Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27th, 2009 Picks

1-0-1 today so I have a newborn streak alive and well after some time in the ICU. My first pick was the Philadelphia Phillies. Jamie Moyer had another terrific outing as he pitched 6 innings allowing only 1 run and recording a WHIP of 1.33. He struck out 6 batters and walked only 1. Contrasting with this was Graham Taylor in his first major league start. He lasted 32/3 innings and gave up 4 earned runs in that time while walking 6 batters and striking out only 2. The Phillies were up 4-0 in the bottom of the 5th when Hanley Ramirez hit an RBI single to make it 4-1. The 7th and 8th innings were a nightmare for the Marlins’ bullpen as they gave up 9 runs total in the two innings, two of the runs being walked in with the bases loaded. The Phillies' bullpen held on to give Moyer his third win in four starts this season, Philadelphia 13, Florida 2.

My second pick was for Kevin Youkilis to record more runs, hits, and RBIs. Jeter and Youkilis each grounded out in their first at bat. Jeter reached first base on an error in his next at bat and Youkilis struck out swinging to keep their totals each at 0. Jeter singled in the top of the 5th and Youkilis was walked in the bottom of the inning. Youkilis was advanced to third on a ground rule double by Drew, but Bay struck out to end the inning. Jeter struck out in his final at bat and Youkilis hit a lead off single to record his first hit. Youkilis again advanced to third base, this time with zero outs, but Lowell hit a ground ball which was turned into a force out of Youkilis at home. In the end Jeter and Youkilis each had one hit, no runs, and no RBIs to end the prop in a push. The Red Sox won the game 4 to 1. So on to the picks.

1) Pakistan vs. Australia – Pakistan
2) Portsmouth @ Newcastle United – Portsmouth win or draw
3) St. Louis Cardinals @ Atlanta Braves – Atlanta
4) Boston Red Sox @ Cleveland Indians – Cleveland
5) Denver Nuggets @ New Orleans Hornets – Denver
6) San Diego Padres @ Colorado Rockies – San Diego
7) Chicago Blackhawks @ Calgary Flames – Chicago
8) Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco Giants – San Francisco
9) San Jose Sharks @ Anaheim Ducks – San Jose
10) Deron Williams vs. Los Angeles Lakers win margin – L.A. Lakers win margin

1) Skybet has Australia favored at 4:6 and Pakistan at 11:10, which is about 57% for Australia and 43% for Pakistan. Australia will be resting three important players in anticipation of The Ashes, a test match between England and Australia. These players rested in the 1st ODI and Pakistan won a very close match. In the 2nd ODI Australia won in an even closer match. This looks like it will be another incredibly close match.

2) Newcastle United currently sit in the penultimate position at the bottom of the table, four points off of avoiding relegation this season. They have a couple of injury doubts with Steven Taylor, Joey Barton, and Jose Enrique who will be late decisions to the squad. Their absence would be a detriment to the defense and midfield for Newcastle United. Portsmouth also face a decision of whether to play David Nugent and Younes Kaboul, which could take away some of their attacking punch. Portsmouth are 6 points clear of relegationa nd relatively safe. Their away record is 2-7-7 (W-D-L) but they have been playing much better since Paul Hart took over as coach. Newcastle United are 4-6-6 at home and have also seen a boost with a new coach, Aaron Shearer. This could easily go Newcastle’s way with their being motivated to clear themselves of relegation, but I will not pick the tough form Paul Hart has installed in Portsmouth to lose here.

3) Joel Pineiro and Jair Jurrjens are the pitchers tonight for the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves, respectively. Pineiro has had an average start to his recording a 4.12 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP which are not too far off from his numbers last season. Jurrjens has had a terrific start to the season with an ERA of 1.42 and a WHIP of 1.22. Last season he finished with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP so he is due to have a poor game, but not too poor, and not today I feel. Both teams are batting around their season averages recently with the Cardinals batting .278 and slugging .433 while the Braves are batting .252 and slugging .417 in their last three games. The Cardinals have not seen Jurrjens much before, though in one game last season Jurrjens pitched 7 innings, giving up 3 earned runs, walking 3 batters, and allowing 7 hits. Historically the Braves have done well against Pineiro, who recorded an 8.00 ERA and 1.78 WHIP against the Braves last season. The Braves’ current lineup have a combined career batting average of .304 and slugging average of .574. Overall the Cardinals have stronger relief pitching with a combined WHIP of 1.33 this season compared to a WHIP of 1.68 for the Braves. They have given up 11 home runs, however, while the Braves’ bullpen have only conceded 2. As long as Jurrjens does not get bombarded by the Cardinals today and the Braves can take a lead with the starting pitchers on the mound I think they will win this game at home.

6) Jason Hammel is scheduled to pitch for the Colorado Rockies after throwing for their bullpen in his first three games. He is reported to be limited to 70 pitches which would bring in a sub-par Rockies bullpen around the 5th or 6th inning, assuming he can keep his WHIP below 1.50. Chris Young is pitching for the Padres and he has had a fine start to the season with an ERA of 3.42 and a WHIP of 1.18 so far this season. The Rockies have a career batting average of .228 and a slugging average of .378 against Young so they’ll need a solid outing from Hammel to have a chance in this game. Fortunately, the Padres have struggled in their past three games with a batting average of .192 and a slugging average of .364. I expect them to improve those numbers in this game, but not by much. With a 1-4 record, 1.65 WHIP, 5.62 ERA, and only 3 saves on the season the Rockies’ bullpen cannot be expected to hold on to much of a lead and I think the Padres will be able to make up the difference in the final innings.

7) Dion Phaneuf was injured in Game 5 of this series which the Blackhawks won 5-1. That will hurt Calgary as he was one of their top defenders on the ice. Chicago has gone 7-2-0 against the Flames this season and in the playoffs so they have shown already they are capable of winning in Calgary. Mikka Kiprusoff has also been struggling in net for Calgary. He was pulled mid-way through the second period in Game 5 and has a .903 SV% for the series while allowing 16 goals. His backup, Curtis McElhinney did not have a great season, allowing over 3 goals per game and recording a .889 SV%. In the 30-plus minutes he was in during Game 5 he allowed 1 goal and turned away 9 shots. One can only imagine how he would fare against an aggressive Blackhawks attack. Chicago may be at a disadvantage on the road but they have the skill to overcome that and I see them closing out this series tonight unless Kiprusoff can put up the walls 35 to 40 times.

10) Deron Williams has averaged 10.74 assists in all 72 games he’s played this season and in the playoffs. He has averaged 12.0 assists in the 7 games he’s played against the Lakers this year. The Lakers have won by 13, 13, 13, and 10 points in L.A. and are coming off a 14 point win in Utah. Since 7 games is not a very large sample size I used Williams’ overall season average and a discrete Poisson distribution to estimate his chances in this prop. You can see the statistics here. Williams has had 14 or fewer assists in just over 90% of his games this year and can be expected to have 11 or 12 assists. I see Kobe asserting himself early in this game and the Lakers finishing the series on a high night with a 15 point win.

Deron Williams Assists Vs. L.A. Lakers Margin Of Victory

Below is a series of graphs, which you may click on to get a closer view, which show the probabilities of Deron Williams getting a certain number of assists. The first graph shows the number of games this season, including the playoffs, in which Williams recorded 'N' number of assists. The second graph shows the probability of Williams recording a certain number of assists and the third graph shows the percentage of games played Williams is expected to record 'N' assists or fewer. These graphs were made using a discrete Poisson distribution and Williams' average number of assists per game over 72 games played.

Williams had 7 of 72 games this year with 15 or more assists, and just over 80% of his games he can be expected to record 13 or fewer assists. Unless the Jazz keep this game close and lose by 10 or less Williams has a poor shot at winning this prop.