Odds On Most Any Matchup: 5dimesSkyBetBetFairBetUS

And So It Goes....

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

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 4th, 2009 Picks

Awww hell, 0-1-0 today with Bay's single being enough to sink me and my streak. Lot's of golf and a couple tennis props on the board tomorrow so I'm hoping for an 11-4-0 day at worst.
UPDATE: In an attempt to get all the previews tomorrow up before the first matchup of the day starts, and to pick more damn winners, the evening previews for tonight will be a bit thin. On the plus side, four straight losers this morning should lead to a nice run of winners this evening.

Bay Single And Beckett's 2-Hitter Enough To Sink Cabrera, Tigers
Boston Red Sox 10 - 5 Detroit Tigers
Called Bay having a poor game 100%, one single for him, but Beckett was awesome, 72/3 innings and only 2 hits allowed! Phenomenal stuff there. Cabrera had a chance even then, but his one hit off a reliever was a weak grounder that would have been an out if Lowell hadn't mishandled it. From the article: "Beckett (6-2) gave up a single to Curtis Granderson with two outs in the seventh to end the no-hit bid. He retired 18 straight after walking Placido Polanco with one out in the first until he walked Magglio Ordonez with one out in the seventh. Miguel Cabrera hit a fly to the warning track in right-center before Granderson singled to right." Read more....

Picks click on bold posts to scroll directly to them
1) Dinara Safina vs. Dominika Cibulkova - 17 games or fewer
2) Aaron Baddeley vs. Johnson Wagner - Baddeley cards more birdies on the front 9
3) Samantha Stosur vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova - 2 sets
4) New York Mets @ Pittsburgh Pirates - New York
5) Ernie Els or Zach Johnson vs. Tiger Woods - Els or Johnson card a lower 1st round score
6) Kenny Perry's Total Par 5's Score: 18 strokes or fewer vs. 19 strokes or more - 18 strokes or fewer
7) Municipal @ Suchitepequez - Municipal win or draw
8) Will Randy Johnson Get Win Number 300 Today: Yes or No - No
9) Chicago Cubs @ Atlanta Braves - Chicago
10) San Francisco Giants @ Washington Nationals - Washington
11) New York Red Bulls @ DC United - New York win or draw
12) Detroit Red Wings @ Pittsburgh Penguins - Detroit
13) Dwight Howard vs. Kobe Bryant - Bryant pts. and reb.
14) Toronto Nationals @ Washington Bayhawks - Toronto
15) Philadelphia Phillies @ Los Angeles Dodgers - Philadelphia

1) Dinara Safina and Dominika Cibulkova have each waltzed through to the semi-finals at Roland Garros for the most part. Safina lost her first set in the quarterfinals to Victoria Azarenka, having lost only 5 games up to that point, and has won 61 games with 17 losses including the match with Azarenka. Cibulkova lost her only set in the first round, to #28 Alona Bondarenko and has won 62 games with 29 losses to reach the semi-finals.
Match Stats
1st Serve %67.2%60.6%
1st Serve Won %73.6%65.4%
2nd Serve Win %43.5%50.8%
Receiving Win %55.4%52.6%
Unforced Errors79110
Data through all 5 rounds of play
The table at the left displays some of that dominance with each player winning over 50% of their points while receiving. Safina has been a bit better, however, with over 2/3 of her first serves being in play and winning over 70% of those services compared to Cibulkova who has faulted on nearly 40% of her first services and winning just 65% of those put in play. Safina has also committed fewer errors than Cibulkova, though both players have more than one match with over 20 errors with Cibulkova committing 45 errors in her first round match.

The official Roland Garros site has a nice match analysis section covering this match. They note Safina has had a weak mental game in the past which has been more or less mastered thanks to a new coach. I think she shows a little bit of those mental lapses remaining however, with only 45% of her 2nd services converted into points. They note Safina is much bigger and more powerful, but Cibulkova is very fast paced. Safina is a huge favorite to win this match and from their head to head match ups one can see why. They have met twice, both last year and on hard court, with Safina winning both times in straight sets. One match took 15 games to complete and the other match took 19 games. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour site also has a brief preview where they also note Cibulkova is simply outmatched in terms of height, power, and shots.

Dinara Safina has been here before, but will her advantages in strength, height, and experience be enough to overcome the feisty 20 year old Slovak?

Overall I think Cibulkova has been playing tremendously especially in her domination of Maria Sharapova, but that may have been due to fatigue setting in on the unfit Sharapova. Safina has been just as dominant, with her only set loss coming to #9 ranked Azarenka, someone who I would favor to beat Cibulkova, possibly in straight sets. Cibulkova is only 20 years old and has never progressed this far in a Grand Slam tournament. She may have nothing to play for with nobody expecting her to win, but I think nerves may set in if she wins a game or two as she starts to think "what-if". Of course it could work the opposite way, with Safina losing a game, then another, and a third with frustration overcoming her, but I think she would grit her teeth and up her level of play after losing the first game. Cibulkova has just not been as good as Safina even in her straight set victories and I think it will be enough for Safina to win the match quickly and efficiently. Keep in mind, however, Cibulkova only has to win 6 games total to send this over 18 matches.

Ξ Ξ Ξ==__|| Watch the match live from UStream ||== Ξ Ξ Ξ

Samantha Stosur has an entire continent rooting for her. Kuznetsova has her game.
3) Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova have eached faced their share of challenges in this tournament having been taken to three sets in earlier rounds of the tournament. Most recently Stosur had a difficult straight sets victory over Sorana Cirstea 6-1 6-3 while Kuznetsova advanced through the quarterfinals past Serena Williams in a marathan 77-63 5-7 7-5 match.

Head to head these two do not have much experience with their only match being in 2004, a straight sets victory for Kuznetsova on hard court. Looking at their matches on clay this year on the WTA Tour one can see that Stosur winning 4 matches and losing 1 in straight sets, and winning 2 matches and losing 2 in three sets. Kuznetsova has been more dominant on the clay surface with 10 matches won and 2 lost in straight sets to go with 5 matches won and 1 lost in three sets. Overall then these two have played 20 matches decided in straight sets and 7 matches decided in three sets on clay surfaces this year. Kuznetsova defeated Dinara Safina in straight sets earlier this year and I think she may be able to dispatch Stosur in the same fashion.

8) Randy Johnson faces an historic milestone tonight as he looks to get his 300th career win in the first game of a doubleheader against the Washington Nationals. Washington will be starting Jordan Zimmerman, who was 1 going on 2 years old, when Johnson threw his first pitch in the Majors.

Randy Johnson pitching against Atlanta, his 299th win. Can he repeat that success today?
For Randy Johnson to pick up the win he needs to pitch at least 5 innings, the Giants must have the lead when he is relieved, and the Giants must keep that lead for the rest of the game. Jordan Zimmerman does have a tendency to give up runs early in the game, but the Nationals offense bails him out quite a bit and his record for the season is 2-2. The last time Zimmerman pitched against the Giants San Francisco had Matt Cain pitching. The Nationals came back to tie the game before Cain was relieved in the 8th inning and both starting pitchers ended up with a 'No Decision'. I think something very similar to that could end up happening in today's game.

14 ) OK, here's the deal. This game is being played as we speak. Toronto is currently leading 13-11 after the third quarter. It doesn't lock until it is replayed on ESPN2 later tonight. By that time the winner should be just about decided so if you like you can take the gimmie on this one after checking out the final score.

June 3rd, 2009 Picks

Wow, well 2-0-0 today with Gonzalez and Hawpe, but man were my picks shitty today overall. I blame it on g++ not giving me the right error codes.... Tomorrow will be a much better day, especially with some props to choose from. And my condolences to anyone who picked the Cubs tonight. Game over but for Soto dropping a wild pitch.


Gonzalez Passes By Murray In 4 Sets 6-3 3-6 6-0 6-4
"One set all therefore – had Murray weathered the storm? Would Gonzalez be forced to play more cagily? Not a bit of it. The third set saw Murray blown off court 6-0 as Gonzalez hit a raft of forehand winners – 24 of them from the baseline alone throughout the match – and then deciding to dust off his slice, drop and cross-court play as he took the set on a wave of confidence. Murray had no answer to this combination of power and variation, his tennis looking terribly one-dimensional in comparison." Read more....

Carlos Lee 0-for-4, Hawpe With Double, Astros Win Anyways 3-2 (in 11)
Felipe Paulino was dominant early, striking out five of the first 10 batters he faced. But the Rockies took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe and an RBI single by Seth Smith. Read more....

Picks click on bold posts to scroll directly to them
1) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Serena Williams - Kuznetsova
2) Roger Federer vs. Gael Monfils - 39 games or fewer
3) Netherlands U20 @ Argentina U20 - Netherlands U20 win or draw
4) Jason Bay vs. Miguel Cabrera - Cabrera records more total bases
5) Los Angeles Angels @ Toronto Blue Jays - Los Angeles
6) Milwaukee Brewers @ Florida Marlins - Florida
7) Colorado Rockies @ Houston Astros - Houston
8) Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins - Minnesota
9) Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis Cardinals - Cincinnati
10) United States @ Costa Rica - United States win
11) Philadelphia Phillies @ San Diego Padres - Philadelphia
12) Baltimore Orioles @ Seattle Mariners - Baltimore
13) Will Ichiro Suzuki Extend His Hit Streak To 27 Games: Yes vs. No - Yes

1) Ended up with too much to do, but basically had Kuznetsova on here because she's committed fewer errors and has won a greater proportion of her service and receiving points.

4) The Detroit Tigers host the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park as they attempt to stay on the winning side of the series after dropping the first game 5-1 yesterday. Boston will start a red hot Josh Beckett to help them continue making up ground on the AL East leading New York Yankees. Beckett has put together three lights out starts5/28 @MIN - 3H, 1ER, 1HR
5/23 v.NYM - 5H, 0ER, 0HR
5/16 @TB - 4H, 2ER, 1HR
, allowing no more than 5 hits or 2 earned runs against Minnesota, the Mets, or Seattle. He will be facing off against Armando Galarraga who has been struggling a bit, giving up 20 hits and 5 home runs in his last 3 starts5/28 @BAL - 10H, 3ER, 2HR
5/23 v.COL - 6H, 4ER, 2HR
4/17 v.OAK - 4H, 5ER, 1HR
. In one of those starts, against Oakland, he pitched for just 2/3 of one inning, throwing 41 pitches and giving up 5 earned runs form 4 hits.
Pitching Statistics
BOS blpnDET blpn
HIP - hits per inning pitched
Looking at the table to the left one can see that Beckett and Galarraga give up hits at around the same rate but that Galaragga gives up home runs at twice the rate Beckett does. One can also see that the Boston bullpen gives up hits and home runs less often than Detroit's.

So far this season Jason Bay is batting .286 with a .632 slugging percentage, for an average of 2.21 total bases per hit. 57.7% (30 of 52) of his hits are extra base hits and he has 16 home runs for the season. Cabrera is batting .358 with a .578 slugging percentage, for an average of 1.61 total bases per hit. He has 46 singles this season with 21 extra base hits, 10 of them being home runs meaning he has hit for extra bases on 31.3% of his hits. Last season Cabrera had more home runs than Bay (37 to 31) and hit for extra bases 41.7% of the time while Bay had an extra base hit 42.4% of the time. I think Cabrera is due to hit some doubles and home runs, while Jason Bay is more likely to get singles for a period of time in the near future.

Click above for a closer look. Notice how Bay is at the peak of a hot streak while Cabrera appears to be exiting a slump.

Clicking on the chart to the side one can see how many total bases each player has had on a game-by-game basis, and how their 3 game average has evolved through the season. Each player has gone through slumps and hot streaks this season and that is seen in the 3 game average which tends to undulate up and down. Interestingly, it appears that Cabrera is in a slump at the same time Bay is on a hot streak, and vice versa. The game-by-game average fluctuates even more severly, with a 6 total bases game followed by one with zero total bases regularly. Right now it looks as if Jason Bay is at the peak of a hot streak, having hit a home run in his two previous games, and is about to move into a slump. Cabrera has been in a slump and looks to be moving on to a hot streak.

The graph below shows how many games each player has this season recording a specific number of total bases. One can see Bay has 7 more games with zero total bases than Cabrera and that in those games Cabrera has mainly had one or two total bases. Bay has 5 more games with 3 or more total bases. It looks like Jason Bay tends to either hit a home run, a home run and another hit, a double and a single, two doubles, or no hits at all, whereas Cabrera has many games with one single or one double. Considering Jason Bay has had a home run in three or more consecutive games only once in his 6 year career I think he's more likely to end up with zero total bases in this game than Cabrera. I also think Cabrera is overdue to hit some doubles and home runs. The pitching matchups favor Bay in this one greatly, however, so one of the straight up MLB picks may be a better option on this one.

6) The Milwaukee Brewers have been swept in a series once this season, a little over a week ago to the Minnesota Twins. They will attempt to avoid that fate at Land Shark Stadium when they play the Florida Marlins, a team they swept earlier this season. They will have to do it against Sean West who has recorded a 2.25 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 12 innings of Major league play after struggling some with AA Jacksonville

where he gave up 9 home runs in 422/3 innings. Fortunately for West, or perhaps not, the Brewers have had some difficulty with the long ball in their past three games, with a .340 slugging average and .258 batting average en route to scoring 12 runs.

Can the Florida Marlins sweep the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers?

The Marlins, despite a couple of huge home runs in their last game, have also not been hitting hard the past few games, slugging .393 and batting .299, with many singles being hit. Those slugging numbers are actually a bit above the Marlins' season average of .385, partially thanks to the return of Hanley Ramirez to the lineup. They will try and keep up those numbers against Braden Looper tonight. Looper has been above average in consistency

Braden Loopers Starts
GSc: 70+;
GSc: 50-69;
GSc: 40-49;
GSc: 16-39;
this season with 6 of 10 quality starts, and two non-quality starts being only mediocre rather than poor. He did get touched up a bit in his last start against the Marlins, giving up 5 earned runs, but the Brewers took the game 8-6.

22 year old Sean West will look to continue his Major league success and pick up his first win against the Milwaukee tonight.

Overall the Brewers have the stronger bullpen in terms of WHIP and ERA, and it will only be stronger with the return of Mark DiFelice for today's game. I think Florida only wins this game if Sean West receives the run support that was lacking his last two times out because I don't see Florida making an 8th or 9th inning come back against the Brewers. Milwaukee may or may not improve offensively in this game, but against West I can see them continuing their slump so a few runs of support for West will go a long way.


The Orioles are in a serious slump offensively, batting .145 and scoring 3 runs in their last three games.
Jason Vargas will take to the mound tonight for the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field and try to defend a three game homestand by taking two of three against the Baltimore Orioles. Vargas has posted an incredible 1.65 ERA and 1.10 WHIP through 5 starts and 2 relief efforts encompassing 271/3 innings this season. His last start, against the Los Angeles Angels was one of his worst of the season as he gave up 2 earned runs from 4 hits, including a home run. He had given up no more than 1 earned run in each of his previous 4 starts. He may be facing his greatest challenge of the season tonight against the Baltimore Orioles, though they may not look like much a threat at the moment. In their past three games they have a woeful .154 batting average and an even worse .209 slugging average. The Orioles have blamed some of that on the competition they've faced recently, but I think they've also simply hit a natural slump in the season, and one they are sure to break out of with a vengeance, though I'm sure they're not happy about facing Vargas.

"It's been a tough week, we faced Detroit, who throws some exceptional guys, starters and guys coming out of the pen throwing 100 [mph]. Then you come in here and [Jarrod] Washburn has been throwing well. He's been shutting lefties down. And when Bedard is on his game, he's tough."
--Orioles cleanup batter Aubrey Huff
The Orioles will start 23 year old rookie Brad Bergesen who started the season with the AAA Nofolk Tide. He got off to a rocky start this season, posting a 4.94 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 8 starts, before putting in a stellar performance against Detroit in his last start. Baltimore will desperately need him to cool off a red hot Seattle team which is batting .324 with a .569 slugging average in their last three games, and that's including this 2 hit stinker the other night.

With Jason Vargas on the mound the Seattle Mariners always have a chance to win.

I think Seattle is likely to cool off some, after all, that 2 hit game was sandwiched in between games with 15 and 16 hits and against a pitcher with a 1.70 WHIP. Bergesen showed what he can do in 8 innings against Detroit and I expect the Orioles will see more of that in the future. If players like Aubrey Huff, Pie, Reimolds, Luke Scott, and especially rookie sensation Matt Wieters can finally break out of their slump I think they could definitely hand Vargas his first poor start of the season. In the end I don't see the Mariners providing much run support, and the Orioles scoring at least two off of Vargas. Unless the Mariners can pull another clutch performance with a multi-run homer in the 8th or 9th inning I like the Orioles to win this game. To get an idea of how likely that may be the Orioles' bullpen has combined to allow a home run every 7 innings they've pitched and have a 1.49 WHIP.