Rakuten Monkeys vs Fubon Guardians – CPBL May 27

Each of these two teams has played one game in the past 9 days.

Taiwan is experiencing a busy start to its rainy/typhoon season. This past Sunday was the only day of the week the CPBL was able to start and finish a baseball game.

The Monkeys lost 7-5 to the Lions while the Fubon Guardians hung on to beat the Brothers 7-3. In the Guardians game, the powerful Henry Sosa gave up only one run over 7 strong innings for his second win of the season.

I liked the Monkeys’ chances with Ryan Carpenter taking the mound and while he struck out 8 and didn’t give up any earned runs over 4 ⅔ innings, he did manage to throw 115 pitches.

Sometimes you’re only as strong as your weakest link and the short banana for the Monkeys is undeniably their bullpen.

Hitting .354 as a team with nearly the best team ERA in the league should point to even more wins for the Rakuten Monkeys who have won 16 of 23 games thus far.

As a result of this, I have looked towards the over to hit in their games. We know they average 9 runs themselves per ball game. Then, the bullpen can falter if we need them.

It’s been harder, though, to win a run line bet with the Monkeys lately. We were doing it at the beginning of the season but the oddsmakers have caught up and the betting lines show it.

Speaking of betting odds, let’s take a look at those found at BetOnline.AG for tomorrow’s game between the Rakuten Monkeys and the Fubon Guardians.

Rakuten Monkeys @ Fubon Guardians Betting Odds

Run Line

  • Rakuten +1.5 (-210)
  • Fubon -1.5 (+170)
Money Line

  • Rakuten (-110)
  • Fubon (-120)
Run Total

  • Over 10.5 (-115)
  • Under 10.5 (-115)

Wow, it is not often AT ALL that we see the Rakuten Monkeys as the underdog. I think this is a first for me since I began covering CPBL games this year.

The run line is tight and the total is, of course, very low for a Monkey’s game. Do they think batters will be tight after all of the time off?

We could say the same thing about the pitchers. Justin Nicolino, right-hander out of Orlando, takes the mound for the visiting Monkeys.

Justin had quite the rough go of it in his last appearance. He dinked two batters and gave up 6 runs in just over 3 innings of work in his last appearance against the Uni Lions.

Prior to that, he had just two starts, both against the Fubon Guardians. In his first appearance on April 28th, Justin threw a 2 hitter through 8 shutout innings. This was his league debut!

As bettors firmly got behind him in his next outing against the Guardians, he fell well short of expectations. 5 innings, 10 hits, and 6 runs later…

It will be interesting to see what Nicolino can do tomorrow in his fourth start of the season.

I like his ground ball to fly ball ratio of 3:1. That might help matters against a Guardians team who went deep three times in their last game.

Even with two bad outings, Justin still has a solid WHIP of 1.38. I think there’s a good chance he will have a good showing tomorrow vs the Guardians.

Taking the mound for said Guardians will be Mike Loree, a CPBL veteran, and hero of the 2012 Taiwan Series. He won the pitching triple crown for the CPBL twice! He has led the league in ERA a record four times! The guy is a legend in Taiwan.

Mike has started 177 games in his 8+ year career in the CPBL. With a record of 85-50, an ERA of 3.19, and a WHIP of 1.18, there is no doubt he is the best foreign pitcher of all-time in the CPBL.

He is rather intimidating standing tall on the mound at 6’6”. At just 218 pounds, though, he has managed to have a good bit of longevity to his game.

What have you done for me lately you ask? He had an ERA of 2.57 in 26 starts with a cool 1.00 WHIP. I think Mr. Mike could be playing in the major leagues if he wanted but why not be the man when you can?

Mike has just one start this year and it came recently against the Monkeys. 7 innings, 6 hits, 2 earned runs, and the victory. Not bad.

That run total of 10.5 is starting to make a little more sense now. It doesn’t appear that teams in the CPBL are seeing anything they didn’t already know from Mike Loree. What you see is what you get.

Let’s take the Fubon Guardians -1.5 for the big money (+170). You’re getting more than double your money for 1 run in a league that averages 14 total per ball game.

My Pick

In Conclusion

This should be a good game!

I would take the over as well if I could get more of a read on Justin Nicolino who had maybe the best start of any pitcher in the CPBL this year in his league debut only to stink it up in his next two outings.

I don’t want to keep going on about Mike Loree and with the baseballs still being juiced, maybe we should quit while we are ahead.

The Rakuten bats are ridiculous, yes. So, why take the Guardians who are the worst hitting team in the league to beat them? Do I have to keep saying it? I like the pitching matchup. There, I didn’t even say his name.

We are rolling the dice a bit tomorrow but I think with how good/bad Justin Nicolino has been along with the strength of the Monkeys’ bats, it’s a gamble anyway.

So, why not make it worth it? This may feel reckless and it may not hit but over time, it’s the right call.

Get your bets in now guys, and enjoy the game if you’re up early and have the time.

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.