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And So It Goes....

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

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 3rd, 2009 Picks

Yarrrghghhgkslsk! Yarghklsk being a traditional Scythian pirate lament… unlike Manny Pacquiao avoided being drawn inside like 97.3% of the opponents Hatton had defeated I was drawn in to the Seattle Mariners like 97.3% of streakers who were defeated. I really thought Washburn would get a bit more support than all that. My first pick was Manchester City to win. They were aggressive right from the start and Calceido scored off of a rebound from in close at 27’. Robinho did the same at 34’ after a shot by Vincent Kompany was blocked, scoring from about 10 yards out in the center of the box. In first half injury time Blackburn Rovers were assessed a penalty for handball. Elano converted to make the score 3-0 Manchester City at the half. Blackburn Rovers started to realize they’d need a point in at least one of their final matches to avoid relegation and were extremely aggressive, but in their multitude of shots (10 in the second half) they were only able to get one goal, from Keith Andrews at 66’. The final score was Manchester City 3, Blackburn Rovers 1.

My second pick was the aforementioned Seattle Mariners. Trevor Cahill had a fairly good outing, allowing 1 earned run off of 7 hits in 6 innings pitched. His three walks to one strikeout were terrible but not costly as the Mariners struggled to string together hits. Jarrod Washburn had a great outing with 1 earned run off of 5 hits, while striking out 6 batters and walking 2. The Mariners’ bullpen could not hold on to the 2-1 lead they inherited, however, as they gave up one run each in the 8th and 9th innings. Mark Lowe gave up three hits and the tying run in the 8th and David Aardsma, normally a solid closer, walked Crosby onto base, then gave up a pop fly that allowed him to advance, and a single to Petit that drove home the go-ahead run. Michael Wuertz held on for Oakland, retiring the three batters he faced. So yarghklsk, the picks, they await.

1) Cagliari @ Palermo – Cagliari win or draw
2) Athletic Bilbao @ Sporting Gijon – Athletic Bilbao win
3) Cleveland Indians @ Detroit Tigers – Cleveland
4) Dwyane Wade vs. Joe Johnson – Wade pts.
5) Houston Astros @ Atlanta Braves – Houston
6) Tiger Woods vs. Rest Of Field – Woods wins the tournament
7) Ryan Getzlaf vs. Niklas Lidstrom – Lidstrom goals and ast.
8) Dirk Nowitzki vs. Carmelo Anthony – Anthony pts.
9) Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners – Seattle
10) Carolina Hurricanes @ Boston Bruins – Boston
11) Chicago White Sox @ Texas Rangers – Texas

1) Cagliari Calcio will be without their captain in the backfield, Diego Lopez. This could be a major detriment to their side, but they won 3-2 away at Juventus and tied 1-1 away at Internazionale Milan back in January, both games with Lopez missing. U.S. Città di Palermo will be missing defenders Moris Carrozieri and Cesare Bovo, both of whom have started in over two thirds of Palermo’s matches. Looking at goals scored, home for Palermo and away for Cagliari, I would have to give Palermo the advantage, but when it comes to goals allowed Cagliari’s chances of winning or drawing look much better. Cagliari have scored at least one goal in 75% of their games so limiting Palermo to one goal will be the task for the Isolani. Palermo is 12-0-4 (W-D-L) at home with a plus-11 goal differential in Serie A competition this year while Cagliari is 4-4-8 with a minus-4 differential in away matches.

2) No major injury concerns plague either Athletic Bilbao or Sporting Gijon for this match. Sporting Gijon are fighting to avoid relegation after being promoted from the Segunda Liga last season. Athletic Bilbao have bigger things on their mind with a Copa del Rey final against Barçelona looming in just over a weeks time. On the one hand it’s perfect motivation for Sporting Gijon to be aggressive and overpowering and for Athletic Bilbao to eventually concede the match with lacklustre play. On the other hand, Athletic Bilbao is playing in their domestic Cup final against Barçelona and Sporting Gijon are about to be relegated back to the Segunda Liga after one season in the Primera Liga. In the Copa del Rey Athletic Bilbao eliminated Sporting Gijon with a 2-1 win away at Gijon back in January. Athletic Bilbao should win this game with superior quality to their side, but Sporting Gijon will not go down without a fight. Hell, I might even take Gijon myself, as the odds are truly even for either side to win.

4) The graphical analysis can be found in an earlier post. Suffice it to say that Joe Johnson has been having some of his worst games of the year in this series and Dwyane Wade has won this prop in 5 of the 6 games and pushed in the other.

5) The Atlanta Braves have the better bats with .255 season batting average and .384 season slugging average. Compare those with the Astros’ season batting numbers, .249 and .315. In their past three games Atlanta’s and Houston’s batting numbers are nearly identical, however. Their bullpens are both prone to give up runs, with Houston’s being especially prone to home runs having given up 13 in 84 relief innings pitched. The deciding factor for me here is Wandy Rodriguez on the mound for the Astros versus Jo-Jo Reyes for the Braves. Rodriguez has a 1.69 ERA and 1.03 WHIP so far this season, and Atlanta has hit well off of him in the past so I don’t expect him to shut down the Braves by any means. Jo-Jo Reyes has a 4.26 ERA and 1.11 WHIP so far this season with the Astros also hitting well off of him. Last season Reyes’ WHIP was 1.65 so I expect him to give up a few more runs to the Astros.

8) Once again the bulk of my analysis can be found here. Essentially the Spurs gave Dirk a lot of trouble and his playoff production has dropped significantly from what he was doing just in road games during the season. The Nuggets should give him just as much trouble, though it’s worth it to note that Nowitzki’s season high came in a game at Denver. Anthony has had no problems scoring against Dallas during the regular season and his scoring has increased during the playoffs so I have to take Anthony here.

11) John Danks is starting on the mound for the White Sox tonight in his first start since being knocked around for 4 innings against the Seattle Mariners. Danks picked up his first loss, a 9-1 loss for the Sox, giving up 5 earned runs on 8 hits. Even after that performance his ERA for the season is a very respectable 2.74 and his WHIP remains at 1.09. Matt Harrison is treading the opposite path, coming off his best start of the season after a horrendous start. He picked up his first win of the season, a 6-4 win over the Orioles, last Monday. It was a good thing he had the Rangers’ bats behind him as he gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in 7 innings. He struck out 3 batters and walked only 1, making it his first game of the season striking out more batters than he’d walked. Many people consider the White Sox to have one of the better batting orders in MLB, but if the White Sox are good then the Rangers are truly fearsome. They bat .273 on the season and slug an incredible .501 over 23 games. At Rangers Ballpark they are even better, batting .307 and slugging .556. The White Sox have a more solid bullpen when it comes to ERA and home runs given up per inning pitched and they’ll need that advantage against the Rangers tonight. If Danks gets knocked around again, and Harrison continues to find his groove, the White Sox could very well find themselves on the losing end of this series. I’m more inclined to think Harrison gets abused and taken out after 5 innings while Danks dials back in for this game.
UPDATE: The White Sox are missing a number of starters, including Jermaine Dye and Pierzynski. Their lead off man will be Jayson Nix, who is not even fully healthy and has posted poor numbers in the big leagues anyways. Corky Miller is batting .267 in 15 at bats and Wilson Betemit is batting .292 in 24 at bats, and both have shown an ability to rack up the total bases. I would still take the White Sox here.

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