The Major League Baseball season started last week, and while it takes a while for ‘form' to settle down I thought I would highlight a few key games and players to watch over the weekend games. Eventually, advice will be provided via the private FormBet Tipster Service, via WhatsApp. Shocks can and do occur in the early season so keep stakes small if you are playing and the information will build as I have more time through the year to post more detailed stats and analysis.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS @ 5/7 – The Dodgers are away but they are at Coors Field, which is a hitter friendly park. With the likes of JUSTIN TURNER (one of the best hitters on the slate and is equally effective against left or right-handed pitchers) , CHRIS TAYLOR, JOC PEDERSON and CODY BELLINGER in the line-up, they could have a field day, backed up by my high-rated pitcher KENTA MAEDA who could be a value pitcher play in Fantasy contests.
HOUSTON ASTROS @ 10/17 – COLLIN MCHUGH (pictured above) is one of the best pitchers on the slate with a 0.91 Siera, 47.4% K% (strikeout rate) and 18.5% Swinging Strike-rate. ALEX BREGMAN is a batter to keep an eye on with 73 RBI (runs batted in) and 23 home-runs against right-handed pitchers. MICHAEL BRANTLEY is another with a good record against righties with 134 hits and 63 RBI against right-handed hitters and just an 8.4% K% rate.
TAMPA BAY RAYS @ 4/5 – Focusing on pitching, TYLER GLASNOW is one of the best pitchers on the slate and up against a poor San Francisco offense, so he could rack up some points on the Fantasy sites. For the TB offense, TOMMY PHAM is of interest, one of the best hitters and especially so against right-handed pitchers with 108 hits resulting in 15 Home Runs and 50 RBI's.
ST LOUIS CARDINALS @ 4/7 are one of the strongest favourites on the main slate and young pitcher JACK FLAHERTY is a solid option for starting pitcher on the Fantasy sites. With HARRISON BADER, PAUL GOLDSCHIMDT and MATT CARPENTER all solid against left-handed pitchers, they are one of the sure fire bets tonight.
All 4 teams can be backed in a 4-fold with Bet365 paying 6.95/1 for the accumulator. You can also back all 4 on the handicap with a -1.5 run at 24.12 with Betfair.
DODGERS, ASTROS, RAYS & CARDINALS 2pt win @ 6.95/1 4-fold with Bet365 and 1pt @ 24.12 on the handicap with Betfair.
I've taken a look at the 2019 Grand National this Saturday 6th April, using GeeGeez Gold and their Aintree Festival Trends
First of all lets look at the key trends. I use an elimination method for trends analysis which means I eliminate all those who don't meet the strongest trend, then move onto the next strongest trend and keep going until I have a single runner or couple of shortlisted contenders. First up, lets have a look at the key trends, courtesy of GeeGeez.
So we start by eliminating all those who ran more than 34 Days ago (22/28), which rules out the following, it's easy to rule them out by clicking on the red X button -:
I always look to lose those that are easiest to weed out, so I don't need to delve too deeply. We can lose those who are aged 8 or younger as 23/28 winners were aged 9 or older and also lose those who are carrying more than 11-0 as 22/28 carried 10-13 or less.
That means Magic Of Light, Jury Duty, Monbeg Notorious, Blow By Blow for the age and Anibale Fly, Tiger Roll, Don Poli, Mala Beach, Minella Roco and Lake View Lad.
Those few trends alone have narrowed the field down to 18. We can also rule out those who have either not won over 3 miles+ as 26/28 have won over 3 miles+ over fences and eliminate those who have more than 6 Chase wins as 25/28 have no more than 6 chase wins. Out goes A Toi Phil, Mall Dini, Ultragold and Livelovelaugh.
We can also focus on the 19/28 stat of those who have between 4-6 wins over fences so out drops Noble Endeavour, Singlefarmpayment, Up For Review, Vintage Clouds, Folsom Blue, Bless The Wings, Joe Farrell and Isleofhopendreams.
17/28 finished in the Top-4 Last time out, that leaves us with just 2 shortlisted runners -:
WALK IN THE MILL 28/1
THE YOUNG MASTER 50/1
Walk In The Mill already won over these fences in the Becher Handicap Chase here in December while The Young Master was 3rd in the Kim Muir last time.
Matt Bisogno at GeeGeez has put together a fantastic piece of horse racing software. In my opinion it easily beats the likes of Racing Post, Proform, Raceform hands-down in terms of both versatility, ease of access to key, detailed information and, most importantly, value for money. You can pick up a 30-day subscription to GeeGeez Gold for just £1 for a full 30-days here.
In the latest update (watch this video), GeeGeez also includes the Racing Post RPR Form Ratings and Topspeed figures. Add in the existing Peter May Speed figures, Instant Expert, PACE and Draw analysis as well as a new Bet Tracker and you have the best piece of horse racing software available anywhere.
With the flat season starting this week, I thought I would take a look at some of the last year's renewal for clues.
The 2018 renewal was won by Addeybb but it often pays to look beyond the obvious for placed runners at bigger odds. For example, if Gabrial had a clearer run, he may well have finished closer than 4th at 20/1 and Mitchum Swagger ran well to take 3rd at 12/1. The biggest mistake punters make is often looking for a winner, rather than looking for the best value.
It's interesting to note that if we look at Instant Expert, and check the PLACE button, we get more detailed information for each runners win/places over the day's going, class, at the course, the distance, field size and their current rating compared to their last winning mark. It's important not just to look at % figures but look at total places for a bigger sample size and to provide potential each-way value.
So, here we can see that Mitchum Swagger had the highest places on the soft going, Gabrial also had the 4th highest number of placings (6) in this class and was 2/2 in terms of placed effort at the course, as well as the highest amount of places at the distance and both were on a lower mark than their highest last winning rating by 1lb and 4lb respectively, in fact Gabrial was the best handicapped horse in the race in that regard.
The runners were drawn 10, 9, 11 and 7 suggesting mid-drawn runners held sway in the softer going. 4 of the Top-4 were also amongst the highest 4 on official ratings in the field.
As we can see above the winner Addeybb's sire Pivotal had a positive Win record over the Flat-Middle distance category, as well as the trainer being a positive at the course over the last year and 5-year period and the jockey James Doyle was also in form over the last 14/30-day period – again these stats are like gold when considering a selection.
Gabrial was also in the Top-2 of the Racing Post RPR ratings, Top-3 of Topspeed and 2nd on Peter May's Speed Ratings. Gabrial's jockey Jamie Spencer was also a positive on recent and course form and trainer Richard Fahey was also in good recent form. Gabrial also was a C&D winner and had finished a very close 4th in the 2017 renewal.
The 2017 Renewal was won by BRAVERY at 20/1, beating the favourite Oh This is Us, with Donncha and Gabrial in 3rd and 4th.
This time, we can look to the amazing PACE stats for clues. I always like to click the ALL button to get as much data as possible. We can see from this that Hold-Up runners had historically done well at this trip and both GABRIAL and eventual winners BRAVERY showed up strongly in this respect. If we also look at the DRAW tab we can see that Hold-Up, High Drawn runners were profitable with a 2.04 AE and a 2.86 IV, producing 2 wins and 3 places, another clue pointing towards Bravery.
The DECS are not yet finalised for the 2019 Lincoln but it's interesting to note GABRIAL lines up again. He may be a little long in the tooth to win a race of this nature but I expect him to run well again. At this stage I quite like the look of THIRD TIME LUCKYat 25/1 who has 4/6 places on the current going, the highest number of 10 places in this class, 3rd highest number of places (9) at the mile distance and the 2nd highest number of places (4) in a big field size. He had a decent prep with a 3rd at Wolverhampton a few weeks ago and can give us a good run at a price.
Using the trends elimination method, we arrive at a Trends selection after just 4 strong trends.
15/16 – Had won a Group 1 race before
14/16 – Had won over 1m4f before
13/16 – Had 4 or more runs that season
12/16 – Drawn in stall 8 or lower
The selection is best-priced 33/1 shot TALISMANIC. Last year’s Breeders Cup turf winner looks overpriced for Andre Fabre with Mickael Barcelona taking the ride and is well worth an each-way bet. He prepped for this with an easy win in the Prix Gontaut and a 2nd in the Prix Foy, a race Fabre has used as a prep with previous Arc winners Carnegie, Hurricane Run. Of course he also had the impressive winner that day Waldgeist, who looks a more likely winner, but we need to be consistent when following a trends based approach and we know the runner-up has Group 1 class on the day.
The big handicap on Saturday is the Challenge Cup at Ascot but using the trends elimination method there are two qualifiers, interestingly they are drawn in the lowest and the highest stalks to give coverage across the track. The first is Ripp Orff in stall 1 at 8/1 but I prefer the Mark Johnston runner in stall 18, LAKE VOLTA at 33/1.
However, I am going to throw another in the mix, last year’s 3rd-placed finisher RAISING SAND is a pound lower than last year, 4lb’s if we take into account the jockeys claim. Interestingly the 1st and 2nd last year, Accidental Agent and Lord Glitters, filled the same places in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes so that form looks rock solid. Add to that the fact that Raising Sand also has two wins at Ascot, Trainer Jamie Osborne is an excellent 8/36 at the track with his handicap runners over the last 5 years with a +62pts profit, 171% Yield, 3.46 A/E and 3.58 impact value AND Raising Sand’s sire Oasis Dream is excellent at Ascot, with his progeny showing a 15% strike-rate, 41pts profit and 31% Yield. I took 12’s when I discovered this the other day but the best-priced 10/1 is still worth a wager given these strong stats, found thanks to GeeGeez Gold Query Tool.
Tom Lacey has been one of the trainers I’ve followed with massive success over the last year, especially so in both handicap hurdles and handicap Chase contests. He is a proper old-school National Hunt trainer who still rides out half-dozen or so lots each morning and never sends a horse to the races unless it’s in peak condition.
Witness his record in handicap Chase and handicap hurdle contests over the last 3 seasons with improvements in win and place strike-rates, profit and ROI, he clearly knows what he is doing.
All this found using the excellent GeeGeez Query Tool, be sure to signup to GeeGeez Gold while there is still 20% off till next week.
If we drill down a bit deeper, we can see most of the damage has been done when 3 jockeys have been on board, Robert Dunne, Richard Johnson and Tom Scudamore.
Breaking it down we can see the bulk of the profits and higher yield comes in handicap hurdale races, despite his strike-rate being higher in handicap chase contests.
By combining handicap hurdle races with one of the aforementioned 3 jockeys, we give ourselves a very selective system indeed showing a near 34% strike-rate, +94pts profit and 152% Yield over the last 3 years!
This shows the power of GeeGeez Gold and adding this in as an “angle” enables you to track qualifiers automatically on the racecards and using the GeeGeez Query Tool. Check out the video below for more detailed information on how I have used the Query Tool to build 13 systems for both the jumps and all-weather seasons. The system rules again -:
Handicap Hurdle Races Tom Lacey Runners Richard Johnson, Robert Dunne or Tom Scudamore riding
The video below again shows how versatile GeeGeez Gold is, and I highly recommend a subscription as it beats the pants over competitors that are 3 or 4 times the price.