Bailey’s 2019 Memorial Tournament Matchup Bets: Can Marc Leishman Bounce Back at Muirfield
Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Marc Leishman
- The 2019 Memorial Tournament takes place this weekend at Muirfield Golf Course in Dublin, Ohio.
- The field for the Memorial is loaded with big names, with 33 of the top 50 players in the world participating.
- Justin Bailey shares his favorite matchup bet, plus some other betting notes ahead of the Memorial.
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 each week.
Let’s dive into this week’s action at the Memorial Tournament.
All odds as of Tuesday morning.
Marc Leishman (-115) over Kevin Kisner
I was able to grab this line at Leishman +100 when lines first were posted, but I would still back Leishman to -120 if your book’s line has since moved.
Looking at the FantasyLabs Player Models, Leishman has the edge over Kisner in most metrics I am looking at (Leishman listed first):
- Long-Term Adjusted Round Score: 68.8 vs. 69.6
- Birdies per tournament: 14.9 vs. 12.0
- Adjusted Strokes on par 4s: 0.1 vs. 1.2
- Adjusted Strokes on par 5s: -4.4 vs. -4.0
For starters, Long-Term Adjusted Round Score is my favorite measure of a golfer, and Leishman’s is 0.8 strokes better than Kisner over the past 75 weeks.
While Leishman’s recent back issue could be a concern, he was able to suit up for the PGA Championship, though missed the cut, he lost most of his strokes putting and still gained strokes on approach.
However, Kisner’s form has fallen off of late, losing -2.8 and -5.5 strokes on approach at the Charles Schwab Challenge and the PGA Championship. Additionally, approach games will be crucial this week, and Leishman ranks 13th in Strokes Gained: Approach in 2019, compared to 48th for Kisner, respectively.
Additionally, per Fantasy National, around 40% of approach shots will come from 175-200 and 200-plus yards, and Leishman has the edge there, ranking first and 20th from such yardages — Kisner ranks 110th and 40th.
Other Memorial Notes
I’m also eyeing Rickie Fowler (-140) over Jordan Spieth, but I’m waiting to see if Rickie’s odds drop coming off the missed cut and Spieth’s recent eighth and third-place finish.
Spieth has still lost strokes on approach over his past four tournaments, while gaining 7.5, 10.6, 6.2 and 2.5 strokes all from putting. If Rickie’s odds don’t move, I’ll still bite all the way to -150.
I also bet Justin Thomas (+100) over Matt Kuchar because if it wasn’t for Thomas’ recent wrist issues, you’d almost certainly have to lay some juice on this.
Thomas leads the entire field in Long-Term Adjusted Round Score and adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s. I wouldn’t bet this worse than -110 given Kuchar’s recent form and overall consistency.
Good luck this week!
Note: Strokes Gained data via Fantasy National