Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7th, 2009 Happy Labor Day!!

(skip to picks)Let me just say the Rays bullpen is an embarrassment right now, and Joe Maddon is way too far down the Sabermetrics hole if he can't figure out who's actually pitching well on a given day rather than who the stats say should pitch well. Three straight games the Rays have blown a lead to Detroit in the final innings. This one was especially awful as Lance Cormier had just struck out a batter to start off the 9th. Maddon replaces him and dude walks a man on first, next relief pitcher walks his first batter. Maddon puts in another reliever and he gives up a single, a grand slam, and a triple before finally Choate gets in the game and gets two outs with a man on third. So I lost my 5 game streak and just got it back to one with the Dodgers losing to San Diego 4-3. Labor Day looks to have some easier picks than Sunday, so good luck and on to the picks!

1) Phil Mickelson's Front 9 Score: 35 or lower vs. 36 or higher - 35 or lower
2) Robin Soderling vs. Nikolay Davydenko - Davydenko
3) Yankees' Hits Off Garza vs. C.C. Sabathia's Strikeouts - Sabathia's strikeouts
4) Deutsche Bank Championship Winner: Stricker, Goosen, or Harrington vs. Rest Of Field - Stricker, Goosen, or Harrington
5) Melanie Oudin vs. Nadia Petrova - Petrova
6) Boston Red Sox @ Chicago White Sox - Boston
7) Monaghan @ Saint Patrick's - 3 goals or more
8) Los Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks - Arizona
9) Cincinnati Bearcats @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights - Rutgers
10) Toronto Argonauts @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats - 47 points or more
11) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova - Kuznetsova
12) Ricky Ray vs. Henry Burris - Ray passes for more yards
13) Miami(FL) Hurricanes @ Florida State Seminoles - Touchdown scored first
14) Miami(FL) Hurricanes @ Florida State Seminoles - 24 points or more scored in the 2nd half

Soderling (-155) is favored and is 4-2 against Davydenko (+135), but only 1-2 against him on hard courts.
2) Well, it looks like both Robin Soderling and Nikolay Davydenko have had a bit of trouble defeating top tier opponents lately. Soderling has been knocked out of his past 3 events by #42 Lleyton Hewitt, #6 Juan Martin del Potro, and #40 Nicolas Almagro. Davydenko has been sent off by #23 Sam Querrey, #9 Gilles Simon, and #3 Andy Murray so that overall I would say Davydenko has been in better form. Head to head Soderling is 4-2 over Davydenko, but is 1-2 against him on hard courts. Checking on 5dimes.com Soderling is a -155 favorite while Davydenko is +135. The odds favor Soderling, but history and form favor Davydenko in my book.

Opponents' strikeout rate vs. Sabathia compared to average rate for season.
Click image for larger view.
3) The graph on the left shows how poorly teams bat against C.C. Sabathia in terms of how often they strike out. If a team has a strikeout for every 5 batters faced and they strike out every 2.5 batters faced when Sabathia pitches then they are marked at 200% for that game. One can see teams are striking out 1.5 times to twice as often against Sabathia over the past month. One can also see that teams have struck out progressively more often each time they face Sabathia.

Tampa Bay struck out at 80% their season average against C.C. the first time they faced him and at 106% the second time. It would not be a stretch to see them strike out at 150% their average rate in today's game. Looking at this chart one sees Tampa Bay are the 3rd worst team in terms of plate appearances per strikeout at 4.97, which would give Sabathia 6 strikeouts if he faces 30 batters. If he is pitching well he could double that rate, as he has done in 4 of his past 5 starts.

As for Matt Garza he has given up 4, 5, and 8 hits to the Yankees in three starts this season. If Sabathia can reach 10 strikeouts I think he'll win this prop and that's even if Garza has a bad game. The main caveat is Sabathia's day/night split. His K/9 is 8.41 in night games and only 5.9 in day games. I still like the strikeouts here as Garza's median number of hits given up in 27 starts this season is only 5.5.

4) There are 12 players at -10 to par or better with Stricker and Goosen at -13 and Harrington at -12. Stricker and Goosen have three wins between them this year. The other nine players have three wins between them. I like that the most experienced at winning are tied for the top spot going into this round.

5) I had Melanie Oudin up here originally because I saw she was a slight favorite on 5dimes, something like -110 to -105. Here on SkyBet they have both at -110, so there's money down on both sides. The thing is, Oudin is unseeded and is on a major cinderella run after defeating Dementieva and Sharapova. Nadia Petrova is still better and I find myself believing in Oudin less. These tournaments can be draining and I think Petrova will be a wall Oudin will fail to climb. Good luck.

St. Patrick's replay their fourth round draw home at Richmond Park after last month's fixture at Monaghan ended in a 0-0 draw.
7) This is a replay of a 4th round Ford FAI Cup match between Monaghan United and St. Patrick's Athletic. The first match was played at Monaghan's home park and ended in a 0-0 draw. Reading a match report from stpatsfc.com one gets the impression scoring opportunities were to be had but none materialized. RTE carries a nice preview of the match. They note that St. Patrick's recently lost to Steaua Bucuresti 5-1 in aggregate and with their dropping to 7th in the tables their only realistic avenue back into the major UEFA competitions next summer is through a Ford FAI Cup victory. The article mentions some injury concerns for St. Patrick's, with Ryan and Harris out on defense and O'Connor out at midfield. Looking at FAI Cup results for St. Patrick's one can see 10 of their 17 matches in the past 5 years have had 3 or more goals scored. One can also read a short match preview from the Monaghan point of view on their homepage. Note they lost 0-3 at home to First Division side Shelbourne in their most recent match. I think St. Patrick's could achieve a similar scoreline.

8) Max Scherzer won his last start against the Dodgers, in L.A., pitching 72/3 innings and allowing only 1 run. The Diamondbacks won that game 4-1. The last game Vicente Padilla pitched was against the Diamondbacks. Padilla allowed 1 run in 51/3 innings and the Dodgers won 4-3. Right now Arizona is producing more on offense - 5.2 runs in their last 10, 5-5 record compared to L.A. who are scoring 3.5 runs in their last 10 with a 5-5 record. Being at home I think Scherzer can pull off another solid performance and win for Arizona in a close game.

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