- Henry Sosa (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
- Weijun Weng (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
The Rakuten Monkeys have been tearing the laces off the ball to start the season, as they continued their torrid pace at the dish. The Monkeys put up 12 more runs last night to oust the Fubon Guardians for the second straight day. The bullpen nearly gave up the lead again, but were able to stop the Guardians for a 12-9 win. It was the same story the day before.
However, the offense was clicking on all cylinders to narrowly escape with a 11-10 victory. Rakuten are off to a perfect 4-0 start, and the offense is playing as good as advertised early on. There are clearly question marks with their pitching, notably the bullpen, but if the offense is putting up double digits on a consistent basis it won’t matter.
Finding reliable members for a bullpen is an issue across every team in the CPBL. That goes for other baseball leagues as well, including Major League Baseball. Rakuten might have bullpen problems, but it isn’t like the other pens in the CPBL are anything to get excited about.
They should be able to get by with sheer power at the plate alone. Today might be the best day that Fubon has had to beat Rakuten in the past few days. They are the betting favorite for the first time, as they hope to cool off the red-hot bats of the Monkeys.
Rakuten is the only team in the CPBL without a loss on their resume. Before playing against the Monkeys, the Guardians were off to a nice 2-0 start and feeling good. Playing in front of the mannequins and cardboard cutouts in the stands at the Monkey’s stadium was too much to handle, though. There are also four or five robots playing the drums when the Monkeys score.
I didn’t see any evidence of robot fans like they advertised at first, but they’re in a band, apparently. For a cost, fans will be able to put their face on the cutouts in the stands. A Premier League team in Belarus came up with that idea first, so we won’t give them the credit for starting that.
The Guardians will send Henry Sosa out to the bump, as he looks to build on a terrific 2020 debut and 2019 season. He was one of the best performers last season and picked up right where he left off in his first outing this season. We-Jun Weng is expected to counter for the Monkeys. Head below for our free Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys pick.
Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys Betting Odds:
Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys Prediction:
Henry Sosa was a star in the CPBL in his first season in Taiwan. Sosa posted an incredible ERA of 1.56 and 0.81 WHIP with a record of 8-2. He hasn’t been an MLB affiliated team since 2014 with the Dodgers in AAA, but has been able to make a career overseas. Sosa appeared in major league games in 2011 with the Astros, though was not able to last long.
Compared to some of the pitchers we see out of the bullpen in the majors he was okay. Sosa posted a 5.23 ERA and 1.44 WHIP with a record of 3-5. There are some guys in the majors that have made a good living off those numbers in the past few years. Sosa moved on from the US and has made an excellent living in Asia between the KBO and CPBL since then.
Sosa has started one game in 2020, having allowed just 4 hits and 1 earned runs in 7 innings on the bump. He exited the match against a good Chinatrust team with a 1.29 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. Along with just 1 run allowed, Sosa gave up only 4 hits to a solid Chinatrust offense. The issue the last two days for the Guardians hasn’t been their offense. They’ve scored 19 runs which should have been enough for two wins.
With their ace on the mound, look for the hitters to get more support from their pitching on Sunday. Wei-Jun Weng will be making his debut in 2020 on Sunday. Weng was well off the mark in 2019. He finished the campaign with a 6.14 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 16 games, and allowed 82 hits in 70.1 innings. It’s been a tough couple of days for the Guardians, but are likely going to return to form with Sosa backing them on Sunday. Look for the Guardians to avoid the sweep here.