Rakuten Monkeys vs Uni Lions Pick – CPBL April 25, 2020

The CPBL season continues to be a hit!

Whether you’re a pure baseball fan, an opportunistic bettor or maybe even a mixture of both, you have to follow this league.

If you’re working from home or on an extended “essential” vacation like many Americans, the 6:30 AM Eastern start times aren’t that bad. If you have small children, I’m sure they will be up and getting after it by 7, anyway.

Hey, it’s baseball. And it’s a very valuable betting opportunity.

I think I’m 4-2 right now with a couple of losses on the run total, and my colleague Kyle nailed both of his picks of today’s games.

The Rakuten Monkeys are now 7-0!

I had picked them to win their game yesterday and after they had gone up 4-1 early on, rain halted the contest and it was abandoned. I saw that word and initially freaked out! I thought abandoned meant the season was canceled due to Uncle C rearing its ugly mug again.

Today’s game between the Monkeys at the Uni Lions wasn’t even close.

The best team in the league easily cruised past the worst by a score of 14-4. 3 of those 4 from the Uni Lions came in the 9th inning.

Until someone beats the Rakuten Monkeys, it’s hard to bet against them. They have nearly doubled up their opponents in scoring runs over their first 7 games played. 67-37 is the current count.

The Monkeys had two close games and the rest have been blowouts.

  • Lin Li, the third baseman for the Rakuten Monkeys, is now hitting .483 after going 3/4 with a couple of runs scored today.
  • Zhu Yuxian hit in the DH spot and cracked home runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings, driving in a total of 5. He’s hitting .536 with 7 homers in as many games. MVP?
  • Rakuten Monkeys Starter Wang Yizheng pitched absolutely beautifully. 7 innings, 4 hits, 6 strikeouts, and 0 runs allowed bringing his ERA for the season down to 1.29.

There weren’t many bright spots for the Lions, unfortunately. They have a total of 3 players hitting better than .250 and none of them are .300 or better.

So, you think the Rakuten offense is pretty good, right? They definitely are. Keep in mind, though, that the Uni Lions have given up more runs than the Monkeys have scored.

The Lions stink. It’s very simple. I think we need to continue to capitalize on opportunities like this.

Let’s quickly look at tomorrow’s pitching matchup then we can make our predictions.

Run Line

  • Monkeys -2.5 (-105)
  • Lions +2.5 (-135)
Money Line

  • Monkeys (-220)
  • Lions (+160)
Run Total

  • Over 9.5 (-120)
  • Under 9.5 (-120)

Taking the mound for the undefeated Rakuten Monkeys is CPBL newcomer Lisaverto Bonilla.

The right hander from the Dominican Republic has appeared in two games for the Monkeys, one in relief and one start for a total of nearly 9 innings with 7 K’s, an ERA of 2.08, and a WHIP of 1.04. These are, of course, very good numbers.

Against the worst hitting team in the league tomorrow, I have to believe that Bonilla will have another solid outing.

Pitching for the home Lions will be another foreign player. Left hander Ryan Feierabend, love writing his name, will be starting for the Uni Lions.

Ryan is somewhat of a unicorn in the CPBL. To the best of my knowledge, he is the only knuckleballer in the league right now. His success, though, could point towards teams attempting to acquire one of their own.

At 6’3” and 225 pounds, you would think this guy is going to try and get the baseball by me. Nope. You are going to have to wait. And wait a little more.

Then, hope the wind cooperates because the baseball has a mind of its own at that point.

It’s pretty windy and rainy right now in Taiwan but it looks like the downpour should let up by game time tomorrow with some lingering 7 mph winds. I was just reading about how the weather affects knuckleball pitchers.

Apparently, they like the wind in their face if it’s blowing but more so than anything else, high humidity helps the ball stick in the air for a split second and that’s what leads to a random change in direction and thus a whiff if the batter swings.

It’s going to be very humid with fairly calm winds so I think that is a box ticked for the Lions’ pitcher. Ryan has been pretty solid in his first two starts pitching 11 innings with an ERA of 3.18 and WHIP of 1.41.

The under might be a possibility here with the knuckleballer’s humidity advantage coupled with the Lions scoring.

At just 9.5, though… I can’t go under. 7-2, 6-3… The Monkeys are averaging 9.5/game and allowing 5.

I like both pitchers so we can take both of those numbers down by 2 runs and we still have 7.5 to 3 which is good enough for the over. These teams have played each other three times so far this year with run totals of 17, 18, and 18.

We will take the run line also. I know (2.5) is a lot against a good pitcher but Uni is probably only going to score 3 runs or less.

I think 7 or 8 to 3 is a good prediction.

My Pick
RAKUTEN MONKEYS -2.5
-105
OVER 9.5
-120

In Conclusion

There you have it, folks.

This league has been a lot of fun so far and my colleague and I are doing pretty well picking the games also.

Tomorrow’s contest will be a pitching duel of two emerging aces who are each new to the league. Both men have experience in Major League Baseball.

Things didn’t pan out for them, of course, or they wouldn’t be in Taiwan but both guys will likely keep their respective ERA’s under 4.00 for the year which is outstanding in the CPBL.

The Monkeys just have too many bats and the poor Uni Lions so few. Bonilla gets the win and the Rakuten Monkeys remain undefeated.

Tune in tomorrow morning for the action!

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.