There aren’t any major sports being played in North America, but there is a major baseball league underway. The Chinese Professional Baseball League, based in Taiwan, is well into their season and there hasn’t been any glitches thus far. The only notable changes has been the absence of fans in the stands. In lieu of no fans, the CPBL is allowing fans to put a copy of their face on cardboard cutouts for a price.
That’s a clever way of the league allowing fans to get involved in some form and collect a few bucks at the same time. It’s a way for clubs to soften the blow to their profits without gate revenue. Other leagues are paying attention, too. The Bundesliga in Germany is planning on doing the same thing now.
Speaking of the Bundesliga, Germany is gearing up for the restart of their major football outfit. It was originally intended to begin on May 9, but that’s likely going to be towards late May. Germany had an uptick in new cases recently, which put a damper on restarting in a week. They extended their worldwide travel warning until mid-June, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Bundesliga starting later than they currently anticipate.
As far as Taiwan is concerned, everything is going smoothly for the CPBL. There hasn’t been any indications that they’re going to stop and have to wait it out again. Hopefully it stays that way and there won’t be any problems going forward. The same goes for the KBO, who is nearing a return as well. That will make two of the four major baseball leagues up and running. The NPB in Japan and MLB will be left waiting for when it’s safe to begin training, while South Korea and Taiwan are playing regular season ballgames.
There’s one match on the schedule Thursday, as the Chinatrust Brothers and Uni-Lions are set for battle. Like many of these matches in the CPBL, they entered into a thrilling contest yesterday. The Brothers managed to hold on for a 9-8 win after the Lions made it interesting with 3 runs in the top of the 9th. A total of 10 runs were scored in the final 3 innings, with the bullpens getting taxed. Head below for our free Chinatrust Brothers vs. Uni-Lions pick for April 30, 2020.
Chinatrust Brothers vs. Uni-Lions CPBL Betting Odds:
Chinatrust Brothers vs. Uni-Lions Prediction:
The bullpens ran out of gas yesterday and the bats feasted late. The Uni-Lions scored 3 runs in the top of the 7th before Chinatrust returned the favor a half inning later for 3 innings. The back-and-forth continued with the Brothers scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th, and then the Lions making a late push with 3 more runs to make it a 9-8 final score. How much is left in the tank for the bullpens today? If there wasn’t anything in the later stages of last night, there likely is going to be some pitchers running on empty.
The veteran, Wei-lun Pan, is expected to get called to the bump for the Uni-Lions. He’s been pitching in the CPBL since 2003 and has been one of the most recognizable names to CPBL fans over the years. He was a tough pitcher to hit early in his career. Pan had a sub-4.00 ERA for ten straight seasons before posting a 5.47 ERA in 2013.
Since then it’s been an up and down career for Pan. In 23 outings last season, it was abundantly clear that Pan wasn’t the same pitcher from his younger years. He posted a 5.10 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. Likely to get no hope from his bullpen today, the Uni-Lions are probably going to get hammered again by the Brothers’ offense. Chinatrust has scored an average of 7.5 runs per match in their previous four outings. They could come close to that or even eclipse it on Thursday.
Yi-Zhong Liao is expected to get the nod for the Brothers. He was solid in the first start of his sophomore campaign, with a 2.57 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 7 innings of work. In two warmups starts with the II team, Liao was closer to his career average, though, as he posted a 4.32 ERA and 1.90 WHIP. Liao holds a career ERA of 4.20 and 1.33 WHIP. It’s unlikely that the bullpen is going to be of much assistance if Liao runs into problems. Expect him to be solid again, but not as sharp as his first outing in 2020. The OVER looks like a good play.