Argentina Open Day 2 Odds, Picks Predictions: Why Holger Rune Can Push Sebastian Baez (Feb. 8)
Brandon Malone/Getty. Pictured: Holger Rune hits a backhand at the Australian Open.
The ATP Tour continues its three-tournament combination on Tuesday, and it offers bettors a chance to mix-and-match events to find the best value possible.
On Tuesday, I believe the best matchups from a betting perspective come in Buenos Aires, where the Argentina Open is being played.
The match of the day is certainly the first of Juan Martin Del Potro’s return and likely farewell stretch, starting against Federico Delbonis, but that’ll be one to enjoy rather than bet on, as it’s incredibly hard to evaluate a player who hasn’t played on Tour in 2.5 years.
Here are my thoughts on the day’s slew of matches.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Nicolas Jarry (-112) vs. Roberto Carballes Baena (-104)
11:30 a.m. ET
This is a match that will be on the racquet of the Chilean Jarry, but that’s exactly what Carballes Baena will want.
Jarry has won just one main draw match on tour since being handed a doping suspension in 2020, and when you see his game, it’s easy to understand where the struggles come from.
The former world number 39 is almost a clay-court version of John Isner, which doesn’t necessarily make a ton of sense, but here we are. The best aspect of Jarry’s game is his serve, which generates a ton of free points for him in each match.
Jarry has hit a minimum of nine aces in each of his matches on tour this year, and with each coming on clay, that’s a truly impressive number. The problem for him is that when the ball is in play, the balance almost always shifts to his opponent, and no one is better suited to exploit that than Carballes Baena.
The Spaniard loves to grind from the baseline, and he’ll be happy to engage with rallies that put the initiative on Jarry. In those situations, Jarry often gets tense and begins to go for shots that aren’t really there. If you take out aces, Jarry’s winner-to-unforced error ratio is nearly 0.4 on the year, and that’ll cost him against Carballes Baena.
These two are 3-3 in their six meetings, but four of them came when Jarry was peaking, and this isn’t the same player that we saw in 2018 and 2019. This is simply a really solid matchup for Carballes Baena.
Pick: Carballes Baena -104 via FanDuel (Bet to -120)
Jaume Munar (-132) vs. Tomas Etcheverry (+114)
11:30 a.m. ET
It’s not necessarily the best way of framing an argument for a player by starting with, “he played almost as poorly as he could have last week,” but that’s essentially my case for Munar.
Whether it be due to the travel he endured from Australia to South America or whatever it may be, Munar saw his level drop tremendously despite transitioning onto his preferred surface of clay.
In the Australian Summer Series, Munar hit 30 aces and 17 double faults over six matches, but in two matches in Cordoba he hit two aces and 17 doubles. That should offer the context for his play, but he’s due for serious positive regression in that regard and it makes his price very reasonable.
Etcheverry and Munar are both fairly conservative from the baseline, but the Argentine struggled when facing a like-minded player in Nikola Milojevic last week. His main draw win came against the aforementioned Jarry, but that was due to the Chilean’s loose play.
Look for Munar to see an increase in form this week, producing fewer unforced errors and looking far more comfortable with his movement, leading to a first round win.
Pick: Munar -132 via FanDuel
Sebastian Baez (-180) vs. Holger Rune (+152)
12:50 p.m. ET
This battle of two rising stars on tour promises to be an exciting one, and that favors the underdog Rune.
Both players are extremely talented, and some fine ball-striking should be on display. Rune and Baez combined for 93 wins across the levels of the tour last season, rising from 300-plus ranking positions into the top 100 now.
Rune’s tournament in Cordoba was limited due to his brutal performance against Carballes Baena, but much like Munar, positive regression should be expected. Against the Spaniard Rune hit 17 winners while amassing 32 unforced errors, including five double faults.
Baez had a steady but underwhelming week, winning ugly before performing well against Cristian Garin and falling to Alejandro Tabilo. Much like some of the names that have already been listed, he seemed to suffer a drop-off from his play down under.
Nonetheless, this is a matchup that should be far closer to a pick’em rather than having Baez as a solid favorite. The pair are 1-1 on tour, with both matches coming on clay in a week’s span in March of 2021, and if Rune can regroup from a brutal performance last week, he’ll be ready to push Baez significantly.
Pick: Rune +152 via FanDuel