WGC-Cadillac Championship Picks
So… The other week I wrote a post about variance vs diversification in DFS. The point of it was to make sure we used the word correctly: variance being the expected week-to-week variation in performance, diversification being a risk-management concern about the size of one’s exposure to a given player, opponent, or game-type in a given week. Variance is out of your control (but should be planned for with proper bankroll management) while diversification is your responsibility.
Last week, variance struck… hard…
Two of my top four projected golfers withdrew from the tournament (Tiger and Matsuyama). One more withdrew if you look at my top 10 (Rose, though at least he did it early enough that you could sub someone else in for him). Schwartzel, someone who was on everybody’s short list of easy picks last week, missed the cut by 7 strokes. Henrik Stenson, the 3rd ranked golfer in the world, also missed the cut. It was DFS Black Tuesday of the highest order – a several sigma confluence of events that blew my precious math up, right in my face. I was slack-jawed going into the weekend as every roster I put up ended with just three golfers still in play. I had no chance… so I went and played golf with my dad, and did some real work and was better for it.
But this stuff happens! It’s sports, it’s reality – as much as you put math to it to try and make it predictable it’s not math. There it is, that’s variance – that thing that takes a regularly profitable player and smacks him in the face with losses across the board. Were my bankroll practices perfect? Probably not – I admit to falling in love with a roster every now and then, and with a focus on weekly DFS like PGA and NFL it’s tough to wait all week for an event then only put up 10% of your bankroll on the weekend. But I certainly wasn’t all in, precisely because DFS Black Tuesday can strike any time. With solid bankroll management you will always live to fight another day.
And it’s a good thing too – because this week we have the World Golf Championships series Cadillac Championship event at Doral. There’s a bunch of stuff all over the internet about the face-lift the course received since last year, and the strange format of the tourny (no cut, 69 golfers). In a perfect world we might tone down our treatment of course-history to account for these facts, or do a case-study on how newly revised courses have played out in the past, or the effects of a no-cut tournament on decisions like whether you should go ‘stars and scrubs’ or take a more middling approach… But this world isn’t perfect; I hate to blog-and-dash but I got ‘thangs to do and too little time to do ’em! Suffice to say the course is harder, Tiger Woods is banished from my lineups forever (so everyone place your bets now on a sure Tiger victory), I don’t trust Rose, I don’t trust Sneds, and I don’t trust Phil (how could you, just look at him)… But I’ve left Phil in because, well, he’s always helping the kids and he’s got such a creepy vibe that I wasn’t sure how he’d react if he knew I didn’t rank him this week… Seriously though – what is this?
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
Picks for the Cadillac Championship
Here they are:
Obviously there’s no red line here, since there’s no cut. And, as I mentioned, I’ve removed the players I no longer have eyes for (but all of them, Rose, Snedeker and Woods were projected quite high. Woods was projected to win… but barely. If you have the cahones, by all means roster him. I think he’s having a press conference Wednesday to discuss his back, for whatever that’s worth. Maybe he will do us all a favor and withdraw early this time).
I think Adam Scott is a solid choice to win. Steve Stricker is also an absolute stud IMO. Fair warning – age is not taken into consideration here and Steve Stricker could be my dad, if my handicap were 14 strokes lower and I was hilarious (obviously not the case). That being said, maybe, that projection is a bit overzealous. Then again, the average winner at Doral tends to be an older player, so who knows.
As for players to fade? I’m amazed at how low Dustin Johnson is projected – I could see him embarrassing the machine with a very solid tournament. Victor Dubuisson is also an interesting fade considering his recent form… Also low on the list are Mahan, Stenson, Westwood and Schwartzel – some pretty big names. But this is one of the best fields all year, and somebody has to finish outside the top 25.
One final note about the happenings in the DFS community – this week is DraftKings.com largest PGA tournament, a $75,000 guaranteed event, should be fun. Also – DraftStreet.com announced a change in how they score golf, meant to reaffirm that each round is an independent event (according to law, one criterion that must be met for DFS to be legal is that it has to span multiple real-world events).
Good luck everyone in your contests. Let’s hope variance swings the other way this weekend. I also hope to get the Notorious comparison up and working over the weekend (time permitting) so next week’s post might be more colorful. Talk to you next week.