Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 25th, 2009 Picks

(skip to picks)A quick preview of the cycling matchup tomorrow morn. I'm looking at IF Bromma- well, BP as they're called in Sweden (yea, it's a mouthful even for the Swedes I guess). They just lost to Kalmar in their last match and now are doing the home-and-away thing. It's difficult to double a team and I imagine even more so on the road a week after playing them. Still, Kalmar, defending champs, they should be able to win though they've only got 2 wins on the road this season. I'll try and post some injury news in the early morning. And it looks like my streak will bump up to 7 with Clayton Kershaw fanning six while Josh Johnson only knocked down four. The Marlins going up by three runs was a terrific turn of events for Kershaw pickers as the Marlins could take the opportunity to take out the man at 100 pitches after seven. *phew* And thanks to the Anon who pointed out Lugo's actual first name. I assume he'll hurt the team later on, but today, against lefty Happ he went for a triple and a homer. Not too shabby even if he was overshadowed by Matt Holliday's arrival. And so on to the picks.

Fish Escape Dodgers' Hook After Johnson, Kershaw Battle To Draw
Florida Marlins 6 - 3 Los Angeles Angels
C. Kershaw 6 K, J. Johnson 4 K
Even though Josh Johnson was the better pitcher tonight it was Clayton Kershaw with more K's.
``Pinch-hitter Jeremy Hermida drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, pinch-hitter Chris Coghlan homered in the eighth and the Florida Marlins kept rolling up the West Coast with a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. The Marlins also handled Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers' 21-year-old left-hander who hasn't lost since June 10. Kershaw never retired the side in order, allowing nine hits and three walks in six innings while yielding two earned runs for just the second time in eight starts. Johnson allowed five hits and three runs while winning for the sixth time in seven decisions."
Read More....Box ScorePhotos

1) Vincenzo Nibali vs. Christian Vande Velde - Nibali has a better finish
2) Kalmar FF @ IF Brommapojkarna - IF Brommapojkarna win or draw
3) Jason Leffler vs. Joey Logano - Logano has a better finishing position
4) New Zealand @ South Africa - South Africa
5) Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays - Toronto
6) Chicago Fire @ Seattle Sounders FC - Chicago win or draw
7) WNBA All-Star Game: West All-Stars vs. East All-Stars - East All-Stars
8) Edmonton Eskimos @ Saskatchewan Roughriders - Saskatchewan
9) Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers - Chicago
10) Atlanta Braves @ Milwaukee Brewers - Atlanta
11) Mike Bliss vs. Justin Allgaier - Bliss has a better finishing position
12) San Francisco Giants @ Colorado Rockies - Colorado
13) Los Angeles Galaxy @ Kansas City Wizards - Los Angeles win or draw
14) Hanley Ramirez vs. Manny Ramirez - Manny records more total bases


The final climb up `Mount Baldy' will push even the toughest climbers.
1) It's the penultimate stage of the 2009 edition of the Tour de France and with a 4'11" lead over the field Alberto Contador looks to have the yellow jersey locked up. Thor Hushovd has the green jersey settled and Franco Pellizotti appears to be in an unassailable position for the King of the Mountain's polka dot jersey. Five time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault gives his views on the stage and you can hear his comments by clicking here. Essentially he sees those at the top of the general classification standings as being on top, literally, when the first riders cross the finish line after a grueling 21km climb. It's an especially tough climb coming after a number of category 3 climbs during the stage.

Nibali and Vande Velde are 7th and 8th, respectively, in overall time with Nibali 7'15" behind Contador and Vande Velde 10'08" behind. Nibali is only 1'54" behind Lance Armstrong for third place so he will have some incentive to push hard on this stage, though it is very unlikely he will actually overtake Armstrong as Team Astana will want to guard their positions on the podium. Vande Velde, being 4'47" back from third place has less incentive. Additionally, if one clicks on `climber' in the standings one will see Nibali in 13th place with 54 points and Vande Velde in 54th with 7 points meaning Nibali has been faster through the mountain portions of the Tour consistently. Finally, the odds at SkyBet, BetFair, and WilliamHill all have Nibali with better odds to win the stage outright. SkyBet has Nibali at 25/1 and Vande Velde at 100/1, for example. This will be a stage for the Tour leaders to reassert their positions and I think Nibali being closer to third place will show why he's there and place better today.

IF Brommapojkarna seek revenge for a 3-1 loss at Kalmar last Saturday while Kalmar FF try to rebound from a disappointing Champions League exit.
2) Kalmar FF look to complete the double over IF Brommapojkarna (BP) when they visit Grimsta today. Kalmar was dumped out of Champions League competition last Wednesday on away goals after tying Debreceni 3-3 on aggregate but conceding one more away goal. In between the two legs of that tie they faced BP at home, coming away with a 3-1 victory. BP took an early lead with a fifth minute goal by Imad Chhadeh and held on to that lead for most of the match despite being without five regular starters. Second half sub Daniel Mendes drew a penalty at 75' and Rasmus Elm converted to tie the game and from there BP buckled, conceding two more goals in the final 10 minutes of the match. Brommapojkarna were not pleased with the way the match was called going so far as to characterize Mendes as a `notoriske filmaren' (notorious actor) and noting they've had more than their fair share of calls go against them with Johan Hamlin refereeing. It all sounds a little bitter to me and they'll need to be focused on playing technical football rather than feeling victimized if they hope to have a chance against Kalmar at home.
Recent Results
IF BommarpojkarnaKalmar FF
Malmö FF (1:1)Malmö FF (2:1)
GAIS Göteborg (1:0)GAIS Göteborg (2:2)
Hammarby IF (0:1)IFK Göteborg (1:2)
Bommapojkarna (home results); Kalmar (away results)

Kalmar at least know the difficulty in defeating a team at home and away in league play and should be prepared for Bommapojkarna. Kalmar will field the same side that defeated Debreceni 3-1 at home and lost to them 0-2 away. In other words, they're at full strength. BP will have some reinforcements as defender and captain Jon Persson, midfielder Philip Haglund, and goal keeper Kristofffer Northfeldt all return from illness or injury. All three missed the 1-3 defeat in Kalmar. They will still be missing Richard Henriksson and Markus Karlsson on defense, however, forcing Mauricio Albornoz into an unfamiliar backfield role. WilliamHill has Kalmar to win at +106 after accounting for the sportsbooks profits and converting to American moneylines. The odds are very close in either direction, but I favor BP considering their strong showing last week on the road, without their captain and their first line goal keeper. Kalmar are defending champions and at full strength but they have only two wins on the road this season. Bommapojkarna are 2-2-3 (W-D-L) at home this season which ranks as next to worst in the league for home records so for them to lose would not be a big surprise. Good luck taking this one.

9) The Detroit Tigers are two games in front of the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central lead after taking both games of a doubleheader yesterday. The White Sox will try and keep pace today in a rematch of starting pitchers that saw Chicago come away with a 4-3 win back in June. Gavin Floyd five hit the Tigers in that game over eight innings with a solo shot home run being the only offense he conceded. Bobby Jenks nearly blew the save but managed to hold on to give Chicago the win. Edwin Jackson took 99 pitches to get through 5 innings but did decently allowing only 2 runs from 5 hits. His problem in that game was walking 4 batters and he was fortunate Jim Thome hit his home run leading off rather than behind some of those batters walked by Jackson.

Gavin Floyd looks to earn a win for the second time this season over Edwin Jackson and the Tigers.

Jackson has been having one of the best seasons of his career with a 2.52 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through 19 starts so far. He's getting batters to chase his pitches more than ever before, his strand rate is approaching 80% for the first time in his career, he's giving up fewer home runs per fly ball, and his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is down to .250. Unfortunately, I don't see him continuing this success through the end of the season. It's a pattern he's followed the past few years, posting terrific stats before a poor end to the season. His BABIP is 25 points below average meaning he's been lucky to get batters out rather than give up hits and he's given up 5 home runs in his past three starts while walking 11 batters. I don't think he's going to go in the tank completely, but at some point he's going to give up a home run with runners on base instead of a solo shot and his strand rate will go down along with his ERA rising.

So overall I think the pitching matchup favors Chicago here. Gavid Floyd, despite his struggles earlier in the season, has managed to lower his WHIP to 1.27. Not including line drives he has a ground ball to fly ball ratio of 1.37 and with Fields out of the lineup those are actually a good thing for the Sox. The one area where Jackson has shown himself to be a better pitcher is an ability to get batters to swing and chase more of his pitches. Overall, I think if the White Sox can get a solid performance out of Beckham and Wise (assuming they start) at the bottom of the order they will generate enough offense to at least take a small lead into the latter innings. From there either team's bullpen is unenviable with ERA's over 4.50 and give up nearly a home run for every three innings pitched but overall I like Chicago's 'pens ability to strike batters out and think they'll be able to hold on.

(top) Deviation of % of games with 'N' total bases from 2008.
(bottom) % of games with 'N' total basees in 2009.
Click image for larger version.
14) The graph to the left shows how much Hanley Ramirez (.559 Slg%) and Manny Ramirez (.667 Slg%) are deviating from their performance from last season in terms of games with a certain number of total bases. Points above the mid-line show a player had a higher proportion of their games recording that number of total bases than they are this season and suggest they will have more of those games as the season continues. Points below the mid-line suggest a player will have relatively fewer numbers of those games. Manny Ramirez is looking to hit more singles and is still trailing his home run per game rate from last season. Hanley Ramirez has been lights out in avoiding going 0-fer so far this season but I expect he'll go into a bit of a slump at some point in the future, not tonight necessarily. I think the main advantage for Manny in this matchup is in the pitching. Rick VandenHurk, in his limited Major league playing time, has shown a propensity for striking out and walking left-handed batters while giving up hits and home runs to right-handed batters like Manny Ramirez. Hanley is also right handed but Hiroki Kuroda has shown a very small split between rightys and lefties performing a little bit better against right-handers even. I think Hanley may be cruising towards a no-hit game he's due for while Manny should be getting an extra base hit or two.

1 comment:

  1. Hey man, back to L1?!? Who did you blow it on, I had a W6 and picked the Chi Sox over the Tigers, and could taste victory in the 9th with 2 outs and an 0-2 count on Granderson, but Jenks had to blow it, and then "professional" pitcher D.J. Carrasco can't even record an out in the 10th. Trying to get back on the winning track with the Rockies, so we'll see how that goes.