The Chinese Taipei Professional Baseball League is now holding live games!
Taiwan, although they faced an initial spike in COVID-19 cases, has seen a sharp drop off in the number of new infections and a good amount of recoveries.
They still aren’t letting fans into the park to watch the games but luckily for us, we can watch the games for free on each team’s website.
You can also watch the games here:
⚾| 2020/4/18 1630(GMT+8) #LIVE Pro-baseball game here in #Taiwan on ELEVEN SPORTS. Watch here for the 2020 #CPBL regular season #FubonGuardians vs #RakutenMonkeys @fubonguardians
@RakutenMonkeys#ForTheFans #ELEVENSPORTS in ENGLISH!!! https://t.co/kJiaWsZVgg
— ELEVEN SPORTS TAIWAN (@ElevenSportsTW) April 17, 2020
The game is set to begin at 0500 hours or 5:00 AM Eastern Standard Time this Saturday, April the 18th.
This is when most of the CPBL Major League games are going to be played.
The Minor League contests between the teams with the roman numeral II next to their names and the Wei Chuan Dragons, who are one team-minor now-major next season, will be broadcast at 1:00 PM Taiwan time which is an easy conversion of 12 hours back to the East Coast.
So, who likes bandwagons?
If you’re looking for a favorite team, the Chinatrust Brothers are considered to be the most popular of all 4 of the ball clubs in the CPBL. They also like to spend the money!
Maybe these guys are your Yankees or at least they are on their way.
If they keep spending the most money to bring in foreign pitchers and lure talent away from the other 3 teams in the league, it won’t be long before the Chinatrust Brothers are contending for a Taiwan World Series.
Their opponents next up will be the Uni Lions who lost to the Brothers today by a score of 6-1. Each team is 1-3.
Score differential has been about even, though, for the Brothers and only a 1:2 ratio for the lowly Lions. This is a young team who have a few good bats in the lineup but the bullpen is nothing short of shat.
That’s not cursing, right?
Uni is not expected to challenge for the top spot in the league but if they can somehow improve upon that weak link in the chain, they could surprise some people.
They have the most experienced MLB guy to ever play in the CPBL in Josh Roenicke but, unfortunately, he is finishing up quarantine. A little bird told me the Uni Lions also have a knuckleballer in the rotation. ore on him in a second.
One thing is clear for now, though. It appears that Chinatrust is definitely the better team all around.
BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us.
Let’s look at the all-important pitching matchup for tomorrow’s game and make our predictions!
Chinatrust Brothers vs Uni Lions
Starting for the Chinatrust Brothers is Ariel Miranda who has 1 start this year when he went 5 innings and allowed just one run.
The 31-year-old Cuban pitcher has been around the world playing professional baseball. He got his start with the Baltimore Orioles back in 2016.
This was short-lived but he followed that up with an extended stay in Seattle playing for their beloved Mariners where he started 29 games. He finished with a winning record and a decent ERA while striking out 137 batters in 160 innings pitched.
Next up for Ariel was a trip across the Pacific to play in The Land of the Rising Sun for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He had a stellar year in 2018 when he went 6-1 with an ERA of 1.89.
Miranda was fortunate enough to play in the Japan Series that year and in 2019 as well. His regular season stats, though, went south in 2019 and he was released.
Now, he is a member of the Chinatrust Brothers. He is 1-0 so far this year.
The man who he will be sharing the mound with, Ryan Feierabend, has what you would call a unique style.
I’m not really sure if the CPBL is used to knuckleballers. It doesn’t even look like the catchers are ready for it.
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) June 17, 2018
He has been around.
Ryan had a 7.34 ERA in the Major League with the Mariners as well. After making his way to playing professionally in South Korea, the 35-year-old did something you don’t see often.
He just started throwing knuckleballs every pitch. It has been working ever since too.
I like Miranda but I think Ryan returns with some of that magic! He’s already 1-0!
They will likely have to relieve him at one point and that’s when Chinatrust regains the lead.
This game should really be a fun one.
I want to see how the CPBL players deal with the knuckleball. They’re professionals and I’m sure they have seen it before but I don’t think it’s proper practice over there.
Uni is a weak team that is especially bad in the later innings.
This is also where the league differs from the MLB. You see how hard it is to maintain consistency within your bullpen in the Major Leagues.
Try to do it with pitchers muss less talented and you get some late-game heroics in the form of doubles and home runs.
I hope the robot fans in the outfield are ready because IF and that’s a big IF the Brothers get a hold of some hanging curveballs late, the score could get out of hand.
I think between the knuckling of Ryan Feierabend and the precision of Ariel Miranda, the teams should be able to keep this one low scoring.
That is until late when the Uni bullpen will blow it!
Tune in, turn up, and bet hard!