5 victories to 4 victories and 1 washout for the Indians. These two teams met earlier in the tournament with Kings XI Punjab winning 119/8 to 116/7. Tendulkar, a world class South African cricket player and considered one of Mumbai's top batsmen, scored 1 run in 6 balls before getting out. Dumini recorded one of his league leading 4 half-centuries but it was not enough with Mumbai batting poorly all around. The Hindu online have a nice preview on this match. They note that Tendulkar has been inconsistent batting and Harbhajan Singh has not been bowling as well as expected. One of the best previews on the match comes from CricInfo. Both teams are coming off of solid victories. Mumbai Indians just defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore 157/2 to 141/7. With only two wickets they had only 4 batsmen for all 20 overs. Duminy and Rahane each recorded half-centuries and their bowlers were just economical enough. Kings XI Punjabi are coming off a nail-biter victory over Deccan Chargers, 169/7 to 168/5. They recorded the winning runs with one ball remaining. They received strong contributions up and down their order with 5 batsmen having a strike rate over 100. The strike rate is simply runs divided by balls multiplied by 100. The Indians have solid bowling, and it will be strengthened further if Zaheer Khan can pass his late fitness test. Kings XI Punjabi have more batting strength along their order but do not have stars like Dunimy or Tendulkar. Since Kings XI have so many potentially strong batsmen the Mumbai bowlers will need to be economical, i.e. avoid giving up fours and sixes. With Mumbai relying on three or four batsmen for their run production Kings XI will want to put a premium on strike bowling. Kings XI Punjabi are slightly favored, but I like Mumbai to limit their run production and am counting on Tendulkar and Rahane to have a high strike rate.

2) Burnley travel to Madejski Stadium to take on Reading for the 2nd leg of their English Championship League promotion semi-final. Burnley lead 1-0 in aggregate after scoring a late penalty kick in the 1st leg. The first leg displayed little of the free flowing, attacking, style of football these clubs are known for. Andre Bikey was sent off for Reading in injury time and will be serving a four-match suspension for his behavior afterwards. Kevin Doyle received a knock for Reading, and he is still a major injury doubt for today's match. The Royals are facing a number of other injury concerns as well, with Chris Armstrong, Graeme Murty, and Ivar Ingimarsson still out. James Harper and Leroy Lita trained but are not yet fit, though the Reading Chronicle see Lita and David Mooney fighting for a spot as substitutes which could help Reading's attack late in the match. Chris Eagles suffered a knock for Burnley in the first leg, but Owen Coyle is confident he will figure in the second. Burnley will be at full strength then, and Reading will have major injury concerns, but Reading, having played in the Premier League the past two seasons, have had the money to build a large squad with quality reserves. SkySport carry a preview on the match and they favor Burnley to advance, if not win the leg outright. Bettingzone agree, giving Burnley a fantastic chance of winning, considering the odds on them. Many books have Reading as 10/11 favorites, which comes out to about 50%, and Burnley at 7/2 with the draw at 9/4, or about 21.3% and 28.7%, respectively. Those odds must be based off of each sides form over the season, where Reading scored 40 goals at home and conceded only 17. Reading have not won at home in their past 8 matches there, however, and Burnley have been strong down the stretch. In all honesty Burnley should be able to secure the draw, but I am putting faith in Reading regaining their form in a must win match against a strong opponent.

5) The Pittsburgh Pirates try to stem a flood of losses after they lost their 8th straight to the New York Mets 8-4. In that losing streak are two losses at St. Louis, with one loss coming to Wellemeyer and the other loss coming with Zach Duke pitching. That does not bode well for the Pirates as Wellemeyer and Duke face off for the second time this season. In the first matchup Duke got the better of the two, throwing for 61/3 innings and allowing 3 runs, 1 of them earned, off of 5 hits. Wellemeyer gave up 12 hits resulting in 5 earned runs in 5 innings pitched, and the Pirates won the game 7-4. Wellemeyer has had a few other similar performances this season, but he has been solid in his previous two starts. He pitched against Pittsburgh on the 7th for 7 innings, giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits in a 5-2 victory for St. Louis. Duke's last start was a loss against the Cardinals, where he gave up 6 hits and 4 earned runs in 51/3 innings. Both teams have been batting a bit below average in their last three games. The Cardinals have a .243 batting average and .411 slugging average while the Pirates are batting .248 and slugging .366 in that time so there's no saying either team is due to have a poor or grand performance at the plate. I think Zach Duke is not likely to have two consecutive poor outings, and Wellemeyer is likely to have a bad start after two solid outings. If that happens the Pirates will need their bullpen to get back to their opening form for the season where they had people talking about how much they'd improved. After 8 straight losses the Pirates are due for a win, and Duke is the pitcher to deliver it to them. With the batting favoring the Cardinals it should be a close one either way.

6) Clayton Kershaw gets the start for the Dodgers tonight against Chan Ho Park for the Phillies. Kershaw does not have the best numbers for this season, with a 4.91 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in his first 6 starts. He had two games in which he was absolutely rocked, pitching for 9 innings with a 15.00 ERA and 2.44 WHIP against the Astros and the Rockies. In the other 24 innings he's pitched he has a 1.13 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, Cy Young numbers. He is young, so he could come out tonight against the strong bats of the Phillies and give up another 5 or 6 runs before the game is half over, but I think he will continue to be the ace he's developing into. Chan Ho Park is in his 16th season in the Majors and has had an inauspicious start to this one. He's given up 20 earned runs in 5 starts though the offense has bailed him out more than once in getting back the runs he's given up. Park is coming off his first truly solid start of the season, where he pitched for 6 scoreless innings, giving up a single hit against the New York Mets. The Phillies have had a difficult time at the plate in their past three games with a .194 batting average, though guys like Werth, Rollins, and Utley have not left them hanging when it comes to long balls. The Dodgers have been OK at the plate with a .277 batting average in their past 3 games, but have found the fences a bit further than they remember since Manny Ramirez was suspended. I'm thinking Park will have a fairly good game, but still give up 4 or 5 runs before being relieved, and the Phillies will not be able to come back in this one against a very good Dodgers bullpen.

9) Below are a couple of line graphs that compare the proportion of games Carlos Lee and Todd Helton have had with 1, 2, 3, etc. runs, hits, and RBIs. The top graph shows their numbers from the 2008 season and this season together. The bottom graph shows this season's numbers alone. One thing that is apparent is that Carlos Lee rarely had a game without a hit, run, or RBI in 2008, but has been going without more often this season. One can also see that Todd Helton has fewer big games, with 4 or 5 runs, hits, and RBIs with more games at 2 or 3. Overall this season Helton has gotten 3 or more runs, hits, and RBIs in 41.1% of his games. Carlos Lee has gotten 3 or more in 47.3% of his games. That would favor Carlos Lee in this matchup, but the pitching here favors Todd Helton a great deal. Based on their numbers from the past two seasons Paulino could be expected to give up 2 more runs in 6 innings than Jiminez. The Rockies' batting numbers are stronger overall and they have scored more runs per game, with 4.9 compared to 4.2 runs for the Astros. Finally, the Rockies' relievers have put up better numbers and I think could be fairly expected to give up fewer hits, runs, and RBIs than their counterparts from the Astros. Although Lee has been more likely to rack up the numbers I think Helton will be more likely to in this game.
10) The Cincinnati Reds started the season out slowly at the plate but have really found their groove since then. They have recorded 9 hits or more in their past 6 games and it's clear from the timeline below they have been averaging more and more hits as the season has gone on. Obviously that trend cannot continue and I think their 3 game average is about to drop from around 10 hits per game. As for Dan Haren, he has been having a good season, averaging 7.3 strikeouts per game. In 2008 and 2009 he had 19 of 40 gamse with 7 or more strikeouts. That's very close to half of his starts and I think he'll get at least 7 strikeouts in this game. The question is whether the Reds will have 7 or fewer hits. It would be on the low end of total hits for the Reds, but I figure they are seriously due for a poor game. Honestly, however, if you want to hedge your bets the Reds total hits is the better pick.
14) The Los Angeles Lakers got embarrassed by the Houston Rockets in Game 4. Without Yao Ming most people figured the Lakers would just be too much for the Rockets, who won Game 1 of the series in L.A. mostly due to the 7'6" center's efforts. It was exactly the opposite as the Rockets went up big early and never looked back. The Lakers had almost no intensity on the defensive end and the Rockets took advantage of that. Even with the Lakers playing poorly on defense Luis Scola only scored 11 points. Without Yao Ming in the lineup Scola has averaged 17.5 points this season. I have to think that with Gasol and Odom in the lineup Scola will score 12 or fewer points, especially with Los Angeles sure to amp it up on defense. The Lakers have beaten Houston three times in L.A., by 12, 13, and 29 points and I think they will win by at least 12 again.


  1. Dude, yesterday basically made me want to blow my brains out...why do I get so freaking obsessed with it???

    I purposely stayed away from the Mets game knowing that was a trap, and thinking it'd be smarter to go for the 2 wins in the Pens and Nats...well, you KNOW how that turned out...ugh. I'm stuck at 24 wins for the month and it's pissing me off.

  2. I really truly hate when the teams I pick (Pens and Nats also) actually have a chance to win and either lose in the last seconds/OT (Pens) or just fuck up like the Willingham to lose. It's easier to just laugh at a bad pick when they get blown out, for sure. Good luck catching up, you need some perfecto days!