2019 World Matchplay Tips And Preview by James Punt
All of the World’s top arrows artists will be in Blackpool this weekend. The World Matchplay gets underway and Gary Anderson will be back to defend his crown. Our darting doyen James Punt has few peers when it comes to uncovering the best value bets for darts. Check out his 2019 World Matchplay tips and extensive preview below and keep an eye out for daily previews and updates on the TXODDS Mobile App…
2019 World Matchplay Tips and Preview
The World Matchplay is the second most prestigious tournament after the World Championship. The winner will pick up £150000 this year, up £35000 on last year. The first-round losers get £10000 and that is why just qualifying for this event is so important in terms of ranking money.
We have three past winners in the field this year. Michael van Gerwen (x2), Gary Anderson, the defending champion, and James Wade who won it way back in 2007. Not many people have won it as Phil Taylor used dominate this tournament, winning it no less than sixteen times.
2019 World Matchplay Tips: Snakebite In Scintillating Form
Coming into the tournament there is only one player who is in outstanding form. Winning three tournaments in just five days that player is Peter Wright. That is 18 matches won in a row. He averaged over the ton in the last six in a row and was breaking all kind of records. Snakebite just couldn’t miss the treble 20 in the mid-week players championship qualifiers, winning both tiles to go with the German Masters at the weekend.
He is drawn in the 4th quarter and that looks like a favourable draw. Wrights tournament record is reasonably good. He was runner up to Taylor in 2017, reached the semi-final last year and in 2015. For the last four years he has form figures of SF/QF/RU/SF so he is clearly at home on this particular stage.
New Darts Point Towards A Big Performance
Famous for tinkering with his equipment, he seems to have settled on something that works. I believe he has changed the points on his darts but has stuck with the same actual darts for a couple of weeks now. Hopefully he sticks with them, but you can’t be sure with Wright. Those wins in the last few days make him the fourth most winning player in the PDC’s history but he has just the one major title, the 2017 UK Open. That was his best year on tour and he reached number 2 in the world rankings at the end of it. He has struggled somewhat since then and is currently ranked 6th but his most recent form is every bit as good as it was at his peak in 2017.
Wright was available at 16.00 earlier this week but obviously the odds have been cut as a result of his two wins mid-week. He is currently 12.00 and even the reduced odds are good value. The market, as usual, is dominated by Michael van Gerwen, the 2.63 favourite. That despite him being far from in good form. The market can barely comprehend that the world number 1 is no shoe for another major title. This in turn inflates the odds on everyone else regardless of form.
2019 World Matchplay Tips: 2 points e/w Peter Wright to win @ 12.00 with William Hill (1/2 the odds 1-2)
Keep The Asp Onside At Big Odds
The other form players are not quite as straight forward. Nathan Aspinall did us proud by winning the UK Open at 126.00 at the start of March. Since then he has been runner up in Player’s Championship 13 and 17 before returning to winning ways when winning his first World Series event, the U.S. Darts Masters two weeks ago.
He did it in some style with three ton + averages in his four matches. He is a player who looks very comfortable on the stage and his career is up an upward curve, a steep one. The Asp has won eight of his last ten matches which is poor by Peter Wright’s standard but still very good form.
He is in the second quarter and scheduled to face defending champion, Gary Anderson, in the second round. That is a tough draw but he is playing a little better than Anderson and the Scot, despite winning last year, was never a huge fan of this event. Aspinall is twice the price of Anderson and looks the better value option.
2019 World Matchplay Tips: 1 point e/w Nathan Aspinall to win @ 26.00 with Hills, Ladbrokes, Coral, Marathon Bet
Machine In Full Working Order
James Wade’s form also shows eight wins from ten but he isn’t totally convincing. He is rarely a heavy scorer and tends to win by stealth, hitting big checkouts and grinding opponents down. His form is harder to assess as he hasn’t actually been playing very much. He choose not to play in the midweek Player’s Championship events which was a surprise. Since the Premier League finished at the end of May he has played just 14 matches, winning ten of them including winning PC 18.
His tournament record is very good. He was playing in the days when Phil Taylor was winning it nearly every year but he did win in 2007. He has been runner up five times with two other semi-finals and two more quarter finals. Clearly he feels comfortable on the Winter Gardens stage.
While his form is a bit light in terms of matches played his win rate is still good and his tournament record is a big positive. He is drawn in the first quarter, a tough quarter which includes. MVG, Lewis, Durrant, and Suljovic. His first-round opponent is the very talented Jeffery de Swann, a semi-finalist here last year. A tough opener but he has beaten De Zwann on four previous meetings. The odds are perfectly acceptable.
2019 World Matchplay Tips: 1 point e/w James Wade to win @ 26.00 with Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred. Paddy Power
2019 World Matchplay Tips: Third Quarter Looks Wide Open
The final form pick is a hard one for me. Who will emerge from the third quarter? Joe Cullen? I just don’t get his throw. It is very unconventional and I prefer just about anybody else’s. However he can make it work. It hasn’t been working for most of 2019 but he came good mid-week, reaching the final of PC20, beaten 1-8 by Peter Wright in the final.
That is eight wins from ten but I still can’t back him. He did reach the quarter final last year but his record in majors isn’t great, one semi-final in the 2018 European Championship, a UK Open quarter final in 2016 and a quarter final here last year. He just doesn’t look like he has a major in him.
Ratajski In Decent Shape
His quarter is a funny one. Nobody in it is in great form. Decent form but not great. Rob Cross continues to score like a god and lose. Chris Dobey has lost five of his last ten and he may be just be a bit too keyed up to perform. Darren Webster has lost nine of his last ten.
Ratajski has shown some excellent form on the floor, winning PC 17 and reaching the semi-final of PC18 but his stage form in 2019 isn’t great. Played 17 won 9. One of the reason’s for that is that he keeps on drawing Gerwyn Price or MVG and losing.
Gerwyn Price is in Ratajski’s quarter which will not delight the Polish Eagle. The Welshman is a major winner and on this years form is one of the very best players in the world. His most recent form shows six wins from ten and while he has won two Player’s Championship events this year, he is finding winning on stage that bit harder.
Price Not A Crowd Favourite
Lots of decent runs but he is just finding someone better on the day. He did show some good form mid-week with two big ton plus averages but he went down tamely 2-6 to Cullen in PC 20. One of Price’s problems is the boo boys. I thought they may have got bored of it by now, but no.
Every time he goes to throw some, or lots, of tossers will be whistling or jeering. Yes he has gotten used to it to some extent but it can’t help. The stage at the Winter Gardens is very close to the big crowd and they will be right in his face. Stephen Bunting just doesn’t win titles anymore and has lost five of his last ten which leaves Ian White.
All White On The Night?
His form has turned upside down in 2019. He was regarded as one of the very best floor players around in recent years with nine pro tour titles but his stage form wasn’t good with just one win. However so far in 2019 he has won two Euro Tour events on stage, reached four finals but hasn’t won a floor title.
That said he has the 5th best average on the pro tour at 97.6 and he is 2nd on the Euro Tour OOM. He is up to number 10 in the world rankings and enjoying the best year of his career. Maybe this the year he makes the breakthrough in a major?
2019 World Matchplay Tips: 0.5 point e/w Ian White to win @ 41.00 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred