The only thing that has been able to slow down the Rakuten Monkeys is the weather. With 4 runs up on the board in a 4-1 contest after just 1-inning of play, the cord was pulled on the game in the early stages. That stopped the Monkeys cold and prevented them from putting double-digit runs up on the board again in 2020. There’s no guarantee that would have happened, but there’s a good case that Rakuten would have lit the scoreboard on fire. There have been some crazy high-scoring matchups thus far this season in Monkey games, so they might have needed 10 or more runs to get the win.
All I can say is that I’m glad to be talking about baseball again despite it being another league other than the CPBL. The KBO in South Korea is going to provide another outlet for us very soon. They’re already playing spring training games there, which I’m not going to entertain. However, the regular season is scheduled to begin in early May and we’ll be on top of that. There were reports that ESPN wanted to broadcast games on their network from South Korea. That would get better ratings than the vast majority of regular programming on ESPN. There’s a small problem, though.
Disney tried to pull a fast one and obtain the rights to the KBO for free. Yeah, I’m not sure what the thought process there was. Like the KBO was going to be okay with ESPN broadcasting games for nothing. In any event, it would be good exposure for the KBO, though it’d be impossible to hold people’s attention when MLB returns in North America. CPBL is doing well catering to the US crowd, as they’ve been broadcasting games on Twitch and Twitter. They are getting a lot of clicks for their matches, most of which are gamblers watching their bets.
The Rakuten Monkeys are in action against the Uni Lions on Friday in Taiwan. The Monkeys haven’t lost a game yet, as they enter today with a perfect mark of 6-0-0. They’ve had a couple of close calls, but have either come through under pressure or blown their opponent out of the water. It looked like they were en route to a blowout win yesterday before the rain ruined that opportunity. The Lions have a compiled a record of 3-5. They’re coming off an impressive 9-5 win over Fubon. Head below for our free Rakuten Monkeys vs. Uni Lions pick.
Rakuten Monkeys vs. Uni Lions CPBL Betting Odds:
Rakuten Monkeys vs. Uni Lions Prediction:
The Uni Lions will send Chenyan Jiang out to the bump in an attempt to slow down the red-hot Monkeys. Rakuten has scored an average of 8.8 runs per game this season. That could have very likely been higher than 8.8 runs a game going into today if their match on Thursday was played. The game was halted in the 3rd inning with the Monkeys already having 4 runs up on the board. Jiang made an excellent 2020 debut, as he went 6 strong innings for a 1.50 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. However, that’s only one outing, and Jiang didn’t pitch like that last season or in three II warmup outings this year.
Jiang is coming off a season where he posted a 5.40 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 95 innings pitched. He’s been in the CPBL since 2014 and owns a career ERA of 5.02 and 1.52 WHIP. In three warmup games with the II squad this season, Jiang posted a 6.17 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. It would be mighty impressive if Jiang can pick up where he left off in his last start.
The Monkeys are likely going to present him with a big challenge. Expect to see the Monkeys get to Jiang early and find themselves exploiting their bullpen. Yi-Cheng Wang is on the heels of a nice outing as well, having posted a 2.57 ERA and 0.86 WHIP across 7 innings of work.
However, Wang has had an ERA every year since 2015 and has a career ERA of 4.89 and 1.53 WHIP. It’s unlikely he will have to be perfect on Friday with the Monkeys’ bats providing him with solid run support, though. Both starters in this contest had nice season openers, but I could see them regressing closer to their career averages on Friday. That would likely mean a nice day for OVER bettors.