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And So It Goes....

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

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2nd, 2009 Picks

(skip to picks)2-3-0 today and I dipped back below .500 pretty severely. Well, here's to a full two weeks above the red line. I started the day with a loss picking against Federer who looks like he'll take the title in this tournament.. I'm guessing we see a total games prop for the men's final? Pure nuttery. Then won with the Nationals total hits, then lost with Kansas City and their ability to hit into double plays, won with the Braves and finally lost with the Stampeders who were unable to intercept a gimme with the score tied and threw an interception on the comeback drive. Thanks for the shout out from TheStreakMaster.com, also. Prop bets and MLB props especially seem to be my most successful category. So on to the confounded picks.


Federer Through Playing Games, Easily Breaks Karlovic For Place In Semifinals
R. Federer def. I. Karlovic 6-3 7-5 7-6 (7-3)
Roger Federer looked scary good against Karlovic. From the way Murray, Haas, and Roddick have been playing it's hard to see where they have a chance of stopping Federer from making history.
``Roger Federer is in such confident form at the 2009 Championships that even staring down the barrel of a gun does not faze him. Required to reduce Ivo Karlovic, the game's most potent hitter, to firing blanks was a task taken in his stride as Wimbledon's five-time champion cruised into the semi-finals with a 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) victory in an hour and 43 minutes. It was Federer who proved supreme when it came to serving. He conceded a mere 11 points in the whole match, never faced a break point and was only once threatened by having his delivery taken to deuce. By then it was midway through the third set and the outcome was long beyond conjecture. Even so, Karlovic managed to keep the second set wide open until the 11th game, when another supreme backhand service return winner took Federer to break point, at which Karlovic obliged with a low forehand volley into the net."
Read more... Plus HighlightsMatch StatsFederer Post-Match InterviewKarlovic Post-Match Interview

Marlins' Johnson Exits After 10 Outs But Florida Comes Out On Top Anyways
Florida Marlins 5 - 3 Washington Nationals (Josh Johnson 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 K)
Somehow, I only gave up one run. I don't like it, but I'll take it.
---Florida Marlins starting pitcher Josh Johnson
``Florida starter Josh Johnson failed to get out of the fourth inning, his shortest appearance in 34 starts dating to June 23, 2007. Johnson yielded one run and five hits in 3 1/3 innings, with four walks and three strikeouts, and only 49 of his 89 pitches went for strikes. Most oddly, Johnson couldn't get Washington's starter out. Jordan Zimmermann had the first two hits of his career for Washington -- the rookie was hitless in 19 at-bats coming in -- and drove in the Nationals' first run with a second-inning single off Johnson. Zimmermann allowed two runs and six hits in six innings."
Read more....Box ScorePlay-By-Play

Kansas City Outhits Minnesota But Inning Ending Double Plays Spell Doom
Minnesota Twins 5 - 1 Kansas City Royals
Kansas City ended three innings by hitting into double plays, twice with men in scoring position.
``Michael Cuddyer homered leading off the second against Meche, who has surrendered six home runs in his last three starts after allowing only one his first 11. With two on and two outs in the third, Joe Crede hit a routine grounder to second baseman Alberto Callaspo, who let it scoot under his glove for his ninth error as Mauer scored. The Twins added two in the eighth after reliever Robinson Tejada had struck out the first two batters. Denard Span and Matt Tolbert singled, and Mauer was walked intentionally. John Bale relieved and forced in runs with bases-loaded walks to Brian Buscher and Cuddyer."
Read more....Box Score

Jurrjens Takes No-Hitter Into 7th, Braves Deliver With Six Run 5th
Atlanta Braves 11 - 1 Philadelphia Phillies
Jair Jurrjens was phenomenal and Cole Hamels continued his struggles this season.
``Jurrjens (6-6) began the night with the seventh-lowest run support in the majors, including only five runs in his last four losses. That lack of support ended as the Braves scored seven runs off Cole Hamels (4-5), who left the game after giving up three hits and a walk in the fifth. Jurrjens' bid to become the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against the Phillies since the Cardinals' Bob Forsch on April 16, 1978, ended with Paul Bako's single with two outs in the seventh. The Braves have won three straight. They are still three games under .500 but trail the first-place Phillies by only three games in the NL East."
Read more....Box Score

Anthony Calvillo And Als Get Revenge By Taking Advantage Of Stampeder Blunders
Montreal Alouettes 40 - 27 Calgary Stampeders
A 17-0 first quarter deficit was not too much to make up for Calgary, but it required some clutch play at the end which they could not muster.
``Avon Cobourne, Kerry Watkins and Chip Cox scored touchdowns for the Als, who were 0-3 versus Calgary last season including the loss in the Grey Cup. Calgary recovered from a horrendous opening quarter to put pressure on Montreal and tie the game at 27-27, but costly turnovers late in the fourth quarter helped end the Stamps' winning streak against the Als. Burris threw the ball into the arms of Montreal's Mark Estelle in the end zone with six minutes remaining. The Calgary pivot then coughed up the ball under pressure from Montreal's Anwar Stewart and Keron Williams and linebacker Chip Williams rumbled 81 yards for a touchdown at 12:45."
Read more....Box Score

1) How Many Games Will Be Played Between Serena Williams And Elena Dementieva: 18 or fewer vs. 19 or more - 19 or more
2) Sean O'Hair vs. K.J. Choi - Choi cards the same or lower front 9 score
3) Dinara Safina vs. Venus Williams - Venus Williams wins 2-0
4) FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk @ FK Sutjeska - FK Sutjeska win
5) Arizona Diamondbacks @ Cincinnati Reds - Arizona
6) Tiger Woods' Front 9 Score: 34 or lower vs. 35 or higher - 34 or lower
7) FC Zestafoni @ Lisburn Distillery - FC Zestafoni win or draw
8) How Many Runs, Hits, and Errors Will There Be (Astros @ Padres): 26 or fewer vs. 27 or more - 27 or more
9) Philadelphia Phillies @ Atlanta Braves - Atlanta
10) San Francisco Giants @ St. Louis Cardinals - San Francisco
11) Detroit Shock @ New York Liberty - New York
12) Ryan Braun and Dave Cameron vs. Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano - Lee and Soriano record more total bases
13) Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs - Chicago
14) Baltimore Orioles @ Los Angeles Angels - Los Angeles
15) Which Team Will Hit The First HR: Baltimore 1st or none vs. Los Angeles 1st - Los Angeles 1st


Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams have battled one another over the years, each winning easily and each winning marathon matches. They're both playing at a high level at the moment. Can one really dominate the other?
1) Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva will clash for the third time this in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. The two split their first two meetings, both on hard courts, with Williams winning at the Australian Open 6-3 6-4 and Dementieva winning in Sydney 6-3 6-1. Overall Williams has won 5 of 8 matches against Dementieva since 2003 and of those 8 matches 5 have taken 19 games or more to decide a winner.
Williams v. Dementieva

Both Williams and Dementieva are playing very well at the moment with neither player has lost a set up until this point. Williams has dropped 7 games in a match at most, in the first and third rounds to #154 Neuza Silva and to #53 Roberta Vinci while Dementieva has not dropped more than 5 games in a match. For 19 games to be played both Williams and Dementieva must win at least 7 games and there cannot be an early retirement. I think, given how well they have been playing, it would be a stretch to assume one or the other could take 12 games out of 18.

Venus Williams has been closed mouthed about the leg brace she has worn throughout Wimbledon. It's a preventative measure for a nagging injury, but she hasn't played as if she were injured in the slightest.
3) Dinara Safina may be ranked #1 in the world, but with five Wimbledon titles to her credit Venus Williams will be the outright favorite to win quickly when she takes the court in the quarterfinals today. Wimbledon has put up a preview of the match in which they paint a fairly bleak picture for Safina. Not only does Venus have several more Grand Slam wins and more experience in these big name tournaments but she's also been more dominant statistically in reaching the quarterfinals. Williams is putting more of her serves in play, recording more aces, fewer double faults, winning more of her first serve points and more of her return points. It's not that Safina has been unable to play with Venus in the past, she is #1 for a reason after all. This will be their fourth matchup all-time with Venus taking two in 2008 and Safina winning one earlier this year on the clay courts at Rome. I think Dinara Safina has been nervous as she's gone further into uncharted territory at Wimbledon. She's been able to control those nerves well enough to advance, but on the big stage against Venus Williams it would not be a surprise to see her struggle with her serve once again. On top of that I imagine Venus remembers vividly losing in three sets to Safina at Rome and will be focused on not letting it happen again. Venus' leg brace could be a cause for concern as any potential injury she's playing through would only get worse as she progressed through the tournament, but she's given no indication it's a bother at all. I think Safina may be able to break Venus' serve, but the reverse is at least as likely. In a tiebreak situation Venus' experience and overall stronger play under pressure should see her through to win the set.

FK Sutjeska - #3 in Prva Crnogorska Liga last season; (home) 14-2-1 28GS:8GA
FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk - #9 in Cempionat; (away) 2-1-3 7GS:12GA
4) Today marks the start of the UEFA's new and improved Cup tournament now under the guise of the Europa League. The first qualifying round takes some of the top teams from the bottom order European domestic leagues and has them play two-leg knockout ties to determine who will join the upper tier clubs in the group stage.

FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk started in 1948 as the sports section of the Minsk Tractor Plant and merged with the Republican Institute for Vocational Eduction (RIPO) in 2002. They play in the Cempionat, the top-flight Belarussian league, and booked a place in the Europa League with their third place finish in the last season which ended on November 16th. They are 11 matches into the current season and currently lie in ninth place with a 4-2-5 record. Away from home they have been one of the better performers of the Cempionat, but are still only 2-1-3 with 7 goals scored and 12 goals conceded.

I never expected we'd get this far. My only wish was to have a peaceful season, without fear of relegation. Now the players must cope with another kind of pressure. I am looking forward to see how they respond.
---FK Sutjeska coach Nikola Rakojević

FK Sutjeska play in the Prva Crnogorska Liga, the top-flight league in Montenegro. Their season just wrapped up on May 30th with FK Sutjeska finishing third, capping what was something of a Cinderella season. The '07/'08 season had them fighting off relegation so they were not expected to do much in '08/'09. Part of the reason was their standing from the year before, but also because of the extreme youth of their team, which had only three players over the age of 25 at the start of last season. They built much of their success around strong home match play, with 14 of their 19 victories coming at Stadion Gradski Nikšića. They were 14-2-1 there with 28 goals scored and 8 goals conceded.

Both of these teams are probably long shots to make it to the group stage and while MTZ-RIPO are from a stronger domestic league they are simply not terribly strong away from home. I think playing away from not only their home pitch but also their home nation will be a major factor in this match and FK Sutjeska will be able to take a 2-0 lead into the second leg of the tie.

Lisburn Distillery was 4th last season in the Northern Ireland Premiership; (home) 7-3-6 26GS:19GA
FC Zestafoni - 4th in the Umaglesi Liga; (away) 6-4-5 15GS:13GA
7) This first round qualifier for the Europa League pits two teams who finished in fourth place last season in their respective leagues. Both leagues are currently in their off-seasons and so I would expect each side to be more or less at full strength with their last competitive matches having been played in March for Lisburn Distillery and in May for FC Zestafoni. Looking at Lisburn's home record one sees they were the seventh best home side, with a 7-3-6 record and +7 goal differential. Not a very impressive home record in my opinion, especially considering Northern Ireland's Association football is ranked 46th of 53. FC Zestafoni play in the Umaglesi Liga in Georgia which is ranked 38th in Europe. A look at their away record shows FC Zestafoni were one of the better away sides in their league (5th) with a 6-4-5 record and +2 goal differential. I think FC Zestafoni are a stronger side playing in a stronger league and I think they will win the match outright. SkyBet and BetFair have Zestafoni as slight favorites or even odds to win and adding on the odds for a draw makes this pick a very heavy favorite (about 64% or -200).

Click image for larger version. Houston/San Diego hits, runs, and errors over the past two weeks. Use the zoom tool to get a better view.

8) The Houston Astros and San Diego Padres are averaging a combined 5.45 runs, 12.67 hits, and 0.33 errors per game in their series, for a grand total of 18.45 hits, runs, and errors per game in this series. The greatest total in the series was in the second game where the teams combined for 22 hits, runs, and errors. The chart above shows the runs, hits, and errors for each team in their last 15 games. From the table or the graph one can see that these teams put up their share of 26 to 27 total (13 or more) in about half of their games. On average the Astros record 13.29 runs, hits, and errors and the Padres contribute 12.52 which would favor the 26 or fewer pick with 25.81 total. Their opponents, however, average a combined 28.23 runs, hits, and errors. This prop isn't really about averages though, it's about how well the starting pitchers and bullpen can limit the opponents' ability to hit the ball and score runs.
2009 Pitching Stats
HOU BullpenSD Bullpen
HoustonSan Diego
H w/Pitcher8.708.10
Opp. R Season4.454.95

The table to the left suggests 27.19 runs, hits, and errors will be recorded in this game which does not leave much room for error, but does suggest 27 or more should be slightly favored. Considering none of the games in the series have gone for more than 22 runs, hits, and errors and only one error has been committed by the two teams combined I would say this will most likely end up with 24 to 26 total, but could easily go well over if either pitcher has a poor start. 26 or fewer is the riskier pick in my opinion so I'll switch to 27 or more.

The Angels' John Lackey gives up far fewer home runs (1.01 HR/9) than his coutnerpart, Jeremy Guthrie (1.67 HR/9)
15) Let me start by saying I have a sneaking suspicion the Orioles are going to come away as victors in this game. As for this `Who will hit the first home run' prop I am fairly confident the Angels will win. Jeremy Guthrie is the starting pitcher for Baltimore. Of the pitches Guthrie throws which are put into play 44.3% are fly balls this season and 12.5% of those end up being home runs. 86.7% of Guthrie's pitches that are swung at contact is made so essentially batters have needed only swing at 20 of his pitches to get a home run this season. The picture for John Lackey is not quite as bleak. When the ball is put into play off of one of his pitches it is a flyball 35.6% of the time and of those fly balls only 9.4% go the distance. Contact is made with only 79.2% of his pitches swung at so that on average batters must swing at 38 of his pitches to hit a home run. Overall Guthrie gives up 1.67 home runs per 9 innings pitched while Lackey is giving up 1.01 per 9 this season.

1 comment:

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