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And So It Goes....

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

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16th, 2009 Picks

3-1-0 today after a rocky start with Hoffman. I woke up to discover he’d hit his first tee shot out into the few trees that are on the course, then overhit the green, then underhit his chip shot, and finally ended up with a 6 stroke bogey. Ogilvie hit par, and they continued to hit par through to the 8th hole where they both hit birdie. Another par was on the menu for each on the 9th hole and Ogilvie won the prop by 1 stroke, 34 to 35.

My second pick was 57 points or fewer in the Rugby League match between the Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos. There was a flurry of scoring to start the match, 22 points in the first 15 minutes, which put them on pace to score 117, but the defenses hardened up. By the end of the match there were 46 points with Leeds winning 24 to 22 on a last moment drop kick.

My third pick was the Colorado Rockies. It was a clear pitchers duel for a while before De La Rosa gave up a single, a stolen base, and an RBI single all with two outs, to put Colorado down 1-0. Colorado missed on a great scoring opportunity with men on 1st and 3rd and no outs when Tulowitzki flied out and Smith was caught running before the catch for the double play. Capps came in for the save in the 9th inning and immediately gave up a ground rule double and a 2 run homer to Hawpe. He gave up an RBI single to Multon to put Colorado up 3-1. Street came in for the Rockies and proceeded to strike out three batters to get the save. Maholm got a no decision and Capps got the loss.

My fourth pick was the Seattle Mariners to get more hits off of Lester than strikeouts Lester would record. Through the first 4 innings the Mariners had 3 hits and were struck out 3 times. Lester took the lead briefly and was up 5 to 4 going into the 6th inning. There he gave up two singles, followed by a 2 RBI single and a 2 run homer to put himself down 8 to 5 in the prop and the Red Sox down 5 to 4 and that was it for Lester. So on to the picks.

1) Jonathan Kaye vs. Charlie Wi – Wi cards a lower front 9 score
2) Fulham @ Newcastle United – Fulham win or draw
3) Houston Astros @ Chicago Cubs – Chicago
4) Paul Goydos vs. Justin Leonard – Goydos cards a lower 3rd round score
5) Los Angeles Angels @ Texas Rangers – Texas
6) Los Angeles Dodgers @ Florida Marlins – Florida
7) Preakness Stakes: Rachel Alexandra finishes 1st or 2nd vs. 3rd or worse – 1st or 2nd
8) Philadelphia Phillies @ Washington Nationals – Washington
9) Colorado Rockies @ Pittsburgh Pirates - Pittsburgh
10) Oakland Athletics @ Detroit Tigers - Detroit
11) Colorado @ New England – New England win
12) Cincinnati Reds vs. Boston Red Sox – Cincinnati wins by more runs

1) Charlie Wi is on pace to have his most successful year on the Tour since he debuted in 2002 with three top 10 finishes in his first 11 events netting him over $900,000. Jonathan Kaye debuted on the Tour in 1995 and saw marginal success but saw gradual improvement. In 2003 he had his greatest year, earning just over $2.4 million from 27 events. Since then he has gradually declined, and has just one top 25 finish from 8 events earning him $107,000. You can view Charlie Wi's stats on pgatour.com and compare them to Jonathan Kaye's stats. Wi has superior numbers in categories such as driving accuracy, putting average, scoring average, and birdie average. Jonathan Kaye has played 12 rounds at the Resort Course for this event since 2001, this year, in 2005, 2002, and 2001. He missed the cut once, and in those 12 rounds he has a median front 9 score of even par and his most common score has been even par, carding 35 in 5 of the 12 rounds. He has carded scores under par on the front 9 only twice in those 12 rounds, including his -1 yesterday. Charlie Wi is playing in this event for the fourth time in his career. He has played 12 rounds, missing the cut once, and has a median front 9 score of -1 and his most common score is also -1, carding a 34 in 4 of his 12 rounds. He has been under par 7 times and over par 3 times. Jonathan Kaye's front 9 scores have ranged from 34 to 37, while Charlie Wi has carded anywhere from 31 to 38. Assuming Kaye could score anywhere from -3 to +3 and Wi could score anywhere from -4 to +4 with their median and most common scores being most likely I have Wi as a heavy favorite at 51% to win and Kaye at 33% to win. I do not favor Kaye to handle the increased difficulty of the course well, and do not think Wi will double bogey a par 3 this round by hitting into a ravine.

2) Fulham F.C. visit St. James' Park to take on Newcastle United. The Magpies are fighting to stay clear of relegation, Fulham are attempting to secure a place in next year's Europa League with 7th place and the football world is holding their breath with anticipation for this match. Both sides are coming off of crucial home victories with Newcastle winning at St. James' for the first time since Christmas, 3-1 over Middlesbrough. Fulham defeated Aston Villa 3-1 at Craven Cottage. Both sides have some injury concerns. Newcastle United will be without the services of defender Jose Enrique, and Joey Barton remains suspended while Fulham will be missing Simon Davies. All of these players missed their clubs previous victories, so success can be found without them. Another review by Fulham supporters notes Giles Barnes is definitely out for this match, though he has not figured for Fulham since January. Fulham will also be returning Andrew Johnson and Bobby Zamora, though their replacements, Diomansy Kamara (2 goals against Aston Villa) and Erik Nevland (1 goal at Chelsea) have been playing well enough to warrant a place in the starting XI. Setanta Sports note that Fulham have conceded fewer goals than any side in the Premiership excepting Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester United. SkySports carries a rather pessimistic preview for Newcastle United noting there is no rivalry aspect as with Middlesbrough. A review by some Toons notes Newcastle has won two matches consecutively only once this season. FootyMAD carry detailed head to head results. Of note, Fulham have won 5 of the last 8 meetings with Newcastle United. Finally BBC Sports has a terrific review with plethora of statistics including best and worst performances by each side and detailed club statistics. Essentially, and not surprisingly, Fulham are the better side statistically as might be expected of a team knocking on Europe's door instead of attempting to escape relegation. Newcastle United may be motivated by their first home win of the calendar year, but Fulham have been in good form as well and return two of their top players for this match. I think Fulham's discipline and tactical play will see them through to a win, 1-0.

3) After their game yesterday was rained out the Chicago Cubs have decided to give young Randy Wells the start today instead. The Houston Astros have opted to hold off on Moehler pitching and will be going with perennial Cy Young candidate Roy Oswalt. Oswalt has had a decent start to the season for the average pitcher, but a 4.50 ERA and 1.34 WHIP are definitely sub-par numbers for him. He has had two very nice starts, both against the Reds this season, but otherwise has given up 3 runs or more in every start. He pitched against Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs in his first start and did decently, giving up 3 earned runs in and 7 hits in 7 innings in a losing effort. His past two starts have not gone as well as that even, against Washington and San Diego. In those starts he has pitched for 11 innings and given up only 10 hits, but those hits have led to 9 earned runs being scored with three being home runs. That is not good news for Oswalt as he faces the Cubs for the second time this season, this time at Wrigley Park. Chicago has been batting .302 and slugging .635 in their last three games, thanks to 6 home runs and countless doubles in their series against the Padres. It would be easier to expect Oswalt to have a good outing against the Cubs who are sure to quiet down at the plate, except he has more mediocre and poor outings than good ones this season. The Houston Astros also have the hot bats lately, batting .352 and slugging .443 in their last 3 games. In one of those games they had 24 hits, but nearly all singles. They are sure to quiet down a bit at the plate as well, but one has to give them a good shot at staying hot against Randy Wells. Wells has 5 major league innings under his belt this season, giving up 5 hits and zero earned runs. He was pretty good for AAA Iowa also, pitching 26 innings and recording a 2.77 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. I think for the Astros to have a chance they need Oswalt to limit the Cubs to 2 or 3 runs, though even that may not be enough if Wells excels on the mound also. I think Chicago will have an advantage at Wrigley Field and will be able to make up a 2 run deficit if they have to. Still, if Wells gets shelled the Astros will be in a very good position to win.

6) The Florida Marlins seek to stop a 5 game slide that has seen them go ahead only to end up losing in game after game. The Los Angeles Dodgers won't give them an easy time of it. After starting out rough with the loss of Manny Ramirez they appear to have found their groove, winning three straight and scoring 20 runs in those wins. They've batted .342 and have a .570 slugging average in those wins, so it's clear they have their confidence back. One might expect the Dodgers to slump a bit at the plate some time soon, but they will be facing Andrew Miller. Miller is coming off a rehab stint with AA Jacksonville where he performed very well. Facing the Dodgers may be giving him nightmares, however. In two games last season against the Dodgers he gave up 6 runs in 3 innings and 7 runs in 12/3 innings in another. I do think he'll do better in this game, but he has next to zero chance of shutting out L.A. completely. For the Dodgers Eric Milton will be pitching for the first time this season after a successful 7 game stint with AAA Albuquerque. He will face a weak Marlins offense that has been actually doing fairly well lately. In their last 3 games they're batting .235 and slugging .431, which is not very good but a bit above average for the Marlins this season. I think this will be a fairly high scoring game, and I like Miller to pitch better as he has more experience this season, whereas Milton has pitched some this year in AAA, and before that 6 games in the Majors in 2007 along with some more minor league ball. The Marlins will need to have a breakout performance to win this game, so a safer bet is probably on the Dodgers. I just have a feeling the Marlins will pull off a victory at home for once.

8) The Philadelphia Phillies attempt their most recent three game sweep of the Washington Nationals in the second game of a double header. They just won the first game 8 to 5 behind strong hitting from the top two-thirds of their order. For the second game they will call upon the services of Andrew Carpenter, who has been putting in fairly ho-hum performances for AAA Lehigh Valley with a 4.76 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 6 starts for them. He's also given up 6 home runs in that time. Happ was scheduled to pitch for this game, but a 12 inning duel forced him to pitch and left him unavailable for this game. The Washington Nationals will give the start to Daniel Cabrera who has been downright atrocious lately. In his last start for the Nationals he walked the bases loaded before proceeding to walk in two more runs for the 7th and 8th runs scored. He was pulled after that and Washington was unable to pull themselves out of the hole. For this game I think Cabrera would be extremely lucky to make it through 5 innings as I see him being pulled early on and replaced with another starter if need be. The Phillies, on the other hand, may want to display some confidence in their young pitcher and could very well leave him in even after 5 or 6 runs have been scored. The Nationals' batting is not a joke, especially with Carpenter on the mound, and for this game it will only be a question of whether their pitching can keep them in the game. I think Cabrera may turn things around, after all he did have a decent start against Philadelphia early in the season.

9) The Colorado Rockies are hoping to steal another game from the Pirates at PNC Park today with Aaron Cook on the mound. Cook has had a rocky start to the season, but has settled down in his past 3 starts on his way to a 5.03 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. Those three games were against San Diego and Florida, so perhaps it was not a true test of his skill, but he should be able to handle the Pirates similarly giving up no more than 3 or 4 runs in 6 innings. Pittsburgh has been batting well, for them, over their past 3 games, with a .291 batting average and .388 slugging average. Compare that to their season batting average of .257 and .391 slugging average. Of course, those numbers, especially the slugging, are not so great for the Pirates at PNC Park where they are 9-9 this season. I think the Pirates' batters will be hoping pitcher Ian Snell will help out in making their job easier. Snell has had an up and down season already, posting a 7 inning 4 hit shutout of the Braves early in the season, only to be followed by 5 innings against the Padres giving up 3 earned runs. He hasn't had any truly awful starts aside from his first of the season against the Cardinals, and so I expect he will do alright against the Rockies. Facing the stronger bats Snell will have to hold Colorado down to give the Pirates a chance to win this game. I think this game will be close going into the 7th inning and so either pick one makes will be as good as the other.

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