- Bryan Woodall (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
- Elih Villanueva (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
The first day of our Chinese Professional Baseball League betting went well, very well actually, as the Rakuten Monkeys pounded the Uni Lions for a 15-3 win at home in front of cardboard fans. They said there were going to be robot fans at Rakuten games, but the most I saw were cutouts of fans, some even wearing masks.
The Monkeys might have decided to tone the theatrics down a bit in the stands, though the players did not settle down on the diamond. They got to Donn Roach early and often yesterday, and then mauled their bullpen for 8 more runs. Roach left the game with a 11.57 ERA and 2.36 WHIP after allowing 6 earned runs in 4.2 innings.
It was a great effort by Yi-Cheng Wang who surrendered 2 earned runs in 7 innings of work. He left the game with a 2.57 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. With the win, the Monkeys advanced to 2-0 on the season. They needed extra innings to get the job done the previous day in thrilling fashion by a score of 8-7. The pitching didn’t work out well for them on Wednesday, though they didn’t need it with the bats hammering the opposition.
Rakuten is expected to have the most dangerous offense in the CPBL in 2020, so expect their bats to continue to produce at a rapid pace. The question will be whether they have enough pitching to make it all the way. The Monkeys are looking to four-peat as champions in the CPBL this year. They were winners in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
So far the Monkeys look like prime candidates to win again. The Fubon Guardians will be at Rakuten searching for the upset. They’re 2-0 to open the season as well, with a 3-1 and 7-6 win over the Chinatrust Brothers. Fubon are three-time champions in 2004, 2005, and 2016. They finished last season with a respectable record of 63-55-2 and should be a decent threat again. This is a tough test for them on Friday against Rakuten, though. Head below for our free Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys pick.
Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys CPBL Betting Odds:
Fubon Guardians vs. Rakuten Monkeys Prediction:
The Rakuten Monkeys are likely going to get their offense going again. There aren’t too many pitchers in the CPBL who are going to be able to neutralize the Monkeys consistently. It’s unlikely that Bryan Woodall is going to be the guy to do it on Friday. Woodall entered professional baseball in 2008 with Takima in the Diamondbacks organization. He floated around minor league teams with the Diamondbacks until 2014. Woodall was unable to “stick” and they had to give up on him.
Woodall was too inconsistent to remain playing AAA ball. He posted a 7.74 ERA and 2.029 WHIP out of the bullpen in AAA. Woodall struggled at times in AA as well, with a 4.08 ERA and record of 12-16. The Diamondbacks were not going to waste a roster spot on a AA player going nowhere, so off to Taiwan he went. He’s been in Taiwan since 2014 and has gotten mixed results. Woodall was sharp in 2018, with a 3.25 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, but regressed hard in 2019. He notched a 5.48 ERA and 1.40 WHIP with a horrid record of 2-12. The Monkeys have gotten to him for a 4.47 ERA in his career in the CPBL.
The juice appears to be running out for Woodall. This is a really big season for him. If he continues to struggle, his career as a baseball player might be running on fumes. I’m not too confident in Woodall being able to contain a red-hot Monkeys’ offense on Friday. Elih Villanueva is expected to counter for the Monkeys. He is coming off a successful season, as he posted a record of 9-3 and 2.92 ERA in 18 games. In 11 outings versus the Guardians, Villanueva owns a 2.24 ERA which would be plenty good for a win if Rakuten stays hot at the plate. The edge is with the Rakuten Moneys.