Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 23rd, 2009 Picks

(skip to picks)1-1-0 on the day, picked up a win with Joe Blanton going 2 full innings further than Josh Johnson. After that got screwed by the Phillies who managed a full two hits against Anibal Sanchez as they wasted a quality start by Jamie Moyer and fell 3-0 to the Marlins. Of course the Phillies are going to put forth their worst effort on the season when they're up on SFTC with 92% of the people picking them, right? So another day and another round of picks!

1) Santos @ Golden Arrows - Golden Arrows
2) Napoli @ Inter Milan - Napoli win, draw, or lose by 1 goal
3) AC Milan @ Udinese - Udinese win or draw
4) New York Yankees @ Los Angeles Angels - Los Angeles
5) Seattle Mariners @ Tampa Bay Rays - Rays lead after 41/2 innings
6) Cole Hamels Strikeouts Or Tie vs. Florida Marlins Hits Off Hamels - Hamels strikeouts or tie
7) Indiana Fever @ Detroit Shock - Detroit
8) Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox - Chicago
9) Phoenix Mercury @ Los Angeles Sparks - Los Angeles
10) Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics - Oakland
11) San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks - San Francisco

Inter Milan suit up their third game this week. Can they beat the fatigue and Napoli?
2) Inter Milan is a good favorite to win this match at 2/5 (-250) compared to 11/4 (+275) for a draw and 15/2 (+750) for Napoli to win. Take a look at the handicap betting a few lines down, however, and one can see Inter Milan are only 6/5 (+120) when Napoli is spotted a goal. Combining the handicap tie for Napoli and accounting for the sportsbooks profits Milan are +145 to win by 2 goals or more. Inter Milan will be missing Thiago Motta at midfield and will be playing their third game this week. I think this will be a difficult game for Inter Milan much like the match against A.S. Bari earlier this season. It will come down to whether their strikers are able to pin-point difficult shots. If they can, don't be surprised by a 4-1 scoreline in favor of Inter.

Udinese will have home field advantage as they seek to regain a place in Europe in 2010.
3) This match features two teams who are underachieving thus far this season. Udinese sits in 12th place with a 1-2-1 (W-D-L) record and with an even goal differential while AC Milan are currently 8th with a 2-1-1 record and -2 differential. Udinese will seek a place in Europe this year after last seasons quarterfinal run in the UEFA Cup. AC Milan are trying to seek another Champions League place where they are currently competing in the group stage. Both teams are dealing with a slew of injuries: Udinese are missing Kwadwo Asamoah (M), Christian Obodo (M), Damiano Ferronetti (D), Christian Zapata (D) and AC Milan are missing Daniele Bonera (D), Davide Di Gennaro (M), and Marco Borriello (F). Considering these injuries SkyBet have AC Milan at 5/4 (+125) and combining the win and draw odds and accounting for the sportsbooks profit we get Udinese to win or draw at -145.

(top) Teams' strikeout rate vs. Hamels, with 100% being average.
Click image for larger view.
6) Hamels has faced the Marlins twice this season and has managed to go 1-1 in terms of this prop. In the first game he struck out 5 and gave up 4 hits facing 20 batters and in the second game he struck out 4 and gave up 5 hits facing 25 batters. The difference was mainly in how often the Marlins struck out. To date this season the Marlins are average 5.11 plate appearances per strikeout good for 25th in the Majors. Looking at the graph on the right one can see the rate at which opponents strike out against Hamels compared to their average. One can see Hamels generally strikes out teams at or above their average, sometimes at more than twice their rate. He has struck out teams above their average rate for six straight starts nd I think if he can do that in this game he will win this prop. Hamels has had more strikeouts than hits in only 13 of 29 starts this season so it's by no means a sure bet, but I think Florida is one team he can do it against.

10) This one looks like a can't-miss for Texas. They're regarded as the better team offensively and the pitching matchup undeniably favors Texas. Tommy Hunter may not strikeout a lot of batters and he does not force too many groundouts but players have a tough time hitting off of him, his batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is .259, which could be considered a sign of luck. He has a WHIP of 1.18 and his ERA is 3.25 which are near All-Star level. He also has a win at Oakland already this season, pitching 7 innings and allowing only 3 runs off of three hits and 2 walks.
Can the A's bats provide Mortensen with enough support against Tommy Hunter?

Oakland will counter with young Clayton Mortensen who was brought up from AAA earlier this season for the first time in his career. His numbers look pretty abysmal with a 1.60 WHIP and 6.12 ERA in 25 innings of work but those numbers are bloated from a poor pair of initial starts. In his third start of the season he pitched 6 quality innings at Minnesota and the A's won 12-5. Mortensen put up mediocre numbers in AAA with a 4.39 ERA and 1.39 WHIP but his ground-ball to fly-ball ratio has been outstanding in the Majors which is important since his home run-to-fly ball ratio is more than double that of Hunter's and the Rangers are a slugging team (3rd in MLB).

I think this conception of the Rangers as a power offense is where people are a bit off. Batting average wise the Athletics and Rangers are identical and the Rangers are far worse than Oakland in terms of plate appearances per strikeout (PASO) - Texas ranks 30th in PASO. Oakland may not have the slugging of Texas but at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium Oakland are typically the better offense. They've outscored their opponents by 53 runs in 76 games and have actually hit 3 more home runs than the opposition. Overall I think Oakland can hang with Texas offensively in Oakland and it will just be a matter of Mortensen getting a quality start. Look for Hunter to have a poor game because it happens to even the best of them.

Comparative Pitching Statistics
T. Hunter11.7%37.3%7.3%84.1%67.7%
C. Mortensen4.2%54%16.7%78.5%42.9%

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