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And So It Goes....

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

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 11th, 2009 Picks

(skip recaps)First off I'd like to thank anyone who's slogged through the changes to the blog the past couple of weeks, hopefully it's still been semi-useful. Second I'd like to point out a couple of features. First, the (skip recaps) next to the post title. Clicking on that will scroll past the recaps and straight to the picks. Clicking on bold picks will scroll directly to the previews for those picks. And clicking on the #'s like 1), 2), etc. will scroll back up to the picks. Then there's the hulu widget on the side. If the overlay windows are working for box scores and the like then you'll be able to watch hulu in one of those windows as well. Third, the chart up top in the "And So It Goes..." section shows my picks' win % for the past 2 weeks. Red is under 50% and green is over, and the lines mark out 25/50/75%. I want this page to be more about being an interactive resource for people than for telling people what picks to make. If I can give you the same information I've got and make it easy to find and examine, and you come to a different conclusion than I have here that is great! And if you win on your own conclusion it's even better!

As for myself, went 2-0-0 yesterday thanks to Sri Lanka and Tampa Bay. And so on to the picks.


Sri Lanka Takes 1st Place In `Group Of Death'
Sri Lanka 197/5 - West Indies 172/5
West Indies made a bit of a run early, but Muralitharan, Mendis, and Malinga put a stop to that.
``Ramnaresh Sarwan lofted Ajantha Mendis towards the long-on boundary where Angelo Mathews tried to get into position to take the catch. As the ball began its descent, Mathews braced himself right on the boundary's edge and caught the ball. He realised, however, that his momentum, and that of the ball, was going to take him over the rope and so he threw the ball in the air and then fell over outside the boundary. Looking up, he saw that the ball would land outside the boundary, resulting in a six, and so picked himself up, jumped desperately and was in the air as he slapped the ball over the rope and back into play. The jury was out on whether it should have been a six, but the West Indian batsmen only got the three runs they had run."
Read more....Jayasuriya Is BackBox Score

Lackey Lacking In Loss To Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Rays 9 - 5 Los Angeles Angels
The runs came in bunches with the vine a bit longer for the Rays.
``The Tampa Bay Rays were hardly concerned about their poor history against John Lackey. ``That was another time," manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday night after Carlos Pena and Willy Aybar homered to help the defending AL champions beat Lackey and the Los Angeles Angels 9-5. ``That was against the Devil Rays." Aybar also had an RBI single during a five-run second during which the Rays began the inning with four straight hits, three of them well-placed grounders that got through the right side of the infield."
Read more....Box Score

1) Phil Mickelson vs. Padraig Harrington - Mickelson cards a lower back 9 score
2) St. Louis Cardinals @ Florida Marlins - Florida
3) Grosseto @ Livorno - Livorno win
4) Sergio Garcia vs. Retief Goosen - Garcia cards a lower first round score
5) Detroit Tigers @ Chicago White Sox - Detroit
6) Cincinnati Reds @ Washington Nationals - Washington
7) Los Angeles Angels @ Tampa Bay Rays - Tampa Bay
8) New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox - Boston
9) Nationality Of 100m Hurdles Winner: Canada vs. U.S.A. or Jamaica - Canada
10) Toronto Blue Jays @ Texas Rangers - Texas
11) Usain Bolt's 100m Time: 9.76s or faster vs. 9.77s or slower - 9.77s or slower
12) Los Angeles Lakers @ Orlando Magic - Orlando
13) Which Quarter Will See More Points Scored: 3rd vs. 4th - 3rd quarter

1) Padraig Harrington has not had a terrifically successful year thus far on the Tour. He has entered 11 events, missing the cut in 4 of them, has not finished in the top 10 to date and has come away with a `meager' $400,000. On the other side of this matchup is Phil Mickelson who has been one of the best of the best, with two wins in 10 events and three other top 10 finishes he has earned over $3 million on the Tour this year. Comparing their stats one can see Mickelson has a lower scoring average, putting average, and higher birdie average by fairly significant margins, which is no surprise.

Phil Mickelson's concern will be for his wife, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Mickelson, who has taken a few weeks off from the Tour recently while he and his wife waited for a full diagnosis of her breast cancer, will be playing golf for the next two weeks until she is ready to begin treatment. Some might think this would be a distraction for Mickelson and they would be right, but I think golf will provide more of a refuge from his worrisome thoughts than most people might think.“I’m looking forward to that. Forward to having a four- or five-hour mental break where I force myself to focus on something else." said Mickelson at a pre-tournament press conference yesterday. Neither player has much experience in Tour events at TPC Southwind, though Harrington has the more recent experience having played this event in 2008 and 2007. He finished 4th last year, but missed the cut in 2007 while Mickelson last played here in 2001, missing the cut in that event. As for their back 9 scores, Harrington carded scores of 36, 36, 32, and 34 last year on the par-35 back half. He carded a 38 and 36 in 2007. Mickelson carded scores of 37 and 35 in 2001. Given the success Mickelson has had this year he is an obvious favorite to perform better in this tournament than the Dubliner and I am going to say that golf will provide him the escape from his worries he has probably needed for a long while.

2) The Fish and the Redbirds wrap up a three game series today at Landshark Stadium after having split the first two in opposite fashions. Jeremy Hermida hit a walk off home run to lead off the 9th inning in the first game while St. Louis dominated the second game, scoring 13 runs from 18 hits. With that performance the Cardinals have raised their three game batting average to .297 along with a .450 slugging average. Florida has been nearly as good in their last three with a .278 batting and .423 slugging average. Based on their performance over the season one would expect the Cardinals to be the stronger offensive team, but interestingly the Marlins score runs on fewer total bases, and score only 0.7% fewer of their men on base. That indicates the Marlins tending to get hits in clusters more often and having stronger base running than the Cardinals.

The Marlins rarely take a series against St. Louis. Will today be any different?

Jorge Cantu has been a large part of Florida's success recently, and on the season, along with Hanley Ramirez. Unfortunately for the Marlins both will be missing out in this game. That means players like rookie Chris Coghlan, Jeremy Hermida, and Dan Uggla will have to step up their games, which has not been easy for them all season. Florida will also be depending on Andrew Miller to turn in another quality start, and preferably a gem. He's coming off a 4 hit, 1 earned run start against the Giants over 52/3 innings and the Marlins would be happy to see another one like that. Miller has given up only 1 home run this season and has done a great job inducing ground outs with a 1.03 ground ball to fly ball ratio. Even though the Cardinals just had their highest scoring game of the season yesterday Miller seems like a good pitcher to put them back to their low scoring ways.

St. Louis will have Todd Wellemeyer on the mound, who has a 5.32 ERA and 1.56 WHIP this season. Unlike Miller he's not done well lately, giving up 9 earned runs in his past two starts, including 6 runs in 6 innings to the Colorado Rockies most rcently. He's more likely to give up extra base hits than Miller, but has been successful against Florida in the past allowing their lineup, including Ramirez and Cantu, to net a .302 slugging average over 43 at bats. He should do even better with those two out of the lineup today. With the Cardinals having a superior bullpen they should reamin in the game, even if they're down by a run or two. I do think Miller will perform well for the Marlins, but without Ramirez and Cantu it's hard to see them generating enough offense to win this convincingly. I'll go with Florida at home to win by 1 run.

3) Well, I really did not have enough time to look deeply into this and a cursory glance at each team's home page shows a general lack of in-depth analysis for the match readily available. You can check out Livorno's homepage as well as that of Grosseto U.S. A look at the Serie B tables shows Livorno are 7-10-4 (W-D-L) at home this season with a +10 goal differential while Grosseto are 5-5-11 away this season with a -20 goal differential.

A.S. Livorno are in a must win situation down 2-0 in aggregate in their promotion playoff battle with Grosseto.

That would seem to imply Grosseto are heavy underdogs, but they are not. Grosseto was not in the running for the promotion playoffs midway through the season before sacking their manager and hiring a new one. He has made a difference as they have stormed back to reach 6th place. They won the first leg of the semifinal 2-0 at home and now must simply hold on to that lead in the second leg at Livorno. Because of their -20 goal differential away from home and their 2-0 lead in aggregate I can see Grosseto focusing heavily on the defensive aspects of their play. Livorno will be desperate to claw back and take their place in the promotion final. It would be incredibly disappointing for Livorno to miss out after achieving 3rd place in the tables. Unfortunately for il Biancorossi they have not won a home match outright since February 7th, a 2-1 win over Piacenza. Based on recent form Grosseto are the clearly superior side, but I think Livorno will have enough drive to at least eke out a 1 goal win in this single match.

9) The grand folks at rotoanalysts.com have put together a preview of this matchup. I like what I read so I'll repost it here:
There are 8 entrants in this event, two of which are Canadian and 6 total from the other two countries. The Jamaicans are pretty much non-factors as their personal bests are all about a quarter of a second slower than anyone else. Americans hold the best two times in the field at 12.44 and 12.45, but the best Canadian is right behind at 12.49. Americans Damu Cherry and Virginia Powell set their marks a couple of years ago and Cherry finished just behind ace Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schliep at the Olympics. Lopes-Schliep is also on the improve as she set her mark earlier this year. I think Canada is the right play.

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