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Bailey’s 2019 Masters Tournament Matchup Bets: Matsuyama vs. Day, Kisner vs. Reed

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Credit: USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama

  • The 2019 Masters starts on Thursday.
  • Justin Bailey leverages the FantasyLabs PGA Models to highlight his favorite matchup props of the tournament.

I’m not much of a longshot bettor when it comes to the PGA tour, so I tend to focus on head-to-head matchups instead.

In this piece, I’ll be using the golf metrics in the FantasyLabs PGA Models as well as other golf metrics in search of potentially exploitable matchups for the 2019 Masters.

Let’s dive in!

All odds as of 10:15 a.m. ET Tuesday. 

Hideki Matsuyama Over Jason Day (+105)

Matsuyama vs. Day is basically an elite ball-striker and a bad putter against an average ball-striker and an elite putter.

Overall, Hideki and Day have comparable long-term metrics, but Hideki has a slight edge in recent form.

  • Recent Adjusted Round Score: 67.5 vs. 68.4
  • Adjusted Strokes on par 4s: -2.0 vs. +2.0
  • Adjusted Strokes on par 5s: -6.5 vs. -5.0
  • Birdies per tournament: 16.5 vs. 13.0

I much prefer Deki as an underdog, especially since he doesn’t rely on his short game as much as Day does.

Over their past 50 rounds, Deki ranks first in Strokes Gained: Approach, second in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, compared to 47th, 40th and 30th for Day. While those numbers for Day aren’t awful, if his short game or putting is off, he could struggle to keep up with Deki.

Day knows Augusta well, as he’s finished 28th or better in his past six appearances, but he has just two top-10 finishes since 2013. Deki finished 19th last year (20th for Day) and 11th, seventh and fifth in the years before that.

Additionally, Deki could be entering the Masters in the best form he’s ever been in. He has yet to lose strokes on approach, tee-to-green or off-the-tee in a 2019 tournament.

Let’s just hope his putter shows up. I’d bet this down to -110.

Kevin Kisner Over Patrick Reed (+140)

Big picture: Reed is the superior golfer and reigning Masters champion. He was on fire last year, hitting 67% of greens in regulation and averaging just 26.0 putts per round. Since 2014, those were the best marks of his career at the Masters: He is unlikely to repeat those numbers.

In the years before winning the Masters, Reed went MC, 49th, 22nd and MC. Hardly anything to write home about.

Kisner has been decent at the Masters, finishing 28th, 43rd and 37th in his past three appearances. Not great, but would’ve put him at a 2-1 record against Reed.

And Kisner enters this tournament in much better recent form.

  • Recent Adjusted Round Score: 68.1 vs. 70.6
  • Birdies per tournament: 16.7 vs. 11.0
  • Adjusted strokes on par 4s: -1.7 vs. +3.0
  • Adjusted strokes on par 5s: -5.7 vs. -2.3

The other knock on Reed is that he relies on his short game and putter. If those aspects of his game don’t show up at Augusta, it could mean trouble.

Reed has lost strokes on approach in six of his eight 2019 events, and when he also lost strokes putting, he underwhelmed.

  • Valspar: MC
  • The Players: 47th
  • API: 50th
  • Tournament of Champions: 25th

Meanwhile, Kisner has a fairly balanced game, ranking 20th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 18th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, 18th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 26th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his past 24 rounds.

Meanwhile, Reed ranks 58th, 58th, 57th and 53rd over the same time.

The +140 odds are too high for me to pass up. I’d bet this down to +110.

Note: Strokes Gained data via Fantasy National

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