Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Friday, July 3, 2009

July 3rd, 2009 Picks

(skip to picks)4-1-0 today as my picks rebounded very well.. now to break .750... hah. Started out well with Serena and Dementieva playing an epic match that lasted over 150 minutes and took 39 games to complete. I guess I got psyched out from that, convincing myself Venus might actually drop a set. It wasn't even close and I ended up picking a loser with FK Sutjeska who drew against MTZ-RIPO. Got back on the winning track with Zestafoni, then continued with the New York Liberty, and finished off the day with the Angels hitting the first home run of the game. And so it's on to the picks.


Serena Down Early Wills Herself To Final Round Match Against Sister Venus
S. Williams def. E. Dementieva 6-7(4) 7-5 8-6 (39 games played)
This was an epic match where Dementieva was perhaps a millimeter away from winning.
``Serena Williams battled through to the women's singles final by defeating Russia's Elena Dementieva 6-7 7-5 8-6. At two hours 49 minutes it was the longest women's semi-final at Wimbledon in the era of Open tennis. Dementieva, the Olympic champion, went into the match a clear underdog, despite a superior recent record against the American. But her beefed-up serve, her relentlessly accurate groundstrokes and her fighting spirit extended Williams to the very limit. The Russian applied pressure that Serena has certainly not seen in this tournament, or indeed for a long while. But, champion that she is, the response was there in the end, four games after she had fought off that match point with one of her more outrageous slices of good fortune, a forehand volley winner off the top of the net."
Read more....Match StatsSerena InterviewDementieva InterviewDementieva Looks At The Positives

FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk 1 - 1 FK Sutjeska
There's not a lot that can be said here as these teams aren't the most popular even in their home nations. It was 0:0 at the half, Sutjeska scored early in the second half and MTZ-RIPO equalized with about 15 minutes remaining. I was fortunate to find highlights of the goals being scored. MTZ-RIPO's goal looked better I think.
Match MinutesHighlights

Banged Up Distillery Gets Knocked About By Georgian Outfit Zestafoni
FC Zestafoni 5 - 1 Lisburn Distillery
I guess Lisburn Distillery never really had a chance in this match.
``Things looked distinctly ominous and although Andy Kilmartin forced Zurab Mamaladze into a save on 29 minutes — before he also stopped Stephen Shaw's follow up — worse was to come for the Whites. Irakli slipped a superb ball over the defence on 34 minutes and Gelashvili turned back inside to fire home from 12-yards out. Four minutes later the nightmare continued, the Distillery defence failed to clear and Grigalashvili cracked a 20-yard drive into the bottom corner. Two minutes before the break, Mamaladze made a good stop, springing to his left to keep out Philip Simpson's header before the shell-shocked Whites trooped off at the break."
Read more...Match Minutes

New York Liberty Halt Three Game Slide WIth Defensive Domination
New York Liberty 80 - 64 Detroit Shock
For the Liberty this game was all about the second and fourth quarters. Check the box score.
``Shameka Christon scored 25 points to help the Liberty snap a three-game losing streak with an 80-64 victory over the Detroit Shock on Thursday night. The Liberty had season highs with 12 3-pointers and 12 steals, and took advantage of the Shock's season high-tying 22 turnovers. New York took control in the second quarter, building a 15-point lead while outscoring Detroit 22-8 for the period and holding the Shock scoreless for more than 7 minutes."
Read more...Box ScoreDetroit Free Press Recap

Abreu's Two Home Runs More Than Enough To Soar Past Orioles
Los Angeles Angels 5 - 2 Baltimore Orioles (First HR: L.A., Bobby Abreu, bottom of 4th)
``Bobby Abreu hit two home runs, John Lackey pitched eight solid innings and the Los Angeles Angels beat the lowly Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Thursday night. The multihomer game was the 14th of Abreu's career, his first as an Angel. Both his shots to right field came off Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie, who gave up nine hits in seven innings. Luke Scott homered in the seventh to shave the lead to three for the Orioles, who are a dismal 11-24 on the road."
Read more...Box ScorePlay-By-Play

1) How Many Sets Will Be Played Between Roger Federer And Tommy Haas: 3 sets vs. 4 or 5 sets - 3 sets
2) Tiger Woods' Second Round Score: 67 or lower vs. 68 or higher - 67 or lower
3) ODI Cricket: West Indies vs. India - India
4) How Many Sets Will Be Played Between Andy Roddick And Andy Murray: 3 sets vs. 4 or 5 sets - 3 sets
5) Anthony Kim vs. Jim Furyk - Kim cards a lower front 9 score
6) Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs - Milwaukee
7) Oakland Athletics @ Cleveland Indians - Cleveland
8) Seattle Mariners @ Boston Red Sox - Seattle
9) Washington Mystics @ Atlanta Dream - Atlanta
10) Chicago Sky @ San Antonio Silver Stars - San Antonio
11) Kyle Busch vs. Carl Edwards - Busch has a better finishing position
12) San Jose Earthquakes @ Real Salt Lake - Real Salt Lake win
13) Los Angeles Dodgers (v. Padres) vs. Baltimore Orioles (v. Angels) - Orioles score more runs


Roger Federer (left) and Tommy Haas (right) are each playing some of their best tennis here at the end of the tournament. Can Haas duplicate his Roland Garros effort where he took a 2-0 lead on Federer?
1) Tommy Haas will face Roger Federer once again in a major tournament. Their last meeting was at this years Roland Garros, in the fourth round, a match where Haas took a 2-0 lead before Federer came storming back to win three sets in dominating fashion (6-4 6-0 6-2).
It's no surprise to see [Haas] here. He played great in Paris and he will be even tougher here as he prefers grass and hard courts to clay. I’ve trained with him a lot recently and we often go out to get something to eat together.
---Roger Federer

Overall Federer is 9-2 against Haas over his career and has won 22 of 32 sets (68.8%) played between them. Federer has won 18 of 23 sets (78.2%) since the Australian Open in 2002, however, which was near the peak of Haas' success. A look at each man's run through the tournament shows that Federer has been absolutely dominant against all challengers, dropping only one set, in a tiebreak, to #32 Philipp Kohlschreiber. Haas has managed to kick his play up a few notches entering into the second week with his only straight sets victory coming against #26 Igor Andreev and a handy 4 set victory over Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Both men are playing in top form right now and Haas took Federer to five sets only a month ago. I think Federer will have that on his mind and will work to make sure he does not fall behind again. Federer is on a mission and he has the skill and ability to match and overwhelm Haas' serve and volley game. It may not be easy but I think Federer can and will take three sets as he bears down on history and his 15th Grand Slam title.

Andy Roddick is 2-6 against Andy Murray with all but one of their matches being decided in straights sets, including a 3 set victory for Murray here at Wimbledon in 2006.
4) Andy Murray is only 22 years old and yet even in his short professional career he's managed to amass a 6-2 record against Andy Roddick. Murray was 20 years old when he recorded his first victory over Roddick, a straight sets win on the hard courts in San Jose. In fact, all but one of their eight matches have been decided in straight sets, including a 2006 victory for Murray at Wimbledon in 2006 (7-6(4) 6-4 6-4), though one of those matches ended early with a retirement by Roddick.
I'm just going to pretend when they say, ‘C'mon, Andy’, that they mean me.
---Andy Roddick

Obviously Roddick, along with Karlovic, is one of the best servers in the game. So against Roddick I'll obviously need to return very well.
---Andy Murray

Wimbledon has put together a decent preview of the match. They point out specifically that Roddick has served up over 130 aces and has been winning 81% of his first serve points. Those are fairly overwhelming numbers and suggest Murray will have a difficult time breaking Roddick's serve, which he would surely need to do at least once to win in straight sets; three straight tiebreak set wins is incredibly rare. Roddick is playing very well but has not really put together a complete match up to this point, aside from his straight sets victory over Tomas Berdych in the fourth round. Murray has had some difficult matches, against Stanislas Wawrinka and Robert Kendrick, but other than that has won each of his matches in straight sets. I think Murray has a difficult time against some of the big serve players, and Roddick is certainly that. I also think a break point here and there could hand the match to one player or the other, in straight sets. My recommendation would be to go for 4 or 5 sets, but as for myself I would pick 3 sets in continuing the tradition of one Andy or the other taking the match in that fashion.

Anthony Kim hoists the trophy at the AT&T National last year. He was three strokes in the lead after the first round. Jim Furyk has finished tied for third the past two years.
5) Defending AT&T National champion Anthony Kim has been billed as the next great American golfer after Tiger Woods. He shot a course record 8-under par 62 yesterday to take a three stroke lead so it's easy to believe he is exactly that. The round one recap details some of the other more impressive aspects of Kim's game. One that jumped out at me was that he's played 40 holes on the Blue Course at Colonial without carding a bogey. Kim's threesome includes Davis Love III and Jim Furyk. Furyk has finished tied for 3rd in both of the two years of this events existence so he's no stranger to success on the Blue Course. Furyk has also been more successful than Kim on the Tour this year earning nearly twice as much money thus far. Kim currently holds a four stroke lead on Furyk at this particular event, however, and his 6-under par 29 on the front 9 literally blew away all other competition, including Jim Furyk who carded a 2-under 33.

After yesterday's round both Furyk and Kim have nine rounds completed at the Blue Course in this event. Furyk has carded front 9 scores under par in 6 of his rounds with his best score being a 32 which he has achieved twice. Kim has carded front 9 scores under par in 7 of his rounds with his best score obviously being the 29 he shot yesterday. Kim also has carded 32 and on four separate occasions. Although Furyk has been better on the Tour overall this year Kim has proven to be on his game this weekend. The danger with picking Anthony Kim in this matchup is that he has been erratic within tournaments, both this year and in years past. For example, in 2007 Anthony Kim shot a pair of 32's on the front 9 on Thursday and Friday and then proceeded to card scores of 37 and 41 on Saturday and Sunday. That was an outstanding turn of events, however, and I would not even bet on Kim reverting back to even par. Instead, I'm thinking this is a close matchup where Kim wins with a 33 to Furyk's 34.

Felix Hernandez goes for his eighth straight quality start against Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox.
8) The Seattle Mariners are moving along in their East coast trip. After taking 1 of 3 games against the Yankees they'll move on to Fenway Park to match skills against the Boston Red Sox. The Mariners have been playing better baseball lately with Ryan Lagerhans taking the place of Wladimir Balentien. Balentien has struggled lately and is also a right-handed batter while Lagerhans is a left-handed batter. Wakamatsu should be choosing Lagerhans to bat against right-handed knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. The Mariners are batting .294 in their past three games, compared to the Red Sox who are batting .303 who are also getting more total bases with a bit better baserunning. With Wakefield and Felix Hernandez on the mounds for their respective teams it should be a bit of a pitchers' duel.

Both pitchers give up a home run every 60 or so pitches swung at and the wind is will be blowing in from right field. If it has any effect on the flight path of pitches it will be to put the ball on the outside of the plate for left-handed batters, making this a lefty friendly environment. For the Mariners their best batters, Ichiro Suzuki and Russel Branyan are both left-handed batters, while the Red Sox will be relying on Ellsbury, Kotsay, and David Ortiz for their offense as they have a generally righty heavy lineup. This right here leads me to favor the Mariners in this game. Hernandez has pitched seven quality or gem starts in a row so one might expect him to have a poor outing. I would as well, except that for last season he put together a string of eight quality and gem starts, beginning at the end of May and finishing in the middle of July.

I think Tim Wakefield's knuckleball will thrive in an environment with constantly shifting wind and so he should do well tonight. Hernandez has the more favorable platoon split, however, so I would give the Mariners a better chance of hitting the home run. Both bullpens are quite good and so this will probably come down to who can take a lead into the seventh inning. If left-handed Mike Carp happens to get the start tonight I would certainly favor Seattle. Even if he does not I think Seattle has a good chance of winning this first game.

Recent Results
Real Salt LakeSan Jose
Toronto FC (3:0)Los Angeles (2:1)
Houston (1:1)Seattle Sounders FC (2:1)
Los Angeles (0:2)Dallas (2:2)
Colorado (1:1)Real Salt Lake (2:1)
San Jose (2:1)Columbus (2:1)
Scores reported as (home:away)
12) The San Jose Earthquake are in last place in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer but have been in decent form lately with a 2-1-2 (W-D-L) record. Looking at the table to the right one sees neither of those wins came away from home and indeed San Jose is 0-1-6 on the road this season having conceded 17 goals while scoring only 6 of their own. Their defense has been a major concern, especially considering San Jose was one of the better defensive sides last season. They have already conceded 7 goals from set pieces which suggests it's not just the keeper who needs to step up their game.
Real Salt Lake lead the league with a +11 goal differential at home but will be playing without their starting midfield. Will they still have enough to put away basement-dwelling San Jose?

They will be facing a very strong home side in Real Salt Lake (RSL). Real Salt Lake are 4-2-1 at home and lead the league with 18 goals scored there and with 7 goals conceded at Rio Tinto Stadium are one of the top half defensive home sides. Unfortunately RSL will be missing their top three midfield starters for this match as Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson and Jean Alexandre are all with their national teams for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Real Salt Lake feel they have the depth to cope with that problem and they know they won't be able to take a win for granted as San Jose already defeated RSL in San Jose 2-1 this season. The only goal scorer for Real Salt Lake in that match was Robbie Findlay, who has been out of action since June 6th. Findlay has been in full training the past week but is still unlikely to figure in the Starting XI. Clearly, RSL have their work cut out for them and it will be just as difficult for them to come away with the full three points as for San Jose. If their reserve midfielders are not up to the task RSL will have difficulty scoring goals. It will be their defense that will have to step up so look to see if Javier Morales is in the Starting XI for Real.

13) There's essentially two ways the Dodgers can win this prop. One, Manny Ramirez has a terrific return, belts out a multi-run homer, and gets at least one other extra base hit. The other way is for Ervin Santana (7.47 ERA and 1.85 WHIP) finally has a decent start and gives up three or four runs. Other than that I think the Dodgers are facing the more formidable pitching staff and the Orioles have a comparable offense which surprised me as well. One thing, Baltimore is scoring nearly a full run less on the road than at home while the Dodgers actually score nearly 0.3 more runs on the road this season. They're scoring less than 2 runs per game in their last five games, but there's a good chance they will snap out of it if 'score fast and early' Gaudin shows up. Good luck with this one.

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