Rakuten Monkeys vs Chinatrust Brothers – CPBL April 23, 2020

If you haven’t yet made any wagers on the Chinese Taiwan Professional Baseball League, you’re missing out!

The season has just started with teams only playing 7 or 8 games so far.

I was just reading where the Taiwan government is going to shell out close to 6 figures for the games to be broadcast in English. As long as you can get up by around 6:30 AM Eastern, watching a game shouldn’t be too much of an issue for you barring work responsibilities, of course.

The sportsbooks are still in the learning curve for the league so there is no better time than the present to make some extra cash. We do have the 2020 NFL Draft this week which will be pretty rad to see something of importance to our country’s favorite sport LIVE!

It’s not a game, not a game. Well, it’s not practice either. The draft will be a lot of fun and if you check our blog section, you’ll find a plethora of betting opportunities with even more to be posted as we approach the NFL Draft Thursday night.

After that, though…Then what? This is why it’s important to be proactive. You don’t quit your job or simply let a contract run out before securing another opportunity.

That’s what I want you guys to do with the CPBL. There are only four teams so you don’t have to learn about hundreds of players.

One of our teams we will look at today for tomorrow’s matchup is the Rakuten Monkeys.

They are the three-time defending Taiwan Series Champions and remain undefeated in 2020 with a record of 6-0.

They have a batch of new foreign pitchers who have thrown well but not great so far this year.

Rakuten hasn’t needed world-class pitching, though, because they have scored 47 runs over their first 4 games.

It has been only 3 runs each, though, in their previous two wins. The average score of a Rakuten Monkeys’ game is 9-5.

Their opponents on Wednesday, the Chinatrust Brothers, now have the worst record in the league at 2-5.

Their pitching has been the best in the league, though, as the average score of a Brothers game is 4-4. The Brothers just need some bats! Too bad the Monkeys took them all!

That’s pretty much the story but let’s dive into the pitching matchup and make our predictions. BetOnline.ag has the odds for us today. Let’s get after it!

Rakuten Monkeys vs Chinatrust Brothers

Run Line

  • Rakuten: -2 (-122)
  • Chinatrust: +2 (+102)
Moneyline

  • Rakuten (-249)
  • Chinatrust (+209)
Run Total

  • Over 9: (-104)
  • Under 9: (-116)

Okay, that moneyline is too expensive. I can see why, though, considering how many close games the Chinatrust Brothers have had.

The Rakuten Monkeys needed extra innings to defeat the Brothers in today’s game. They won 3-2. There were 23 total hits in the game so the starting pitchers and bullpen arms did a tremendous job getting themselves out of trouble.

The Monkeys have 80 hits over just 6 games played.

Those bats are just that good. It’s going to take a couple of aces to slow this offense down. If any team is going to hold Rakuten down, though, it’s definitely the Brothers who have allowed only 27 runs over their first 7 contests.

The Fubon Guardians have given up 44 while the poor Uni Lions have rendered 59 over the course of 8 games.

The Rakuten Monkeys have recently sent one of their starters down to the #2 team in the CPBL minors.

Elih Villanueva was really good last year but there may be an injury hampering his performance right now. After stinking it up last week, he is gone for now.

Enter Justin Nicolino. Justin is a 28-year-old left hander and former Miami Marlin. He is remarkably consistent.

Here are some stats from his first three years in the Majors with the Marlins.

  • He played 12, 18, and 20 games in each of his first three seasons
  • He walked exactly 20 batters each year
  • He allowed exactly 8 home runs each year
  • 2 out of the 3 seasons, he gave up exactly 33 runs

He is your typical MLB ERA of 4.50 kinda foreign pitcher we see in the CPBL. If they can’t notably improve on that number in this league, pitchers quickly get the boot evidenced by Elih’s early exit.

Nicolino has been playing in the CPBL minor league for the Rakuten Monkeys II for the entirety of the 2020 season. This league has already played 18 games and Justin has 5 pitching appearances already.

23 innings pitched with a WHIP under 1.00 and an ERA of 2.31 is pretty darn good in a hitter’s league.

The average runs against for all four teams is near 7. I would expect the 28-year-old to come at the Brothers’ weak bats with some good stuff.

For Chinatrust, they have a Taiwanese pitcher taking the mound. En-Tsu Huang is making his second start of the season. He gave up three runs over six innings in his first outing but the game went to extra innings and he didn’t get the win.

En-Tsu struggled mightily in 2019. I’m surprised they brought him back, really.

Over 13 starts and 2 appearances in relief, Huang finished the season with a record of 3-5 and an abysmal ERA of 7.47.

The Brothers can pitch. Even though En-Tsu isn’t their #1 starter, their bullpen is arguably the best in the CPBL. I can see where the oddsmakers are going with the over/under of 9 runs.

I think Rakuten wins by at least 2 runs and we will take that over as well.

Their pitcher has been very good in the minors but very busy as well. He may have to leave the game a little earlier than expected and that’s when Chinatrust could put a couple more on the board.

Rakuten breaks out of their hitting slump tomorrow and puts up double digits once again.

11-4 is your projected final score.

My Pick
RAKUTEN MONKEYS (-2)
-122
OVER 9 RUNS
-104

In Conclusion

I hope you’re able to catch a few of these games. There are mannequins in the stands who will pop up and down according to how their team is playing. We have cheering and jeering robots in the stands as well.

Oh, and there are cheerleaders too. Here’s a shot from Opening Day.

The MLB should take notes. NFL games can be so exciting that we forget all about the cheerleaders.

I don’t think that’s a possibility in baseball especially with zero fans in attendance.

As far as tomorrow’s game goes, I like the Monkeys to win. This is the team with the best record vs the team with the worst.

What’s interesting, though, is that the worst team in the league has the most effective pitching.

I don’t think Chinatrust stays at the bottom of the league for long. They will soon leave the Uni Lions to fend for themselves in the cellar and I see the Brothers challenging the Fubon Guardians for second best as the season moves along.

Get after that over 9 runs as well as the Monkeys (-2)!

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.