Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15th, 2009 Picks

(skip recaps)2-0-0 today with the 2 goals or fewer in the Sud Afrika match and the Yankees steamrolling over the Mets. It was a good day overall for my picks and with another couple like that I can start to push the red days off that two-week graph over there. I was kind of hoping Orlando would win the Championship, but I can get behind rooting for Kobe and Gasol. No reason they shouldn't win it again next year too really. And if my Utah Jazz draft another OSU big man (B.J. Mullens), well let's just say we have an overabundance of 7 footers we don't utilize already, why add another? Well, on to the picks then.


Hosts South Africa Graciously Keep Iraq From Stepping In It
South Africa 0 - 0 Iraq
Iraq had only a few real scoring opportunities and denied Bafana Bafana at every other turn.
``Hosts South Africa and Iraq shared the spoils in the opening game of the Fifa Confederations Cup in Johannesburg. The hosts missed a hatful of chances with Kagisho Dikgacoi unlucky to see a goalbound header accidently blocked on the line by team-mate Bernard Parker. Earlier South Africa's Macbeth Sibayo saw his 20-yard shot tipped round the post by Iraqi keeper Mohammed Kassid. Striker Parker saw two efforts saved by Kassid while Thembinkosi Fanteni headed Teko Modise's corner over the bar. Substitute Katlego Mashego should have done better for South Africa when finding himself one-on-one with Kassid. But as was the case for much of the game the Iraq keeper proved to be unbeatable, doing well to smother the ball at the feet of Mashego."
Read more....Box ScoreIn DepthAround The World

Yankees Chase Off Santana, Stokes, Anyone In A Mets Uniform
New York Yankees 15 - 0 New York Mets
``Today was a terrible day and that's about it. I didn't locate my fastball today the way it's supposed to be located."
--Johan Santana on today's performance
I think Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Hideki Matsui all kept their slugging averages against Johan Santana above .500 in this one.
``Johan Santana was way off track in the Subway Series. Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees hammered Santana in the worst start of his career, routing the Mets 15-0 on Sunday for the biggest interleague blowout between the Big Apple rival. They [the Yankees] needed only four innings to set a season high for runs in a game, building a 13-0 cushion for A.J. Burnett (5-3). The Yankees finished with 17 hits, three by No. 9 batter Francisco Cervelli, and pulled several stars before the seventh."
Read more....Box ScoreYankees' ViewMets' View

1) Marc Gicquel vs. Steven Darcis - Gicquel
2) Brazil vs. Egypt - No, Kaka or Robinho will not score
3) Fabrice Santoro vs. Robert Kendrick - Kendrick
4) Cal State Fullerton vs. Virginia - Cal State Fullerton
5) Italy vs. United States - Italy win
6) LSU vs. Arkansas - 11 runs or more
7) Milwaukee Brewers @ Cleveland Indians - Cleveland
8) Prince Fielder vs. Victor Martinez - Martinez records more total bases
9) Los Angeles Angels @ San Francisco Giants - Los Angeles
10) Which Team Will Record More Hits In The 6th Inning: Angels vs. Giants - Giants

1) World #40 Marc Gicquel faces off against #72 Steve Darcis in the first round of the Ordina Open today. Both players are coming off grass court tournaments over the weekend, with Gicquel losing in the first round at Halle to #32 Rainer Schuettler and Darcis losing in the quarterfinals at Queen's Bridge to #90 Juan Carlos Ferrero. Darcis advanced into the quarterfinals past Gael Monfils who withdrew from the tournament. Both Queen's Bridge and Halle were ATP 250 Series events with Darcis advancing further past lower ranked players and Gicquel bowing out to #32 Schuettler. Gicquel defeated Schuettler in straight sets at Roland Garros, however, meaning he's either seen a drop in play in the past week or that Schuettler is simply a weak clay court player.

Marc Gicquel seeks his first match victory on grass this year at Ordina. Gicquel was runner up at this event last year.

Darcis is the more successful ATP Tour player of the two as he has two ATP Tour wins at the young age of 25 while Gicquel has yet to win any ATP event at 32. Still, Gicquel is a regular on the ATP Tour while Darcis still plays a number of Challengers events. I think Gicquel's overall experience will serve him well in this match as will his experience of reaching the finals at Ordina last year before losing to current #4 David Ferrer in straight sets.

Over Darcis' short career he is 2-0 against Gicquel, with clay court wins coming in the Netherlands in 2007 and 2008. Darcis has won 4 out of 5 sets played against Gicquel, though he has won only 29 of 53 games played. So far this year statistically they are nearly identical in terms of 1st serve percentage, service points won, and so on. Oddsmakers have the odds on the two dead even at -120 each.

Brazil are peaking at the right time and are ready to defend their Confederation Cup crown.

Egypt hope to regain some of the form that saw them become African champions in 2007.
2) Brazil are all set to defend their Confederation Cup title from 2005 with Egypt simply looking to avoid the `whipping boy' status imparted on New Zealand by Spain yesterday. Egypt won the 2007 African Cup to qualify for this tournament but are currently sitting in last place in their World Cup qualifying group, though they are only through 1/3 of their matches. There are previews from a number of sources all over the internet, click here for a sampling of the best.

"We're expecting a very hard match, a lot harder than a lot of people are expecting back in Brazil. Most of the Egyptian players aren't that well known around the world, but one thing's for sure; you don't win two consecutive continental championships just by chance. You need a lot of quality to do that." ---Brazil coach Dunga
"Egypt cannot afford to fear Brazil in our opener because if we enter the first match with such a feeling, we will show the same fear against the other teams." ---Egypt coach Hassan Shehata

Sportsbook SkyBet has Brazil as heavy favorites with over 2.5 goals scored favored at -150 and under 2.5 goals at +110. They also have markets on who will score in the game. Fabiano is most favored at -110 with Robinho next at +100 and followed by Kaka and Pato at +135 each. Looking at the tables below Brazil has been in excellent form, scoring 12 goals in their past 5 matches. Kaka has scored one of those goals, a penalty kick against Uruguay and Robinho has two goals, one in the friendly against Italy and another in their most recent match against Paraguay. It should be noted that Fabiano was suspended for the match against Paraguay and played limited minutes against Italy, however. As for Egypt, the Pharaoahs have been in relatively poor form, conceding 6 goals in their last 5 international matches, all against moderately weak African sides. I think the Seleção will play at just under 100% and Egypt may surprise them with their defense. Brazil should score at least 2 goals, but I would be surprised if they put on 5 goals like Spain did against the All Whites. Considering Kaka has not scored in 5 matches except on penalty kicks I think he is less likely to be the receiver in an attack. Fabiano is the main focus of the offensew with Robinho the secondary threat. Kaka will play on the wings and take fewer shots than either of the two. I think Egypt will be the more motivated club, with something to prove, and favor Kaka and Robinho to be out of the scoring in this match.

Recent Form/Results
6/11#13 Paraguay (2:1)6/7#66 Algeria (1:3)
6/6#17 Uruguay (0:4)5/30#80 Oman (0:1)
4/2#88 Peru (3:0)3/29#92 Zambia (1:1)
3/29#39 Ecuador (1:1)2/11#35 Ghana (2:2)
2/10#4 Italy (2:0)1/23#84 Kenya (1:0)
All matches took place in 2009; Scores given in (home:away) format.

The U.S. will field a strong squad against Italy but still have to prove they can win away from North America.

Italy will be without experienced center back Cavanno but are still one of the elite teams to beat.
5) Both Italy and the United States come into this Confederation Cup tournament in good position for World Cup qualification. The Yanks currently sit in 2nd place, two points behind Costa Rica. They must finish strong to remain in 3rd place or better and a strong showing away from the friendly fields of the U.S.A. would be a good start to that. Italy lie in the first position of their World Cup qualifying group but as the defending World Cup champions their place is already confirmed. Still, they have struggled some of late and would like to show they remain one of the best in the world. Of course, according to their coach that only applies to a certain point:

``This first game with the United States is obviously the most important for us. They are a quality opponent, eager, and a strong team that are difficult to break down. We need to keep totally focused on this first game because it will set the rhythm for us. It could make or break us." ---Italy coach Marcello Lippi

There are a number of previews from sources such as the BBC and goal.com with most predicting a win for Italy, but not without a major fight from the Americans. Click here to peruse them at your leisure.

From what I can gather it sounds as if the United States will be taking the opportunity to try out some new formations and tactics while Italy will simply be looking to find that dominating groove. From the table below it appears as if Italy is a bit out of sorts and the United States should have a very good chance at securing a draw here. It is only their poor road form which has me favoring Italy strongly to come out the victors in this match.

Recent Form/Results
#4 Italy#14 U.S.A.
6/10#82 New Zealand (4:3)6/7#35 Honduras (2:1)
6/6#27 N. Ireland (3:0)6/4#41 Costa Rica (3:1)
4/1#34 Ireland (1:1)4/2#75 Trinidad & Tobago (3:0)
3/28#112 Montenegro (0:2)3/29#106 El Salvador (2:2)
2/10#5 Brazil (0:2)2/12#24 Mexico (2:0)
All matches took place in 2009. Scores given in (home:away) format

7) The Milwaukee Brewers continue Interleague play after dropping two of three games at home to the Chicago White Sox. The Brewers batted .238 with a .376 slugging average in those three games and were outscored 14 to 12. Their opponents tonight, the Cleveland Indians, continue their Interleague homestand after winning 2 of 3 against the St. Louis Cardinals, outscoring the Red Birds 11 to 6 thanks to some fantastic pitching. The Indians also had some fairly mundane batting numbers with a .242 batting average and .385 slugging average. The Brewers scored about half a run below their average this season, but the Indians were worse, over 1 run below their season runs per game average. The Indians' batting numbers were also further off their season marks. Overall, Cleveland is scoring more of their base runners and doing it on fewer total bases than the Brewers meaning they have better base running, better batting with runners in scoring position (RISP), or both.

The Indians will try and continue their Interleague success with a celebration of `Major League'.

The Cleveland Indians may need every bit of offensive apptitude working for them with right hander Carl Pavano starting on the mound. Pavano has recorded a 5.40 ERA and 1.34 WHIP through 13 starts this season. Pavano is coming off a one of the worse starts by any starting pitchers in the league this season, giving up 9 earned runs from 11 hits in only 42/3 innings to the Kansas City Royals. The only bright spot being that Pavano still only walked one batter. Pavano rarely walks a batter, as in his next prior start where he walked two batters while shutting out the White Sox for 9 innings, and has a 3.6 K/BB ratio. His counterpart this evening will be Dave Bush. The Milwaukee Brewers pitcher has a 4.58 ERA and 1.26 WHIP through 13 starts this year and is coming off a decent start against the Rockies. In that game he gave up only 3 earned runs in 5 innings but it proved to be one run too many as the Brewers lost 4-2. It was his first game pitching since being struck in the elbow against Florida on June 4th.

Dave Bush has given up a home run every 5 innings he's pitched on average this season and his ground ball to fly ball ratio reflects that. Cleveland will probably be without the services of Grady Sizemore in this game, but still have a lot of skill in the lineup with players like Martinez, Choo, and Peralta. With Bush pitching it seems these players could expect to scratch out at least a 3 runs with only 4 or 5 hits. I think the Brewers will need a more solid performance from their lineup to match the Indians offensively. With quality starts at Fenway (Boston), Yankee Stadium (New York), and against the Tampa Bay Rays this season Pavano has the greater potential for shutting his opponent down. Milwaukee has a much better bullpen, especially in terms of home runs conceded, however, so they should not be counted out of the game if only trailing by those three runs.

8) Although Victor Martinez is 0-for-6 against Dave Bush in his career he simply gets hits in more games than Prince Fielder. Fielder has never faced Carl Pavano and looking at these graphs I would not be surprised if he goes 0-fer today. In fact, a zero to zero push would not surprise me at all in this one.

Total bases, game-by-game.
Martinez's numbers have gone down significantly in the last month. Fielder's numbers have been off and on all season.

Proportion of games with 'N' total bases for each player.
Fielder (1-3 TB: 39%); Martinez (1-3 TB: - 59.4%)

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