Fubon Guardians @ Uni Lions Pick – CPBL May 20, 2020

It’s CPBL short change central lately. Today’s game was rained out and tomorrow we only get one game as well. One or two Wednesdays every month, the CPBL will just have one game instead of two. Can you tell I’m becoming a big fan?

We are getting the same matchup tomorrow we were supposed to see today when the Fubon Guardians visit the Uni Lions of 7/11. According to the CPBL website, the starting pitching matchup has changed.

I guess it isn’t all that heartbreaking that today’s game was rained out.

The Uni Lions were scheduled to start a CPBL debut. The pitcher had only switched teams once a year or so in a decade of playing in the minor leagues in the states. Talk about a wild card… Variability is bad, mmkay.

Wait, he’s still going? Logan Reese Darnell is darn-well determined to get his first CPBL start for the home Lions. Standing 60′ 6″ from Unity Lions batters tomorrow will be the Fubon Guardians’ young gun, Chiang Kuo Hao.

Chiang is a right-hander who just turned 22 years old at the end of last year.

BetOnline.AG has the betting options for us. Let’s break down the pitching matchup the best we can, albeit with limited information, and also see where the value is in the betting odds.

Fubon Guardians vs Uni Lions

Run Line

  • Fubon -1.5 (+140)
  • Uni +1.5 (-190)
Money Line

  • Fubon (-120)
  • Uni (-120)
Run Total

  • Over 14 (-110)
  • Under 14 (-110)

Hmm, no favorite either way on the moneyline and even the run line tells the tale of a tightly contested matchup. The run total is a coin flip, in my opinion.

Some people would kill for coin flip odds to win a bet. Look how many people fill the casinos year after year knowing the house has an edge on your game of luck. To each their own, though.

I want to give my readers at least a 10% edge on the sportsbooks over time.

We might lose tomorrow and the next day but when the dust particles settle, I hope we are sitting pretty with a return on investment in the double digits and money for two vacations this Summer.

Currently, we are 13-7 betting games in the Chinese Taipei Professional Baseball League with a return on our investment of 18%. I would like to get that number in the 20s and keep it there. A win today would get us one step closer.

I talked about Lions debut starting pitcher Logan Reese Darnell when I was picking today’s game. We, of course, were rained out so here is the information on LRD again.

Logan Reese Darnell signed with the Unity Lions of the CPBL on April 29th of this year. I suppose the team brought him on because of our cash cow Donn Roach who has been 100% horrible in 2020.

Logan will be making his first start in the CPBL tomorrow so unfortunately, we don’t have any season statistics to draw from but we can at least see where he’s been.

The 31-year-old left-hander from Joelton, Tennessee has yet to find a home in pro baseball. 24 innings is all he lasted in Major League Baseball with the Minnesota Twins. 20 earned runs later and he was back down to the minors.

It looks like he has changed teams 10 times during his decade-long career playing professionally. That is obviously not a great sign. He did manage a career minor league ERA of an even 4.00.

The CPBL is comparable to Double-A ball in the United States so there’s a good chance he could be a quality starter for the Lions.

Fubon Guardians starter Chiang Kuo Hao is making his 5th start of the season after just 2 last season with 9 relief appearances.

He is 2-2 on the year with an ERA just under 6.00. That doesn’t sound very effective but it is more than one run less than the league average. He has already pitched more innings (24) than he did all of last season.

I do worry about his ground ball to fly ball ratio that has been nearly 1:1 for the entirety of his short career.

Somewhat contrary to the previous statistic, he has only allowed one home run against more than 100 batters faced. Let’s see if he has pitched against the 7/11 Lions this season? Twice! And his last two starts as well. That’s what we want to see!

Our Betting Prediction

Now let’s make our decision based on these numbers and dog’on Logan Reese Darnell pitch a no-hitter!

On the 2nd of May, Chiang faced 24 batters in 6 full innings of work against Uni and didn’t allow a single run. The Lions would get their chance at revenge exactly one week later. No dice, fellas.

He went 8 strong innings allowing just 2 runners to cross home plate. 14 innings of work and just 10 hits and 2 runs allowed? That is tremendous for any pitcher in the CPBL!

The Lions only need one spark, though. They are a very streaky team but coming off of 3 days rest now may have cooled those bats just enough.

It is unclear what to expect from Lions starter Darnell so the run total is anybody’s guess.

Now, we have to ask ourselves: Is the run line on the Guardians worth it? First, let’s put these payouts on paper!

This helped me tremendously start to pick more underdogs. I was one of those guys who usually sided with the favorites but when you win 66% but barely break even, you realize you’re playing a losing game.

  • Fubon’s moneyline odds are (-120). If you bet 100.00 bucks, you net 83.33. That’s not too bad.
  • The run line is -1.5 for a (+140) payout. Bet 100.00 and net 140.00. You have the opportunity to win 69% more money with the (+140) odds than you do with the (-120).
  • Win 2 out of 5 times with the (+140) and you’re only down 20 bucks. Win 2 of 5 at (-120) and you are down nearly 150!

I think it’s imperative you look at implied probability before betting on sports. With that being said, you would think I am going with the plus money on the run line.

We don’t know the other pitcher very well at all and the Uni Lions are infamous for getting to the best of opposing bullpens late.

Chiang has shown he can go 8 innings against the Lions but with the extra variable tomorrow, let’s just take the Guardians to win on the moneyline.

My Pick

In Conclusion

Tomorrow is the day!

We finally get to see the world-famous Logan Reese Darnell! Never heard of him? With a name like that, though, you won’t forget him anytime soon.

Anything is an improvement of Donn Roach, okay. It’s nowhere to go but up for the Uni Lions and their 5th starter. Roach had been battered worse than Anthony Smith and Tony Ferguson combined.

The Lions needed a new guy badly and time will tell if Mr. Darnell is that guy.

I really like Fubon Guardians starter Chiang Kuo Hao, though. In 14 innings of work against the Uni Lions, he has allowed just 2 runs.

When you realize Unity scores close to a dozen runs every 14 innings, you realize this young kid has great stuff and/or has the Lions’ number.

Get your bets in now, guys, and hopefully tomorrow’s game isn’t rained out.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.