PGA Tour at The Memorial (analysis, predictions)

Jack Nicklaus’s Muirfield Village, a leading golf course in the US, hosts what some might call the PGA Tour’s fifth major. This takes place after a prior fifth major in the Players Championship earlier in the month. 
Here’s my foursome for the week, all in action here:

JUSTIN ROSE: 10th in birdie average, 6th in scoring, 1st in sand save percentage, 3rd in total driving, 3rd all-around, 2nd in Par 5 birdie-or-better, 8th in scoring average before cut, 5th in ball striking, 8th in scrambling, best avg yards in ‘going for it’ shot distance, 4th in approaches over 200 yards, leads in GIR% over both 75 and 100 yards, 3rd over 125, 2nd in approaches between 75 and 100, (hmm..what degree wedges is he using?), 7th in putting 15-20′, best  average distance after ‘going for it’ (18′). Distance and driving effeciency is best on the tour. This is a player I would absolutely watch for his all-around game.
At Muirfield Village, he won this tournament in 2010. In 8 appearances he has a 71.18 average, with an average finish of 38th.
How about those biorhythm cycles? Let’s look (7/30/80):

He’ll have his best game overall in the first 2 rounds and make the cut…then it’s all downhill with  physical and emotional critical days just after.  He will cash, but not nearly as well as expected.

BRANDT SNEDEKER:  8th in driving accuracy, 1st in birdie average, 5th in scoring average, 4th all-around, 7th in bounce backs, 2nd on Par 4 scoring, 8th in GIR% from other than fairway, 1st in rough proximity, 7th in average distance in putts made. Another golfer to give some attention to, tho he doesn’t have the stats that Rose has. 
Brandt has played this tournament 5 times, never making the cut!, with a 73.8 average score.
Here’s his cycles (12/8/80):
Not a pleasant week for Brandt, as I see him having to play rather conservative to do well this week. Any risk he takes will be costly, and he will be down on himself more likely than usual.

CAMERON TRINGALE: 10th in sand save %, 8th in Round 3 scoring, Radar stat: 8th in ball spin rate.  In 2 starts here he finished for 25th, and missed the cut in his debut.

Here are Cameron’s cycles (8/24/87):
Absolutely idyllic cycles for Tringale, who should do very well over the 4 days…and could even win.

LEE WESTWOOD: 5th in Scrambling (and 6th over 30 yards), 8th in going for the green.
This will be Lee’s first appearance at Muirfield Village.

Biorhythm cycles for Lee (4/24/73):
Westwood’s heart will be his strongest feature…his physicality and his mental game are at its low point these 4 days. The course will bring him to his knees.

Stats from http://www.pgatour.com and http://www.golfstats.com

Auto racing at its finest: 3 races in analysis today

Big day of auto racing coming up on Sunday. Not only is the Greatest Spectacle in Racing (Indy 500) in play, so too are the  Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (awesome mini-Daytona-like 1.5 mile track), and the Monaco Grand Prix for Formula 1 drivers.

I still believe in drivers winning at different classes, so you know I’m pulling for AJ Allmendinger at Indy.

FIrstly is my projected top 5 for Indy, now that the starting grid is set:
1 Ed Carpenter
2 JR Hildebrand
3 Oriol Servia
4 Marco Andretti
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay

The streets of Monaco are in focus today for the drivers of Formula 1, probably the best known track when people think of F1 racing.
An interesting commentary was made on this site re the very legitimacy of the sport
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/22654575

So here are the stats as the race is just minutes away:
Just 6 active drivers have won here, and two of them multiple times: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber. Felipe Massa is winless in 10 starts here.

Top 5: Alonso and Webber have 6 placings in the top 5 here out of 11 races, Massa 5 of 10, Sebastian Vettel 4 of 5. Massa’s achieved well here without a win.

Laps turned without a win: Massa 713, Nico Rosberg 499, Adrian Sutil 353.

Laps led without win: Massa 23. No other active driver has led here without a victory. Maybe there’s credence to the above article after all.

Average finishing position, 3 race minimum: Lewis Hamilton, 5.2; Alonso 5.8, Vettel 6.

Running at finish: Alonso 9 of 11, Massa 8 of 10. Kimi Raikkonen 7 of 10.

Lead lap finish: Alonso 8 of 11, Webber 6 of 11, Hamilton 5 of 6.

Top 5 prediction:
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Sergio Perez
3 Vettel
4 Alonso
5 Adrian Sutil

***
Later in the day is the Coca-Cola 600 at another favorite racetrack, the 1.5 mile Charlotte Motor Speedway. I think of it as a mini-Daytona.

Wins: Jimmie Johnson leads with 6 in 23 races, Jeff Gordon 5 of 40, Kasey Kahne 4 in just 18 starts. Michael Waltrip is winless in 49 starts here, Joe Nemecheck 0 for 33 and Dale Earnhardt Jr 0 for 26.

Top 10: Mark Martin is 24 of 56, Jeff Gordon 21 of 40, Jimmie Johnson 15 of 23.David Gilliland has never cracked the top 10 in 13 races, nor has Travis Kvapil or Paul Menard in 12.

Laps turned without victory: Waltrip again, 15925; Nemecheck 9622, Dale Jr 8865.

Laps led without win: Kyle Busch with 793; Greg Biffle 437, Brian Vickers 332.

Best average finish position: Joey Logano, 10.1 (that’s it?); Jimmie Johnson 11.4; Carl Edwards 12.

Running at finish: Terry Labonte is 45 of 57, Mark Martin 41 of 56, Waltrip 37 of 49. Jeff Burton is 36 of 40, Tony Stewart missing once in 28 races. Martin Truex Jr is perfect in 15 races here. Tough track, folks.

Lead lap finish: Martin is 30 of 50, Labonte 23 of 40, Jeff Gordon 22 of 40. Jimmie is 17 of 23, Carl Edwards 12 of 16.

Top 10 prediction:
1 Kurt Busch
2 Matt Kenseth
3 Denny Hamlin (pole)
4 Jamie McMurray
5 Clint Bowyer
6 Greg Biffle
7 Carl Edwards
8 Kasey Kahne
9 Kyle Busch
10 Mark Martin

No Idealistic Stats tonight; confessional

Life is catching up to my work here all of a sudden. Commission based work and maybe some hourly work pending a few interviews next week.  There’s just no time to do a podcast as I usually do on a Friday. Keep watch on this blog for sports updates in golf, tennis (Brussels Open), boxing (tonight and tomorrow) and 3 big auto races on Sunday.   

Also, with heavy heart, I will no longer be advertising wager/analysis/predictions re horse racing. It’s a sport close to my heart, yet a personal relationship is at stake, and I want to preserve that at whatever cost.  I won’t be talking about the sport on social media either, nor about gambling in general. 
I’m no reckless gambler, have no problem, but the issue that is the very stigma of gambling may portray me as a sort of malcontent. I am no malcontent nor am I a degenerate. I see these as investments, willing to lose only as much as I’m comfortable to lose. I’m generally frugal and not much of a risk taker, yet this is a sport where I’ve allowed myself more research and free rein. I’ve won and lost some and now it’s time to put that aside.  Thanks in advance for understanding.

Friday Night Fights in biorhythms

2 fights in the spotlight for Friday Night Fights, and one title fight tomorrow night.

Tonight, Uncasville CT: Delvin Rodriguez vs Freddy Hernandez, junior middleweights, going 10 rounds.
Rodriguez: (27-6-3, 15 KO) (5-4-80)

Decent cycles at best..starting to feel more comfortable with being in the ring, but sluggish physically and mentally, having to rely on heart.

Hernandez: (30-4-0, 20 KO) (3-23-79)

Very weak physically, the passion is not there but he will land his share of weak punches.
 SIding here with the boxer with a growing physical cycle, negative as it is, in a slow, plodding fight. Rodriguez by decision.

Issouf Kinda vs Chris Howard, junior welterweights, also 10 rounds.
Kinda (16-0-0, 6 KO) (2-9-88)

Not good at all. Triple low cycles tell the story.

Howard: (15-2-1, 7 KO) (2-9-89)

Two triple low cycles!
Another fight that promises to be sloppy, slow. 
Kinda by decision, as at least his emotional/mental cycles are starting to upturn.

5/25, London: Mikkel Kessler vs Carl Froch, 12 rounds, in a unification bout for the WBA and IBF middleweight titles.

Froch: (30-2-0, 22 KO) (7-2-77)

Good cycles for Froch on Saturday, but the mental fog will be prevalent, making a ton of errors, and will miss punches.  He’ll be well aware of the crowd and could do well with that support.

Kessler: (46-2-0, 35 KO) (3-1-79)

Kessler comes in with a triple low.

Froch by decision.

Stats from http://www.boxrec.com

PGA Tour at Colonial analysis

PGA Tour is in Fort Worth TX for the Crown Plaza Invitational these four days. Here are the golfers I’m tracking, usually my usual combo of the Ball Striking and Scrambling tour stats:
In the field: Cameron Triangle:
Selected top 10 stats: Round 3 scoring average (69). Radar: Spin rate (8th).
Not playing: Justin Rose, Louis Oousthiuzen, Brandt Snedeker

Tringale’s record at Colonial are not very good. He finished tied for 65, scoring +4 in 2011, then missed the cut at +6 last year.

Biorhythms:

Some aspects of his game are surely gaining strength this week but it’s an uphill climb. You’ll expect him to do better in the 2nd round, and will have to score pretty low, based on past performance, to make it to Saturday.

Last week: At the Byron Nelson, Graham DeLaet’s predicted bullish performance was a reality….a pair of 67s, then a pair of 70s, enough to finish in 10th place.

Preakness Stakes analysis

In the throes of the Triple Crown season, while not engrossed each weekend
evening (Friday through Sunday) in the Emerald Downs handicapping challenge,
I’ve further worked on results and tracked variables for races run at
Pimlico Race Track. My mission is to understand which variables produce more
winners than others.
I have tracked the majority, but not all, of the racing at Old Hilltop since
May 3.  What I’m pointing out are the best performing variables I use for my own handicapping, and will certainly wager accordingly, taking or giving weight
to/from those who register or rank in these:
BEST:
Top Brisnet speed of those who’ve run and won at the prescribed distance or less
Horses who have forged new lifetime top in past 8 weeks (horses 4YO+,12 weeks)
Horses benefiting from track bias based on run-style and post position
Horses who possibly could bounce down in speed next race..horses who have sharp gain between last 2 races, especially those who have forged lifetime best effort in last 2-3 races.
(Small sample: Horses who returning to route races after a few sprints)
Horses with multiple wins in range of post positions.

Now we’ll go horse-for-horse in the Preakness:

Your Kentucky Derby winner ORB has to be considered. After a deserving win in the mud, forging a new lifetime best effort, he may well bounce down from that race. (111 in the Derby, up from 97 in the FL Derby). Has the best average winning distance from sire/dam-sire in the field (Malibu Moon, Unbridled). ROI angle: Jockey Joel Rosario has teamed with trainer Shug McGaughey in 5 races in the last 60 days, winning 2, placing in 3 for an even return of +2.00
GOLDENCENTS is the only other horse defeating Grade 1 fields, 2 races back in the Santa Anita Derby. Fastest pace numbers to his style in the race (last 3 second call numbers are all triple-digits). Only horse with exploding form, as his 106 from the Santa Anita is just better than his prior best at 2, a 101 in his maiden effort. Tossing a 58 in the Kentucky Derby, I say he is primed for a major bounce back.

TITLETOWN FIVE was competitive in the Gazebo but not so in 2 Graded events. Track bias tho is favoring sprinters: 31% of dirt routers in the meet thus far are pure sprinters. He went from a 96 in the LA Derby to an 88 in the Derby Trial. I am considering him also for a bounce back.

DEPARTING forged a lifetime top in the LA Derby two races back with a 102, paired with a 100 in the IL Derby. Both races are ahead of a 96 in the Texas Heritage stakes .I’m suggesting he will bounce down from triple-digits. Multiple wins from a middle post.

MYLUTE had forged lifetime best numbers of 107 in the KY Derby, and 105 in the LA Derby..both were ahead of a 95 score in teh Risen Star. He too will bounce downward.

OXBOW is the other pure sprinter here. Ran a 101 in the Rebel, 90 in the AK Derby, 101 again in the KY Derby. Pattern suggests a downturn today.

WILL TAKE CHARGE could bounce here also. Was a 98 in the KY Derby, a 101 in the Rebel, both numbers ahead of his 80 in the Southwest Stakes. ROI angle: Jockey Mike Smith has won 31% of his route races this year, 59% in the money, return of +2.78. Multiple wins from an outside post.

GOVERNOR CHARLIE shines as the horse with the best workout tab: 5 races, the last 3 at Churchill Downs, 4 were very fast, the last 2 with bullets. Paired up 2 fast races…a 99 in the Sunland Derby, and a 94 to break his maiden. Bounce potential should be high. Both lifetime wins came from an outside post, where he is today.
ITSMYLUCKYDAY has the best dosage profile in the field, based on the average Pimlico winner’s chef-de-race numbers, measured by differential number and then rank. Nothing else suggests a real positive for him.

My top 3:
2-1-3: Goldencents, Orb, Titletown Five. 

Indianapolis 500 stats to consider

Having had a love of auto racing for years, no matter the class, I really enjoy the Indy 500 coverage displayed for TV and the qualifying coverage online include their extensive website.   What I have are stats relevant to drivers from the IZOD IndyCar series, active since 1995.   If you’re looking for predictions, I’ll present these next week and also on the big podcast.

Wins: Helio Castroneves has 3 wins in 12 starts, Dario Franchitti 3 wins in 9. Scott Dixon 1 of 10. That’s it for active driver wins. Tony Kanaan is 0-for-11. Ed Carpenter 0-for-9. 

Top 10s: Helio with 10 in 12 starts, Scott Dixon 8 of 10.   Kanaan 6 of 11. Dario 6 of 9. EJ Viso is 0-for-5. 

Laps turned without victory: Kanaan 1837, Ed Carpenter 1622, Marco Andretti 1205.  
Laps led without win: Kanaan again, 221. Marco 90. 

Average finishing position: 3 drivers are identical with 7.6: Dario, Helio, Dixon. 

Running at finish: Helio is 11 of 12, while Dario is perfect in 9 races. 
Lead lap finishes: Helo is 10 of 12, Kanaan 8 of 11, Dario 8 of 9, Dixon 8 of 10. 

Now you know who to root for!