Taylor and van Gerwen vs The Best of the Rest

In my last blog I showed how the current top 16 ranked players in the PDC fared in matches against each other during the 2015 season.  (The blog post can be found here https://3dartanalyst.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/pdc-top-16-head-to-head/).

Michael van Gerwen unsurprisingly is well clear at the top of the list having a very impressive 77.9% win record against the other 15 players ranked in the top 16 during the 2015 season, whilst Phil Taylor is 3rd on the list winning 53.7%.

I decided to compare how these numbers stacked up against previous seasons for both Taylor and van Gerwen and the findings make interesting reading.

Starting with Phil Taylor I have taken his record from the 2005 season through to the present day.

Phil Taylor Win % vs Top 16 2005_2015

In 2005 and 2006 Taylor’s win record against the players ranked in the top 16 were ridiculously high – 93.2% in 2005 and 95.7% in 2006, he obviously was the dominant force in darts and such a supremacy over the best the PDC had to offer is worth noting. Although his win % did drop in to the 80%’s from 2007 to 2012 his record over top 16 players was still superior to that of van Gerwen today.

The most interesting thing to note from Taylor’s chart is the big drop over the last 3 years. The standard of the top 16 improving is a factor, also is the belief of the players that they can defeat Taylor where as previously he had an aura of invincibility surrounding him.  The remaining factor is the standard of his own game, which is not as formidable as it used to be on a consistent basis.

Now onto van Gerwen – his chart starts at 2007 which is when he started playing on the PDC circuit.

van Gerwen Win % vs Top 16 2005_2015

In 2007 when MVG joined the PDC he had a reasonable first season when competing against top 16 players winning 44.4%, that same percentage would put him 9th on the 2015 list but for somebody of his talent he would have expected so much more.

Instead of building on that first season he went on to struggle for form and consistency over the next four years, this is highlighted in his results against the top 16 players from 2008 to 2011 having only won around a quarter of his overall matches against these players.

The big turnaround started in 2012 when he really started to show the true talent at his disposal and since then his results against top 16 players have risen every year.

Comparing both Taylor and van Gerwen over a similar period against the same players shows the decline in dominance of Taylor and the rise in dominance of van Gerwen against the best players on the circuit. Michael van Gerwen may never reach the high level of domination that Taylor had but his 2015 numbers are notable due to the extra strength on the tour and in the top 16 itself.


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