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And So It Goes....

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

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2nd, 2009 Picks

2-1-0 day, which is pretty disappointing, considering the many fine picks available. My first pick was Sean O’Hair to card a lower front 9 score. I was asleep for this one, which is really for the best on these golf props. Exploring a suddenly labyrinthine childhood home is a helluva lot more fun than hoping Golfer X misses his 20 foot birdie putt. Sabbatini had a terrible start to his round hitting a double bogey on the 1st hole and following it with a bogey on the 2nd. He gained two strokes when O’Hair bogeyed the 4th and Sabbatini birdied. Things got even more interesting on the par 5 7th when O’Hair birdied but Sabbatini made a tough shot for eagle to even things up. Fortunately, it was Sabbatini who melted down, missing par putts on the final two holes. O’Hair won the prop 36 strokes to 38.

My second pick was Tiger Woods to card the lower second round score. Yes, I’m kicking myself somewhat for not going with the ‘gimmie’ of the day, but not too badly since Graham Taylor pitched a terrific game and Harden was pretty mundane. Woods came out swinging, and how! He came out swinging as if he’d just gotten off one of those tire swings where you twist the rope and let it spin round and round. He repeated his first round performance by missing most every fairway and his mid-range game was quite a bit worse as he birdied only three holes and those were canceled out with three bogeys. Furyk played a fantastic round, eagling the short par 4 14th with a nice chip shot. He also birdied 6 other holes and would have been in the lead if not for two other bogeys. To add salt to the wound David Toms managed to stay at 1 under par, also beating Woods’ score. Furyk hit a 66, six strokes better than Tiger.

My final pick of the day was the Chicago White Sox, behind the pitching of Mark Buehrle. Buehrle was pretty damn good, but a solo home run against the first batter he faced, Ian Kinsler, and two more runs in the 3rd inning put the Sox down 3-0 early. He finished well, allowing only 7 hits in 6 innings and recording an infinite SO:BB ratio with 2 strikeouts and 0 walks. Graham Taylor also did a terrific job, limiting the White Sox to one hit in the first 5 innings, and forcing ground outs on 7 of his first 9 outs. Taylor started out the 6th inning well, striking out Ramirez and forcing Podsednik to ground out. It got bad after that as Getz and Fields singled, then advanced on a wild pitch before he walked Carlos Quentin to load the bases. Derek Holland came in to relieve him but gave up a grand double to Jim Thome, driving home all three runs and tying the game at 3-3. In the 7th inning Holland gave up a single to Podsednik and a triple to Getz which gave the White Sox the 4-3 lead. Dotel and Linebrink held on for the Sox in the 7th and 8th innings and Bobby Jenks completed the save. So onward, upward, and whirling to the next picks.

1) Roger Federer vs. Novak Djokovic – Djokovic
2) Blackburn Rovers @ Manchester City – Manchester City win
3) Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals – Pittsburgh
4) Phil Mickelson vs. Tiger Woods – Mickelson cards a lower 3rd round score
5) Camilo Villegas vs. Jim Furyk – Furyk cards a lower 3rd round score
6) New York Mets @ Philadelphis Phillies – New York
7) Dunkirk vs. Friesan Fire – Friesan Fire has a better finish
8) ‘I Want Revenge’ Final Position: 1st, 2nd, or 3rd vs. 4th or worse – 1st, 2nd, or 3rd
9) Arizona Diamondbacks @ Milwaukee Brewers – Arizona
10) Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays – Tampa Bay
11) Jeff Gordon vs. Jimmie Johnson – Gordon
12) Derrick Rose vs. Rajon Rondo – Rondo pts.
13) Chicago Blackhawks @ Vancouver Canucks – Vancouver
14) Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners – Seattle
15) Manny Pacquiao vs. Rick Hatton – Pacquiao wins by KO, TKO, or DQ

1) Roger Federer is ranked #2 in the world and Novak Djokovic is ranked #3 at the moment. Novak Djokovic defeated Federer in their latest matchup 3-6 6-2 6-3 on hard court at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami. You can look up each players year-to-date statistics and their head-to-head results on atptour.com. For your convenience here’s a link to Roger Federer’s profile and a link to Novak Djokovic’s profile. Djokovic is favored to win the match with 8:11 odds on him while Federer is at 11:10.

2) Manchester City have been playing very well lately, their latest result a 2-1 win away at Everton. Even more uplifting is the fact that Shaun Wright-Phillips and Craig Bellamy missed and Manchester City were still able to be aggressive and fairly dominate the match. Blackburn Rovers have also played well recently, with a 2-1 home win over Wigan Athletic most recently. Their away form has not been on the same level with a 0-1 loss at Stoke City and successive 0-4 losses to Liverpool and Arsenal most recently. Blackburn will be missing a number of players, most notably Jason Roberts and a number of other forwards, forcing defender Christopher Samba to play at that position. Manchester City are 11-0-6 (W-D-L) at home with a +19 goal differential while Blackburn Rovers are 4-4-9 away with a -15 differential. Check out RJtheGator’s blog for another perspective. Manchester City are truly better than their record shows and I think they have too much talent to miss out on three points at home against the Rovers.

3) The Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Washington D.C. to face the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their second round series. The Capitals were 3-0-1 against the Penguins during the regular season, scoring 4.50 goals per game against Marc-Andre Fleury. The Capitals are starting Simeon Varlamov for this series who has performed remarkably well, allowing 1.40 goals in 6 games against the Rangers along with a .952 SV%. The Penguins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in 6 games in their first round series, allowing 2.67 goals per game. Fleury recorded a .918 SV% on 194 shots against him. The Penguins scored an average of 3 goals in ithose 6 games and went 2-1-0 on the road in the series. Washington averaged 2.71 goals in their 7 game series and went 2-2-0 at home. If Simeon Varlamov can keep up the good work and Washington can limit Pittsburgh’s offense they should win this game, but I think Varlamov will be around .910 in saves and Pittsburgh wins in overtime.

5) This is the fourth time Jim Furyk has made the cut at Quail Hollow and the third time for Camilo Villegas. Click on the names for Jim Furyk’s and Camilo Villegas’ 2009 stats. Furyk has been more accurate off of the tee and has a slightly better scoring average than Villegas, but they are very well-matched statistically. In the 6 rounds Furyk has played after the cut at Quail Hollow he has carded scores of 71, 72, 68, 71, 69, and 66. In Villegas’ 4 post-cut rounds he has carded scores of 77, 75, 72, 72. You can also check out this hole-by-hole tour of Quail Hollow to see how difficult the course, and the greens especially, can be. I see Villegas as the more likely golfer to be overwhelmed and play a poor round.

6) In the past three years Jamie Moyer is 3-3 in 11 starts against the Mets and Oliver Perez is 1-3 in 9 starts against the Phillies. Perez has had a very poor start to his season with a 9.31 ERA and 1.97 WHIP and I expect him to get back on track in this game. The Mets have been batting .280 and slugging .480 in their last three games and I think they’ll begin to see more reward for their hitting than they have so far. If Perez does not have a good game the Phillies' bats are quite capable of outpacing the Mets'.

9) Dan Haren is starting for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and there is no other pitcher they’d rather have on the mound against a surging Brewers team. In his first 4 starts he’s recorded a 1.54 ERA and a WHIP of 0.74. Last season he had an incredible 5:1 SO:BB ratio and this year it’s even better at nearly 7:1. Braden Looper is starting for Milwaukee and he has been a strong point of their rotation this year. Last season he recorded an ERA of 4.16 and a WHIP of 1.31. Both pitchers have not quite mastered their control to keep their pitches in the lower half of the strike zone as each have gotten more fly outs than ground outs each season of their careers. Both teams are batting well, but not spectacular, with Milwaukee at .240 and Arizona at .234. Neither team’s bullpen is significantly better than the others, so whoever manages to score off of these starting pitchers will have a major advantage.

12) The Bulls’ role players, such as Kirk Hinrich, Brad Miller, and John Salmons, have all been stepping up big time in this series. That means the Celtics will not be able to focus on any one player. The Celtics’ best bet is to let Paul Pierce take on the task of containing Rose. Even if they choose to leave Rondo on Rose I like the Celtics’ physical defense to help in limiting his production. Rajon Rondo is so quick he should be able to get close range shots time and again. The bulk of my analysis can be found in my previous post.

15) Manny Pacquiao is 48-3-2 with 36 of those wins coming by knockout. Ricky Hatton is 45-1-0 with 32 knockouts. Even though Hatton is taller than Pacquiao by an inch Pacquiao has a longer reach, by two inches. You can check out Pacquiao’s stats and Hatton’s stats by clicking on their names. Vegas has Pacquiao as a large favorite at 10/27 and Hatton at 21/10.

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