Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27th, 2009 Picks

(skip to picks)It was a terrible day for my blog picks today, but I managed to wring a 2-0-0 day out of them with Cavendish and the Phillies. I really did not look at the picks too closely and just went with odds for the most part and as the results from yesterday showed that's not always the best way to pick winners. I don't know if sportsbooks hand out these kinds of stats, but I imagine for favorites up to -200 or -250 the win% is around 50-55%, kind of like the win% for popular favorites on `Streak'. The Dodgers might need to rethink Jason Schmidt as a regular rotation man after the Marlins throttled him. Kershaw, Billinsgley, Wolf, Kuroda, Weaver, seems like a perfectly fine staff to me though lacking a true ace. Tomorrow looks like some solid MLB picks, the risky ones, to me, are Philadelphia @ Arizona and the Yankees @ Tampa. The Phillies have been fantastic on the road though and Moyer has been pretty good lately. Good luck and on to the picks.

Alberto Contador Takes 2009 Tour de France Crown
Stage 21 Results: 1. M. Cavendish 4h 02' 18"; 2. M. Renshaw 4h 02' 18"; 3. T. Farrar 4h 02' 18"
Team Columbia executed the lead out so well for Mark Cavendish that one of his teammates (Renshaw) finished second.
``Contador finished a comfortable four minutes, 11 seconds ahead of Team Saxo Bank's Schleck in the overall standings, solidifying his place as one of the Tour's most dominant competitors - and putting him in place to be Armstrong's successor as the perennial favorite. Then again, Armstrong might not be ready to pass him the mantle just yet. In 2010, all bets are off. After a year of playing the good soldier, Armstrong has announced he will bolt team Astana for his own newly-formed squad, Team RadioShack, for another run at yellow. British sprinter Mark Cavendish won Sunday's 21st and final stage, along the Champs-Elysees in Paris, his sixth stage win this year, though he fell short of the green jersey - given to the Tour's best sprinter. Cavendish finished second to Thor Hushovd of Norway."
Read More....StandingsCommentaryHighlightsCavendish: Mission Accomplished

Two Run Shots Abound As Utley, Howard, Rollins, Ibanez Break Cardinals' Backs
Philadelphia Phillies 9 - 2 St. Louis Cardinals
The recap kind of paints it like Wellemeyer was taken out early, but he really did a pretty good job for the first few innings. When Philly's on, they're on and offense like that is going to carry them far with the pitching staff overachieving, seemingly.
``Blanton has been Philadelphia's most dependable starter the last two months and put a slow start way behind him. He's lost only once since May 9 (6-1) and the Phillies are now 20-12 in Blanton's 32 starts since he was acquired from Oakland last season. He received a huge standing ovation from another sellout crowd when he struck out Matt Holliday to end the eighth inning. It matched his longest outing of the season. Holiday's sacrifice fly in the first and DeRosa's fourth homer of the year in the fifth were the only runs off Blanton. No matter who pitches for the Phillies, the big bats are usually out. The Phillies wasted little time rocking righty starter Todd Wellemeyer (7-9). Wellemeyer continues to struggle and lasted only 5 2/3 innings when the Cardinals could have used a longer outing to give the bullpen a needed break. Instead, Utley, Howard and Rollins all took him deep to build a 7-2 lead before he was yanked in the sixth. Ibanez made it 9-2 in the seventh when he hit his 26th homer of the season off Blake Hawksworth. Ibanez moved into second place in the NL in homers and the Phillies lead the league with 138 homers."
Read More....Box ScorePhotos

1) AGF Aarhus @ Randers FC - AGF Aarhus win or draw
2) Lyon vs. FC Porto - Lyon
3) New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays - Tampa Bay
4) Colorado Rockies @ New York Mets - Colorado
5) Los Angeles Dodgers @ St. Louis Cardinals - St. Louis
6) Philadelphia Phillies @ Arizona Diamondbacks - Philadelphia
7) Felix Hernandez (v. Blue Jays) vs. Tim Lincecum (v. Pirates) - Lincecum records more strikeouts


AGF Aarhus visit Essex Stadium to take on Europa League participants Randers FC. Randers play Hamburg SV in the third qualifying round on Thursday.
1) Randers FC will try again to start their SAS-Ligæn season off on the right foot after losing 0-1 away at SønderjyskE in the first match of the season last week. That match came sandwiched between the two legs of their Europa league second round qualifying tie against Lithuanian club FK Suduva. Fortunately, they made up for their loss against SønderjyskE by taking a 1-1 draw against Suduva, good enough to advance to the third qualifying round where they will host Hamburg SV this Thursday. Before that, however, they'll take on local rivals AGF Aarhus (the two clubs are located only 25 miles apart). AGF Aarhus started their season off right with a 1-0 victory at home against AaB Aalborg. Peter Graulund scored 16 seconds in to the match and from there Aarhus were able to hold on for the win. Unfortunately for Aarhus Kim Madsen was forced to leave the game early with an injury and will miss the match against Randers today. Aarhus will also be without regular starter Jeremiah White at midfield who returned to the U.S. for personal reasons. On the plus side Michael Lumb (D) played the full 90 minutes against Aalborg after being out since last December with a knee injury.

Randers F.C. will have a full squad to choose from but with a huge match against Hamburg SV looming they may choose to rest some of their regular starters though I think it is unlikely. Against SønderjyskE they played Berg and Nygaard up front along with their starting midfield choosing only to rest Bobbie Friberg da Cruz and Allan Jepsen from the team their fielded against FK Suduva. I think that with such a big name opponent coming up and after losing their first league game Randers will be looking for a big win to build confidence and so will want to field their best team. Still, the way Randers performed against SønderjyskE is a concern. They started the match well, but after they went down a goal their aggressiveness disappeared and they never really threatened to score from that point on. Whether they lacked intensity because of a preoccupation with their Europa league tie or because they were on the road is tough to say but they struggled to create offense even with their regular attack on the field.

Last season Randers played at home twice against Aarhus, winning 3-1 one game and drawing 1-1 the other. It's very difficult to say who will be the more aggressive team in this match. The odds from BetFair currently have Randers F.C. as the favorite to win, but when considering a draw as a loss for them they are +125 underdogs. I think it's safest to assume Randers will field a full strength squad until there's news otherwise (there isn't at the moment) but with Peter Graulund and Nando Rafael leading the attack along with Benny Feilhaber at midfield I like Aarhus to pull off a draw. Randers just needs to play more confidently, keep possession, and eventually they'll find their way into the net, but until then it's tough to pick with them.

Olympique Lyonnais purchased FC Porto stars Lisandro López and Cissokho in the offseason, now they will get a chance to face their former team.
2) The 12-team 2009 Peace Cup got under way over the weekend with FC Porto sitting out of the action. Defending Peace Cup champions Lyon played their first match in their four team group against Turkish Super League club Beşiktaş to a 1-1 draw. FC Porto were the Portuguese Super Liga and Cup winners last season while Lyon finished third in Ligue 1. in France so one might expect the Dragons (Porto) to be favorites in this match. While neither team is greatly favored it is Lyon being given slightly better odds, as for example at WilliamHill where they are +130 to +170 for Porto. A big reason for that probably has to do with the transfer of Porto stars Lisandro and Cissokho away to Lyon which you can read about here. With the addition of two of Porto's best offensive players I would have to make Lyon the more dangerous team on the attack. Of course, this being a preseason tournament the best players on either side, including Porto's striker Hulk (remember him?), will likely see 45 to 65 minutes of play at most. With the opportunity of the push the odds of not losing ones streak are fairly good, say -200 for a pick with Lyon and -160 for a pick with Porto.

Strikeouts by start, 2009. (inset) Number of games with a certain K/9.
Click image for larger view.
7) This prop asks which pitcher will record more strikeouts, Tim Lincecum (against the Pirates) or Felix Hernandez (against the Blue Jays). Right off the bat one might favor Lincecum as he sports a K/9 near 11 while Felix Hernandez's K/9 is just below 9. Lincecum also averages about 1.5 more strikeouts per game started (8.4 to 6.9). The graph on the left shows the number of strikeouts for each pitcher in every game they've started this season. One can see that in 13 of 20 starts Lincecum has recorded more strikeouts. The inset shows the number of games each player has put up a K/9 within a certain range: 0-5, >5-10, >10-15, and >15. Lincecum is striking out at least one batter per inning in 2/3 of his starts while Hernandez is striking out fewer than one per inning in 2/3 of his starts. The only factor that might tip the scales in favor of King Felix is the opponent each pitcher faces. Looking at how often the Pirates and Blue Jays strike out, however, shows the Blue Jays are the 2nd best team in the league at avoiding strikeouts while the Pirates are 19th in the league. It doesn't help that Pittsburgh play in the National League where the pitcher is part of the batting order. It won't be all that hot and humid this evening in San Francisco so I think Lincecum will do well to strike out at least 8 while Hernandez might top out at 6 against Toronto.

NYY @ TB - A.J. Burnett gives up fewer hits than Shields but has a bigger issue with his control, giving up more walks. Their ERA's are comparable (near 3.50) but Burnett has better career numbers against the Rays. He's already pitched a gem against Tampa Bay this season while Shields has yet to face the Yankees. The Yankees have a better offense but Tampa Bay is always tough to beat in their humid home.


  1. To clarify something in the Lincecum/Hernandez prop, both the Giants and the Mariners are at home tonight. Lincecum is typically lights out at home, and you have to like his chances when facing a pitcher multiple times tonight, while King Felix has to see a DH every time.

  2. Yea, I just realized that and while I think it would be better for the teams to be on the road (Toronto might even chase Felix early in that case) I agree, Lincecum should kill Pittsburgh at home in the cool evening air of San Fran.

  3. I agree, I think Timmy will see more innings than Felix...and this pick appears to be far safer than any of the 7pm MLB picks.