Form Guide: Clinical Cross on the rise following Euro Tour triumph

Rob Cross (PDC)

PDC Stats Analyst Christopher Kempf assesses the top ten PDC stars - based on their last 200 legs played following last weekend's Baltic Sea Darts Open in Kiel.

#1 Averages - Gerwyn Price
#1 OChE - Luke Littler
#1 Doubles - Damon Heta
#1 171-180 - Gary Anderson
#1 99, 101+ Checkout - Michael van Gerwen

PDC Form Guide

Newly crowned Baltic Sea Darts Open champion Rob Cross is surging to the top of the list of the PDC's hottest players, and it was only thanks to Luke Humphries' nine-dart heroics in the final that the World Champion remains a small distance ahead of him. 

In one important respect, Cross is leading the way for the PDC by winning 90% of his last 200 legs in 18 darts or fewer - an outstanding figure given that the PDC Tour Card Holder's average is less than 70%. 

In fact, of the 33 legs Cross played in which he had the opportunity to win by the end of his sixth visit to the board, 'Voltage' did so in 32 - for a 97% conversion rate. 

This contributed to a more than four-point increase in his OChE rating and makes him the only player in the top 10 of the PDC in averages, doubles and OChE.

There is so much traffic among the top ranks of the Form Guide - 22 players have a 200-leg average between 95 and 99 - that matches between them can be decided by extremely narrow margins. 

Despite leaving 40 after 12 darts in the decider, Stephen Bunting lost 6-5 to Cross in Kiel, and could only watch helplessly as his opponent comfortably held throw in 14 darts; both are top ten players in averages and the two players combined, in that match, to average 102. 

Humphries - who occupies third spot in the averages -  missed a dart at double 15 in the final to give himself a 7-5 lead; the combined average of that match was 105. 

Thursday's upcoming Premier League showdown between Nathan Aspinall and Michael Smith will be a clash of the #7 and #10 players, with the difference possibly being made not by Aspinall's 1.08 point advantage in averages, but by his 72nd best checkout rate.

If Gerwyn Price remains at the top of the Form Guide despite his indifferent Premier League form, it is only because he has played just nine legs thus far in May. 

His 90 average in last Thursday's Premier League - representing less than 5% of the most recent 200 legs played as measured in the Form Guide - has only a small negative effect on his statistics.

No player has got his month off to a better start than Tour Card debutant Dom Taylor, who has risen throughout the year to reach the #20 spot in the Form Guide for averages, and crack the top ten in doubles (with a world-class 44%). 

This improvement in form did not occur on stage but future achievements may well do; two successful qualification campaigns guaranteed him entry to the next two European Tour events after qualifying for only one of the first six. 

A run to the last 16 of Players Championship 10, moreover, saw him upset Chris Dobey and eliminate Jelle Klaasen with two of his four highest averages of 2024. 

These results are reflected in his 95.30 average for his last 200 legs, putting him ahead of PDC luminaries like Raymond van Barneveld and James Wade and at the top of the Q School Class of 2024 - for now, until another 200 legs change the scene once more.

*OChE (Ordinal Checkout Efficiency) explained:
OChE is a metric designed to evaluate the efficiency at which players convert their averages into legs won.
The statistic is the % of legs a player would expect to win on the ProTour, calculated from a weighted average of 4,5, 6 & 7 visit checkout rates.

Follow Christopher on Twitter @ochepedia