Tomorrow at around 5:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, the Chinatrust Brothers will play the Uni Lions.
COME BACK TOMORROW!!@CTBC_Brothers (10-13) vs #UniLions (10-14)
English Broadcast at the @ElevenSportsTW page@RakutenMonkeys (16-5) vs @FubonGuardians (9-12)
English Broadcast at the @FubonGuardians page#CPBL #CPBLwithFans #BaseballwithFans #LiveBaseball pic.twitter.com/vxPnQrsl5z
— CPBL 中華職棒 (@CPBL) May 15, 2020
It’s Taiwan time so basically they are half of a day ahead.
The Chinese Taipei Professional Baseball League has been a hit so far this year!
Can you tell I’ve had too much coffee this morning?
The bad jokes just start to seep from my pores.
They were the first baseball league to play as the country’s COVID-19 infections were very very low.
Now, they have become the first sports organization in the world to begin to allow fans in attendance.
1,000 fans are allowed at each game right now, sitting 3 seats apart of course, and hopefully the number of attendees can increase without people getting sick.. or nailed by baseball bats…
— ELEVEN SPORTS TAIWAN (@ElevenSportsTW) May 15, 2020
I have to keep telling myself, baby steps, patience…
The Chinatrust Brothers are currently sitting in second place with the Unity Lions pulling up the rear.
It’s only a 1.5 game difference, though, which is negligible at best just 20 games into the season.
There are some differences in the makeup of these ball clubs, though.
BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us.
Let’s identify these differences and make our prediction for the CPBL game between the Chinatrust Brothers and the Unity Lions.
Chinatrust Brothers vs Unity Lions
The Chinatrust Brother Elephants are probably the best pitching team in the league.
They are currently 1st in the CPBL in WHIP and just behind the Rakuten Monkeys for 1st in ERA.
The Brothers have the edge over the Rakuten Monkeys in the bullpen.
The number that jumped off the page for me was home runs allowed.
- The Lions have given up 44 while the rest of the league averages between 20 and 25.
- Brothers pitchers are also striking out 2 more batters per 9 innings than the last place Lions.
Uni is a team that can score runs in bunches. With the exception of the first place and defending Taiwan Series Champion Rakuten Monkeys, nobody can rally like the Lions.
Uni usually does their best work against said Monkeys, though.
— ELEVEN SPORTS TAIWAN (@ElevenSportsTW) May 13, 2020
They had a 3-game stretch in the past week when they plated a total of 45 runners.
Against the Monkeys a few days ago, they scored 5 runs for three straight innings.
I mentioned the Lions give up the most long balls.
Well, they also hit the most.
Currently tied for first in the league, actually, with the power crazy Monkeys with 32.
Chinatrust can hit, though, but it’s mostly for average.
They’re hitting .316 compared to .296 for the Lions.
I think the Uni Lion offense plays under a lot of pressure.
When your pitchers are allowing close to 9 runs a game, you have to be aggressive.
Their batters have the most strikeouts to show for it.
Let’s look at this pitching matchup.
Taking the mound for the Brothers will be Jose De Paula.
The 22-year-old will be making the 6th start of the season and his career. He is still without a win. 0-5.
He hasn’t pitched awfully bad, though.
No team in the CPBL has an ERA under 5.25 and he is slightly north of that number at 6.44.
He does have a decent 2/1 ground ball to fly ball ratio.
That’s very important when throwing against the power-hungry Lions.
- In his sole outing versus Uni this season, he threw for 6 innings and allowed 4 earned.
- He struck out 8 and only 2 of the 18 outs he recorded were fly balls.
Taking the bump for the Lions is an aging MLB journeyman who has made a nice home for himself pitching for the CPBL in Taiwan.
Right-hander Josh Roenicke, who turns 38 this year, has been AROUND.
The ghost of Tupac Shakur has nothing on this guy.
I’m not even going to begin to list the number of leagues and teams and levels this guy has pitched.
Josh followed that up in ‘19 with 3.50 for the year.
Per the information you have gathered in this article, a 3.50 ERA in this league is equivalent to one less than 2.00 in the majors.
How is he doing so far this year?
- In 8 innings pitched, he has allowed 16 hits, and 11 earned runs with 3 batters taking him deep.
- And he only struck a total of 3.
Both of these games came against the worst offense in the league, the Fubon Guardians.
Has the old man taken a step back in his career or is it just taking him a few games to find his rhythm?
I see Chinatrust touching him up early.
He could prove me wrong but until he does, I can’t bet on him.
Let’s simply take the Brothers on the moneyline.
I don’t see much value otherwise.
I don’t think we are going to see the rare 2-1 game like we did yesterday between these two teams.
Neither pitcher has excelled in 2020.
Roenicke is a fan favorite, though, and might be motivated by the 1,000 in attendance.
Let’s hope he can pitch similarly well.
It’s really about clutch hitting for the Brothers if they want to take it to the next level.
They could use some more power in their lineup but they wouldn’t need it if they didn’t leave so many runners on base.
The Guardians score just as many runs/game as the Brothers even though Chinatrust has a batting average 30 points higher.
Something has to give, though, and I think that favors the Brother Elephants as the season progresses.
The Lions are aggressive bordering on overly aggressive more often than not. Let’s hope they continue to swing and miss more than any team in the league against strikeout artist, Jose De Paula.
Get your bets in now, guys, and remember the fights and the race this weekend!