Fri, Aug 10, 5:32pm by Staff Writer
Hisense Arena in Melbourne hosts the Melbourne Darts for the second time as a Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) event, after Phil Taylor was victorious 11-8 against Peter Wright last year.
Eight players have been invited by the PDC according to the 2018 World Series of Darts Order of Merit, which ranks players based upon their performances in PDC-sanctioned events.
This differs from the world rankings and as such, seedings may vary.
With Phil Taylor now in retirement, world number one and last weekend’s Auckland Masters winner Michael van Gerwen is the favourite to make it back-to-back wins in Melbourne.
‘Mighty Mike’ as he is affectionately known is a $1.67 favourite at Sportsbet to win the event, with the Dutchman the second most successful player in PDC behind Phil Taylor.
As an unseeded player in Auckland, van Gerwen tore through the field, beating Gary Anderson 10-4 and Peter Wright 10-3.
The final where he faced compatriot Raymond van Barneveld was no closer, as van Gerwen won the £20,000 prize by seven legs, 11 to four.
With his passport still in the United Kingdom as he awaits a visa application, Corey Cadby has been competed on the domestic circuit after winning a PDC Tour Card and a UK Open qualifiers spot earlier this season.
The 23-year-old is Australia’s next big player in darts, already winning six Australian ProTour titles in his time back home.
He will be a dangerous unseeded player and after being a late omission in Auckland, will be pumped up and have local support. He is $17 to win the Melbourne Masters.
Recent Las Vegas Masters and World Matchplay winner, Scotsman Gary Anderson has had an up-and-down month. Between winning an event in Las Vegas he travelled to Shanghai where he was bundled out in the first round by local hope Royden Lam.
Anderson then returned to the famed Winter Gardens at Blackpool to claim the lucrative World Matchplay title. He will be disappointed with a 10-4 loss to van Gerwen in the quarterfinals in Auckland and is a popular second favourite at $6.
There is more value about a player like Michael Smith to do well in Melbourne at $15. He had a terrible Premier League season and was the top-seed for the event in Auckland.
He lost to Simon Whitlock 10-7 in the quarterfinals, but Whitlock plays his best darts close to home and is not to be discounted on this part of the tour.
Whitlock is priced at $26 to win the event and depending on his draw, is another at a big price. If he can avoid van Gerwen in the first round then the home crowd should help his confidence only grow.
Best bet- Corey Cadby to win at $17
Melbourne Darts Masters Odds – Sportsbet
Michael van Gerwen $1.67
Gary Anderson $6
Rob Cross $8
Peter Wright $11
Michael Smith $15
Corey Cadby $17
Raymond van Barneveld $21
Simon Whitlock $26
Kyle Anderson $41
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