Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 5th, 2009 Picks

(skip to picks)2-4-0 yesterday as my picks were almost 100% shyte yesterday. There were no previews and that reflected a lack of looking into the matchups on my part. There will be some previews today but still fairly sparse as I'm trying to get a radar forecast map up you can use to check out the local conditions around each MLB ballpark. Followed by a gadget that will allow you to generate graphs on the fly, like `compare Reds and Cardinals' batting average over the past week'. I had a good weekend but the celebrations are coming to an end. Lost my six game streak with Venus Williams to start the day. The Williamses both say Venus played well and tried hard but I'll maintain she looked hampered by her knee and did not try and force the issue. Went on to lose with Rocco Mediate, then got a fine come from behind victor with the Nationals, then back on the losing track with Detroit and Oakland only to end up back on top with the Galaxy. So on to the more mystifying picks.


Venus Knocked Out Of Orbit As Serena Captures Third Wimbledon
S. Williams def. V. Williams 7-6(3) 6-2
I only saw the tiebreak and the second set but I saw Venus Williams stumble twice trying to get to a ball and look generally defeated, as if she did not believe in her own game, for most of that time. Kind of a disappointing final overall.
``[T]his contest between the current oligarchs of the women's game was conducted for much of the first set at a comparatively sedate pace and in front of a muted audience as both finalists held serve comfortably, with the occasional explosion coming from a Serena ace. Not until the eighth game did the excitement build, when Serena went two break points down. Here was the opportunity for Venus to impose her authority. But the first break point escaped her when she got a bad bounce and the second got away, too, when, faced with a gaping court, she overhit her forehand. Having been reprieved, Serena pressed the power switch and came up with successive aces. She was off the hook and was never subsequently in the slightest danger."
Read more... HighlightsMatch Stats
``Venus could hardly take a point from Serena’s serve, and it became increasingly clear that if the set went as far as the tiebreak Serena would be in good shape. But when Venus had her chance to prevent the set running its full course – with two break points at 4-3 – she failed to convert. The tiebreak came and Serena bludgeoned her way through it, finishing off with a beautifully judged lob to take it 7-3. They watched a second set where it soon became clear that Venus – so dominant throughout these Championships – was rapidly losing confidence. Her key weapon, her serve, was losing speed, while Serena was continuing to amass aces without double faults. At 2-3 a Venus mis-hit off the frame of her racket brought up Serena’s first chance to break in the entire match. In the event she did not need to do anything to convert it, because Venus delivered a double fault. Invulnerable to mental pressure in any other match throughout the fortnight, she could not hold it together at the crucial moment against her sister."
Venus CracksVenus InterviewSerena Interview

Fred Couples Moves Into Top 25 While Rocco Languishes Near 50th
Front 9 scores: Fred Couples 34, Rocco Mediate 36
Rocco Mediate and Fred Couples were close, within one stroke, for most of the round, until the 7th hole. Couples was more consistent carding par on 5 of the first 6 holes with only one bogey while Mediate had more birdies and bogeys combined than pars. On the seventh hole Couples birdied to take a two stroke lead, but Mediate came back with a birdie of his own on the eighth to get back to within a stroke. Both players played the ninth hole nicely, staying in the fairway off of the elevated tee and leaving themselves short putts for birdie. Couples made his and Mediate missed from just under 7 feet and Couples had the lower front 9 score by two strokes.
LeaderboardCouples' ScorecardMediate's Scorecard

Nationals Rally With Four Run 8th
Washington Nationals 5 - 3 Atlanta Braves
Tommy Hanson had a terrific game but the Braves' bullpen couldn't hold on.
``Hanson departed with a 3-1 lead after seven innings and was in line for his fifth straight victory before the Braves bullpen blew up, halting Atlanta's winning streak at a season-high five. "It was remarkable," said Nationals manager Manny Acta. Mike Gonzalez (3-1) loaded the bases with one down in the eighth on a pinch-hit single by Ronnie Belliard and a pair of walks before Peter Moylan relieved and yielded a two-run, game-tying single to Ryan Zimmerman. O'Flaherty replaced Moylan and was greeted by Dunn's decisive single up the middle on the first pitch he threw. Josh Willingham followed with an RBI single to left."
Read more....Box Score

Ordonez Gives Tigs The Lead But Mauer, Morneau Snatch It Right Back
Minnesota Twins 4 - 3 Detroit Tigers
Ordonez's home run was the only real offense the Tigers had all game long. It was nearly enough.
``In the eighth against Brandon Lyon (3-4), Nick Punto poked a soft single over the outstretched glove of shortstop Adam Everett to allow pinch-runner Matt Tolbert to score on a head-first slide just ahead of the relay throw. Matt Guerrier (4-0) pitched one inning for the win, and Joe Nathan wrapped it up with his 22nd save to pull the Twins within three games of the first-place Tigers. His slider zipping and diving in the zone, Liriano recorded 13 straight outs during the middle innings he's had so much trouble with this year and took a 2-0 advantage into the seventh. After two quick singles to start the frame, though, he lost the lead."
Read more....Box Score

Francisco, Valbuena Make Life Hard For Mazzaro And A's As Tribe Win Two Straight
Cleveland Indians 5 - 2 Oakland Athletics
Vin Mazzaro did a fine job, except when it came to the bottom of Cleveland's batting order.
``Oakland took a 1-0 lead on a first-inning sacrifice fly by Matt Holliday. The Athletics left the bases loaded when third baseman Jhonny Peralta made a leaping catch of a line drive by Ryan Sweeney that would have scored more. Both teams turned in good defensive plays. The Athletics stopped a Cleveland threat in the fifth when Valbuena singled with one out and tried to score from first on a double by Francisco off the left-field wall. But shortstop Orlando Cabrera took the throw from center fielder Ryan Sweeney and relayed the ball home, where catcher Kurt Suzuki blocked the plate and tagged out Valbuena. No. 8 and 9 hitters Luis Valbuena and Ben Francisco went a combined 6 for 6 to help Cleveland defeat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Saturday night."
Read more....Box Score

New Addition Eskandarian Makes Big Impact As Galaxy Defeat Revolution For The First Time
Los Angeles Galaxy 1 - 0 New England Revolution
Nice move by the Galaxy to pick up Eskandarian, now if Beckham and Donovan can every get along and on the pitch together they're suddenly a dangerous side.
``LA heavily controlled the opening minutes of the match, establishing the tone of the match right from the start. It didn't take the Galaxy long to get on the board, either. In the eighth minute Todd Dunivant sent a high ball into the box from about 30 yards out on the left flank, and Eskandarian timed the long cross perfectly. He barely stayed onside to receive the pass, then volleyed the ball in mid-air from 8 yards away past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis to give LA the score it needed. LA attacked aggressively, even to the point that defender Omar Gonzalez had a chance at a rare scoring opportunity in the 30th minute, when Jovan Kirovski sent a cross into the box from the right side. Gonzalez was all alone in space, but his header went directly at Reis."
Read more....Box ScoreRevolution Point of View

1) How Many Sets Will Be Played Between Roger Federer And Andy Roddick: 3 sets vs. 4 or 5 sets - 3 sets
2) Mike Weir vs. Joe Ogilvie - Weir cards a lower front 9 score
3) BK Häcken @ Gefle IF - Gefle IF win
4) St. Louis Cardinals @ Cincinnati Reds - St. Louis
5) New York Mets @ Philadelphia Phillies - Philadelphia
6) Who Will Win The AT&T National - Tiger Woods vs. Rest Of Field - Rest of Field
7) Detroit Tigers @ Minnesota Twins - Minnesota
8) Drogheda United @ Sligo - Drogheda United win or draw
9) Houston Astros @ San Francisco Giants - Houston
10) Connecticut Sun @ Detroit Shock - Detroit
11) Tampa Bay Rays @ Texas Rangers - Texas
12) Phoenix Mercury @ Los Angeles Sparks - Los Angeles


Roger Federer (top) will try to remain as confident as ever as he faces a newly resurgent Andy Roddick.
1) Today is the final day at Wimbledon and the gentleman's singles champion will be decided. Roger Federer will be facing off against Andy Roddick whose presence in the final is not entirely astonishing but not entirely expected either after he bowed out in the second round last year. Wimbledon's preview points out some of the history going against Roddick here, most notably his 2-18 record against Federer. Three of those losses have been at Wimbledon, two in the finals and one semifinal match, with Federer dropping a single set (4-6). Federer has been playing strong in this tournament as well having dropped only one set en route to the final. Roddick has been a bit more beatable as he has dropped six sets total with his only straight sets victory being over Tomas Berdych in the fourth round. Federer is a huge favorite to win this match at -900 to +550 for Roddick with a straight sets victory being the single most favored result.

3) BK Häcken visit Strömvallen in Gävle to take on Gefle IF in the 13th week of competition in the Allsvenskan. A look at the tables shows Gefle IF are in 6th place with a 5-4-3 (W-D-L) record while BK Häcken have relegation concerns as they sit 3 meager points off of danger in 13th place with a 4-2-6 record. In terms of home form Gefle IF are only a middle-of-the-pack team at this point in the season with a 3-2-1 (W-D-L) record and a +3 goal differential, scoring just over a goal per match and allowing just under a goal. BK Häcken are one of the worst in the league when it comes to away matches, sporting a 1-0-5 record and have scored only 2 goals while giving up 10.
Recent Form/Results
#8 Gefle IF#14 BK Häcken
#1 AIK Solna (1:0)#10 Djurgårdens IF (0:1)
#4 IF Brommapojkarna (3:2)#16 Örgryte IS (1:0)
#12 Örebro SK (2:0)#10 AIK Solna (0:2)
Gefle home results; Häcken away results

The table to the right shows each sides recent form, at home for Gefle IF and away for BK Häcken. The rankings are based on home results for BK Häcken's opponents and away results for Gefle IF's opponents. One can see that Gefle IF have won their last three at home and against some of the best away teams in the Allsvenskan while BK Häcken have struggled on the road against teams with comparable road records to Gefle IF. As far as injury concerns for either side, Mattias Östberg, Muhammad Ali Kahn, and Daniel Forsell will all be missing from BK Häcken's backfield while Gefle IF will be dealing with the absences of Yannick Bapupa at midfield and Jonathan Hellström on defense. Considering how few goals BK Häcken have scored on the road (two) they may have a difficult time keeping up with Gefle facing a weakened defense.

7) The AL Central leading Detroit Tigers look to steal a series at the Metrodome in Minnesota after taking the 16 inning marathon and losing to a rehabilitated Francisco Liriano. Today's game will pit 20 year old rookie Rick Porcello against Nick Blackburn who has been very good this year with a 3.10 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Looking at those links will show the batter vs. pitcher stats for this game and they seem to favor Detroit in a major way. One has to keep in mind Blackburn is pitching his best season in his young career, hoewever, while Porcello's numbers are based on a single game. One of the main reasons I favor the Twins in this matchup is that Porcello has been struggling a bit lately. Looking at the pitchFx data for Porcello one can see that his changeup and 2-seam fastball were on the inside half of the plate for left-handed batters in his stellar performance against the Twins on May 5th but that he was leaving those same pitches up in the middle of the plate against Oakland in his last start where he was lit up for 5 runs in 41/3 innings. This should be a concern for Porcello and the Detroit pitching coaches, but it remains a problem to be fixed in his game.

If Porcello has figured out what's been off lately the Twins could be in trouble.

I think Detroit could be dangerous in this game as they are slumping at the moment with a .226 batting average and .379 slugging average and could be on the rise starting today. Blackburn is hit for a number of fly balls and Detroit certainly has the power to take them the distance. I expect Porcello to continue to struggle with his location, however, and for Morneau, Mauer, and Span to continue hitting well. With the addition of Anthony Swarzak to the bullpen I think Minnesota will be strong enough to defend any lead they may take into the latter innings.

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